An Open Letter to My Sisters


I’m the oldest of 4 women. I’m 35, the next will be 34 later this year, the next will be 31 soon, and the youngest is 19. Of the 4 of us, the 2 middle ones are married and only 1 of us has children. I live with my parents as well as the youngest. I am able to help my parents financially as well as with everything else.

I was 16 when my mom had the youngest. When I would take her around the block in the stroller everyone thought she was mine, even now I’m her oldest sister aka her 2nd mom.

I manage the household bills as well as my own. I’m working, but this year my income has been limited. Nonetheless I do what I can for my parents and the youngest.

Besides managing the household bills, I’m my mom’s health advocate. I schedule her doctor appointments, take her to these appointments 90% of the time, talk to her doctors, refill her medicine, I write out their checks, collect and sort the mail, translate important documents, I handle my dad’s questions about his insurance and call in when he needs to speak to someone in regards to the mortgage, I am a chauffeur for the youngest and when my mom can’t drive. All this and more.

I motivate my mom when she’s at her worse and not able to get out of bed. I remind her almost daily about her meds or ask when I get home if she took them. I tell the youngest to get up, wash the dishes, sweep the kitchen, and lecture her when she doesn’t listen to my parents. I take the car in for oil changes, the emissions tests, help with the grocery shopping when my dad forgets something, do laundry when I can. If it needs to be done I’ll make dinner when my mom doesn’t feel up to it, although I think my dad’s cooking is sometimes better than mine plus he’s so particular about his food.

I somehow manage to be a caregiver for my mom, contribute to the household duties, help these 3 people, run my life, workout, live my life, and somehow stay standing on my own two feet. I do a lot for my parents. My youngest sister is now an adult with a part time job and I need her to do more! When I bring this up and tell my sister she needs to contribute more and be an adult my parents defend her. Just yesterday I had enough of her teenage attitude and I suspended her cell phone temporarily. She left me no choice and yet this morning my mom asked me to turn her phone back on.

Actually I need all 3 of my sisters to help me, they are our parents, not just mine.

My parents are in their early 60s. My mom cannot work, she is a homemaker and now a very attentive grandmother. My dad provided for all of us on 1 income. He is a hardworking man and I cannot wait till the day he retires.

There are 4 of us, 4 sisters, 4 daughters. I need help! I cannot do all of the above on my own for much longer. Yes they are married and out of the house with their own families, but nonetheless they are our parents.

Los padres son los primeros que te aman, los primeros que estan alli para ti y ahora ellos te necesitan a ti.

At one point we will all have our own families. One of my sisters works long hours, she doesn’t visit my parents for weeks and she doesn’t return my mom’s calls at times. My mom asks me, “have you talked to your sister?”. The other sister with children comes around a lot with her two small daughters and I thank her for that. The granddaughters are the apple of my parents eyes right now. But this sister does not go visit my mom when we’ve had to admit her to the hospital. I cannot count on her when my mom is at her worse, when I’m waiting for an ambulance to arrive and trying to reach my mom’s doctor at the same time.

I run many days to distress. I write because it makes me happy, it helps me vent, to calm down, and write my life stories somewhere. I cry in the shower when all else fails followed by a glass of wine, and when it’s a real bad day try to just sleep it off and just hope for a better day to follow.

I’m considering a huge change right now, one of the biggest decisions of my life thus far and the only thing that holds me back is thinking of my parents. Who will help them? Who will my dad turn to when he can’t handle my mom at her worse? I just think of the look on my dad’s face if I tell him I need to leave them, but I do not want to be 50 and have regrets. I love them so and honestly thank them daily for everything they have done and continue to do for us all, but I cannot let things stay like this much longer.

To my sisters, they know how I feel, I vent to them, and I have expressed all of the above at one point or another. I have told them more than once that I need help. Our parents raised us all well and have aided in shaping the women we are today.

Como muchos Latinos, nos precupamos por nuestros padres y los cuidamos. So tell me how will you help them. What tasks will be yours? Between 4 of us, they should be divided.


One comment

  1. My heart goes out to you. You’re in a tough spot. Us Latinos are very family oriented so I know how you’re feeling I. Regards to your parents. I hope your sisters are willing and able to help out a bit more. Being the sole person they count on can be overwhelming. *Hugs*


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