However, we get along GREAT today. Seldom do a few days (five at most) go by that one of us isn't calling the other to see what's up. He still lives back in our hometown of Carlsbad; I, having moved to Dallas a few months before my 22nd birthday many years ago. I moved here for employment and just to get into a larger city to find myself. I'm proud of my brother; he's accomplished a lot and has a wonderful family. (Because of him, I have a beautiful young niece and handsome nephew, both of whom are the apples of their uncle's eyes. THEY can do no wrong and you'd be hard pressed to hear me to say otherwise. Also, they are the best lookin' and smartest kids in the world (not that I'm biased mind you). Their mom, my sister-in-law, is a great gal. Such a twinkle exists in her eyes. Love her, love her, love her... AND she knows what kinds of greeting cards are going to tickle my fancy when they all go on vacation, like to the beach for instance! Show me a HUNK! -- not some bikini-clad chick like my brother would choose to send! *chuckles to self*
Now, how did this become about my brother and his family? It was supposed to be about Mom and her new house! *facepalm* Okay...
My brother and I grew up in a place that ... for lack of a better description, was "pieced together." Dad would tell you it was "Okie-built" *laughs* (THAT means nothing was put together "correctly" in his opinion ---- it could have all been just as easily held together by baling wire.) Apologies to those who live in Oklahoma; nothing personal. You work with what you have. *devilish grins*
You won't get any argument from my brother or I that the house was anything but spectacular but looking back we had some pretty great times in that house. It wasn't the most beautiful home on the block and one of the rooms that'd been added on along the way appeared to be a bit "lower" than all the rest. (The roofline supported this speculation and the floor of that room is about an inch lower than all others in the home.) ...and perhaps it was because we grew up in that home that the first room I look at in any place I'm looking to move into myself is the bathroom. The bathroom in our old home was anything but spacious and/or glamorous; it STILL isn't to this day.
Poor Mom. All she wanted all those years was a place she could call home that she was proud of. Dad, though I loved him immensely, figured "as long as you've got a sturdy roof over your head (no matter what it looks like), you're set!"
Eventually, Dad would build a nice shop building out behind the house where he could retreat to and work on his "projects" ... few of which ever involved "improvements" to the home. *LOL* Mom would get so frustrated with him, but she loved him and sat aside her dreams for a nicer home... ...and Dad NEVER gave it another thought. He had, after all, his shop. (c:
But Dad was diagnosed with cancer several years back (passing on the 15th of February, 2005). My brother and I watched on, keeping a close eye on how Mom would react as Dad's health declined. (They could get on one another's nerves to an extreme but you always knew they'd come out the other side of the argument making up. Actually, I'd prefer NOT to think too much about that! I'd much prefer to think of my own birth as being the result of some immaculate conception. After all, parents don't have sex; they just "rastle." *LOL* )
It's been a while now since Dad passed on and while I don't think my brother and I ever really thought it all that likely that she would, Mom has been looking for a new place to move into. Her own dreams of having a nicer home are alive and well! And I'm rather glad of that. I'm proud of all that she's accomplished (she always worked her butt off for my brother and I --- and when Dad took early retirement, she continued working to support the both of them. When Dad was diagnosed with cancer and undergoing treatment she took care of him AND continued to work.
But now it's close to that time in Mom's life when she's going to be retiring herself. It's nigh time she was able to live out some of her own dreams. And she's made an offer on a nice three-bedroom home nearer downtown there. I've walked through the place and it's really quite nice. I think it's a great place for her! (Heck, maybe I'll even move back home!! *LOL*) Yes, she is paying top-dollar for it. So what! If it makes her happy I say, "do it!"
Here's the rub and I'm a little put out with some of my extended [blood] family because of it; Aunts and Uncles. They don't seem to understand Mom has given up a lot to keep her husband (mine and my brother's father) happy and to provide for us kids when we were growing up. Dad was a great guy but the truth be told Mom sat aside her own dreams for a nicer place to live in order to keep peace between the two of them. But for whatever their reasons, some in my family apparently believe Mom doesn't need to be moving into a nicer place. I don't know if they're jealous or think she doesn't deserve to indulge in some dreams of her own or what. I really don't care; this is my Mom and she's spending her own money so I'm in full support of whatever she decides. The rest of the family can go pound sand for all I care.
Those aunts and uncles who might have nothing good to say about it can just keep their opinions to themselves. If they can't say something supportive and nice, they can keep their mouths shut. If what I'm saying doesn't meet with their approval and they prefer to say something snide in response, they can simply kiss my ass. (c: ...if they think I'm a git for taking up for my own mother, THEY don't know the meaning of the word "family."
Don't get me wrong. I love all of my family but my brother, Mom, niece and nephew, sister-in-law ... and memories of Dad ... they come first! Aunts and Uncles, cousins --- they're all nice to have around but they aren't the ones who have always been there for me. They're not the ones who lost sleep when things weren't going well at all and I was in the midst of an abusive relationship. My family is happy for me I'm sure but Mom, Dad, my brother; they're the ones who allow me my own opinions, even if some of those opinions might be far different from their own — and who have always stuck by me. Family is important to me, just as some of my closest friends are important to me (you know who you are --- I make no secrets of it).
Besides, I've already purchased Mom's house-warming gift (and if she doesn't get THIS house it'll be delivered to Carlsbad in wait for the next one).