Saturday, September 28, 2013

Nobody cares about the aunts

Most of the days I am feeling OK in my childless skin. But then I hear some stupid comment and I get really angry & hurt. I know - there is still a long way to be healed completely.

This is a conversation that I had few days ago with my brother (beloved baby brother, now a father of two daughters).

He explained me a conversation that he had with our cousin (the one that was visiting us two weeks ago). 

The cousin is really spoiling her two nephews. She bought something that meant a lot to her 10-year-old nephew and the nephew thanked her. She said to him (jokingly) that she was spoiling him because she expects from him not to forget about her when she will be old & grey.

I know my cousin. I know that she does not count on her nephews to take care of her (BTW: she is only 34, so her old age is really far away).

This conversation was overheard by boy's mother (=her sister-in-law) and she replied to my cousin (in a very superior mode): "Do you really think that my son will want to have anything with his old aunt? Nobody cares about the aunts!"


My brother told the story and then stopped talking. I didn't really get it, what was his opinion on that. So I asked him, what was his comment.

I hoped the reply would be that cousin's sister-in-law was really rude.

My brother comment was - a quote - "our cousin is really stupid if she thinks that the nephew would take care of her".


So yes, my brother's comment really made be angry. I did not want to go into any discussion. So I just replied that our cousin will be very rich when she is old (=based on her well paid profession), even if she does not marry. And that she will pay, if she needs any help. 

So superior, my brother as well. Does he really think that his two daughters will take such a good care of him when he is old?


  1. I know my nephews won't take care of me when I am old and I wouldn't expect them to. They will have their own parents to look after.

    But still, that was very rude on both of them.

    And, I will spoil my nephews simply because I love to. They bring joy into my life.

    Growing old will just be another hard part of being childless.

  2. Oh dear. So much in this. First, that your brother didn't get how you would be feeling about this. So I'm sending hugs. It must have hurt.

    Second, children do care about and for aunts. I have a close friend who does and has done an awful lot for her aunt (who has children) and her uncle (who does not). A was as involved in her aunt's care (with alzheimer's) as her cousin, the daughter. And she does a huge amount for her uncle who lives in a completely different island, often at considerable expense. My own parents did a lot of care for my mother's uncle, when his three sons all lived overseas or a long way away. My husband has a childless aunt, and he has a cousin (who has been close for many years) who does a lot for her, and if the cousin can't, then we try to.

    Third, your last comment is very true. As I've noted, my great-uncle's sons all lived a long way away, and so my mother and father stepped in to help. My own parents-in-law have children all over the world, and they won't be doing the caring. (We will - but if we weren't around, we know the cousins would step in.)

    And finally, and this might sound a bit crass, if your cousin has a lot of money, then the parents of the nephews are stupid not to be encouraging a good relationship! We have nieces and nephews who haven't been encouraged to know us (mainly because of distance), and one niece who does, ... and you know what? Our Wills reflect that!

  3. dear Savannah & Mali,
    thank you for your kind and wise comments. I really appreciate them.

    Yes, I also didn't, don't and will never expect from my nieces to take care of me. But comments like these that come from parents feeling superior, really annoy me.

    I had a lovely (although a short) walk with my beloved dog, so the world seems a nicer place.

  4. I had two childless aunts. One of them passed away 3 years ago. When she was hospitalized, I, her niece, stayed with her overnight in a hospital recliner. I took her to doctors appointments on several occasions, took her grocery shopping as well, and even drove her out to meet "a date". I miss her terribly and I know that there are few people on this planet that love me the way that she did. My dh and I gave my other aunt a flat screen tv recently. She is a major baseball fan and fears getting depressed now that the season is almost over. I told her to call me when she is ready, and I'll bring her over so that she can stay here with us, as long as she wants. My brother has also told her to come and stay with her, and is planning on taking her to Spain next summer. She regularly goes with them to the mountains, where she went white water rafting, and horseback riding. She is in her 80s. My uncle, who has a daughter who lives overseas, has to go in for surgery this coming week. I have to work, but will probably spend some time with him at the hospital. When his wife broke her hip a few years ago, I stayed with her overnight at the hospital because she was medicated and fidgeted with her iv. We are family. They did things for me when I was a child. Plenty of things! and now I also give back to them. I don't expect to be a burden on my niece or nephew. I hope to have sufficient money to fund my care, but I do expect them to look in on me and make sure that all is well. If they are able to, but do not, then they will not have turned out to be the kind of wonderful human beings that I think they are. We are supposed to take care of each other. And the fact that a parent would not encourage their kids to love and care for those who have loved them is really sickening and pathetic.

    1. dear Iris,
      thank you for your comment. Yes, sickening and pathetic is a great description!
      It is lovely to see in how loving family you do live.
      All my aunts and uncles are in age group 50 - 65... so nobody needs help (and they actually all have children).
      But my mum does have two childless aunts in their 80s and I admire her what a great niece she is to them. But to be frank, the two aunts have all together aprox. 25 nieces and nephews and only my mum really takes care of them. I admire and love my mum even more after seing what a kind niece she is to her aunts.

  5. From much of what I have witnessed, is that he would be lucky if his kids put him in an old folks home and visit once a month. Excuse my language, but fuck those people. People can be so rude and reprehensible sometimes

  6. Holy smokes...that's so painful to hear. :-( Because my nephews live far away from me, I always think of a future where (if we're granted life until we're so old), we're probably have to hire some help or live in an old people's home if we're too sick to take care of ourselves...that means we have to save as much money as possible while we're alive and kicking. All I think about when I think about my nephews are what I can give them and what I can possible leave them when we're both gone...hopefully some money instead of debt.

    1. yes, we have the same plan: to save enough money for our old age (if we are fortunate to have it).

      But I don't care if we don't leave anything after we are gone for our nephews.

  7. I ache for you, Klara.... I admit, I'd have to bite my tongue not to say something if my brother said something like that!

    I'd like to share that I had a childless aunt, Aunt Dorothy- I still remember vividly how I'd look forward to see her even knowing we couldn't communicate (me deaf, and no one uses sign language in family)- that didn't stop her! With her, we could paint on large canvas hanging outside; dress in old clothes and jewelry and play tea; swim in the ocean together; read comic books (yes, a 60 years old woman would sit on floor and read X-men and Hulk comics with me back then!), and all that- and as an adult, I still loved her greatly- thro visits were reduced (due to her moving to California and me in college), we talked a lot in email (she was then in her 80's, way ahead of everyone in family when it came to email!)- so I was sad when she passed away. I was very touched when I got her amethyst ring as decreed in her will.

    Why? I found an amethyst while in Yellowstone National Park when I was a teenager, and I gave it to her. I didn't know that she had it cut and polished, into a ring for her to wear. I had noticed she had worn that ring for years. I never realized it was my amethyst until I got the ring and the personal letter after the funeral.

    I miss her still.

    I'd like to think that to my nephew, I'd be like Aunt Dorothy- I can only hope. I don't care if he can't take care of me- I'll continue taking care of myself much as I can until I get too old, and then that'd be okay- getting help from my younger siblings or cousins.

    1. thank you for sharing a story about your Aunt Dorothy. You were lucky to have an aunt like that.