My parents, sisters and I have a rare and strange disorder. We all love one another desperately. We would take a bullet to save the other. God help the soul foolish enough to treat one of us unkindly because the others will maul you without mercy. Having said that, why in the world do we show our love to one another through insults and put-downs? Yep, strange disorder, indeed.
Now, before I go any further, I need to publicly state this disclaimer. Not all Casas familia have this disorder. Truth be told, every aunt, uncle and cousin I know on my dad's side of the family are incredibly wonderful and kind human beings. I can honestly say, I have never heard an unkind word from any of them. As a matter of fact, just the opposite is true. They are some of the sweetest people on the planet. Then there is my mother's side of the family.
Therein may lay the answer to this disorder. My mother's side of the family is loud, proud and obnoxiously fun-loving.… exactly like me! Maybe this disorderly love fest of put downs came about when my parents decided to marry and intermingle those Spanish and Swiss genes. The outcome ..... my sisters and I ...... have made for some very interesting history. Take for example when my mother was dying:
In the last week of my mom's life, she was comatose. It was really difficult to stand over her day after day hoping and praying she would open her eyes one more time, only to see nothing happen. How I longed to hear her say she loved me, she was proud of me, say anything, just one more time. I had moved into my parents home to care for my mom the last six weeks of her life. My sisters came daily to spend time loving and caring for her also. Whenever they would show up, things would always get interesting.
That last week with my mom, one of my sisters showed up early to find me standing over mom's bed crying. For reasons I am still unsure of, crying seems to be a sign of weakness in our family and is greatly discouraged by my sisters. The answer to a sobbing sibling has always been and remains to this day .... sarcasm. I admit, I am often the chiefest of sinners in the sarcasm department. That's correct. If you see your sister suffering, make fun of her. After all, it's for her own good.
So there I was, standing on the left side of the bed, crying over my comatose mother, when my sister, who was standing on the right side of the bed, starts harassing me about something or another in order to get my mind off the situation laying before me. When I started to argue with her, telling her she was wrong, my sister says, "You're a big, fat liar." I immediately countered with, "I am not a liar!"
What I am about to tell you is 100% the gospel truth. At the very moment the last word exited my mouth, my comatose mother opened her eyes, looked straight at me, and clear as a bell said these words. "Well, you are fat." She then closed her eyes and never uttered another word.
Now, I understand for normal people, these last words would be a devastating statement regarding a mothers disdain for their child. Not so, in my case. To be slammed was to be loved in my house. We might not have had the kindness thing down but we could go up against Seinfeld any day of the week. My sister and I, upon hearing those last words of our mother's, looked at each other and burst out in hysterics. We still laugh about it today, almost eight years later.
My dad, for some strange reason, has been very kind to me these last few days. It's beginning to creep me out. Yep, a very strange disorder, indeed.