My father called last night. We hadn’t spoken in over three weeks, which would have been unthinkable before he moved to Sarnia. As it turns out, he didn’t call to say hello, or to ask how I was, or to shoot the shit about politics. He called to tell me that he had just talked to my brother.
It was, he said, a largely nonsensical conversation, except for two shards of information. The first is that my brother has received his first disability benefits cheque, which suggests that he has had contact with a medical professional during the last month. The second is that my mother has apparently had surgery for her kidney infection since I spoke with her last, possibly at Toronto General.
If true, it is certainly good news. And yet, I don't feel different than I did before.
My father asked me to confirm the information when I next talk to my mother; I responded, politely, by saying that I wasn’t sure when that would be. I am still shaken by everything that has happened, and I don’t know how I will deal with my family from here on in. He seems not to understand this, even though he should understand better than anyone.
Years ago, my father told me that I was the glue that held our family together, that the only reason they ever talked to each other was because of me. I realise now that I need to stop being the intermediary. It is time that we were unbound.