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I Took Care of My Ailing Parents for Years with Little Help from My Siblings, Now My Oldest Sister Thinks She Deserves the Home My Father Left Me Because She’s Married with Children 

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Both of my parents died within the last few years, and it has been a challenge that has created a rift between me and my siblings.

Growing up, I was always touted as being my mother and father’s favorite child of the four children they have. At times, jealousy and resentment were projected onto me by my three sisters and, as a result, this made for a harrowing experience in my early years.

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My father was a family physician, and my mother was a retired kindergarten teacher. Based on stories I’ve heard from my sisters, our dad wasn’t around much back then before I was born, but by the time I came along he had significantly reduced his working hours and time to actually spend rearing me along with my mother’s influence.

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In a turn of unfortunate events, my mother took ill with early-onset dementia and my father was only working two days a week in his practice so he could be home with her. Two of my siblings, the middle ones, live out of the country but my oldest sister and I live just a short drive away from our parents’ home.

My father had asked my oldest sister to come around to help cook meals, clean the house, and spend quality time with our mom, but she always had an excuse. The duty of taking care of our mom ended up being left solely up to me. My other two siblings simply sent money in lieu of their actual physical presence. They live in the U.K. with our extended family.

My eldest sister who lives here is married with 10- and 12-year-old daughters and would feign severe exhaustion whenever our dad came up with something he needed her to do. Her argument was that I’m single without children and was able to devote myself 100 percent to Mom and Dad in their time of need. I didn’t mind being there for my parents to assist, but I feel it should’ve been a joint effort shared with my older sister.

I was there every Sunday cooking dinner for my folks, popping up in the evening to check in, and taking time off work to transport Mom to her appointments. Dad and I had truly had time to bond then, and I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to step up and help. Unfortunately, I inadvertently neglected my own health and well-being. I wasn’t eating right or working out, and my mental health declined. I kept bracing for the worst, and the worst inevitably came when my mother passed away.

When she passed, you would have thought her funeral was some sort of runway fashion show. My sisters from out of the country and my oldest and her children were dressed to the nines. All looked like something out of Vogue while I looked ragged and run down. That set me off. The evening after the funeral, I had it out with my sister. She assured me that with only one parent living, she was going to do better and show up with her girls to help out with Dad.

We were all devastated by the loss, but our father had lost his best friend. My parents had been married for 42 years, and they were everything to each other. It didn’t take long before he started slipping into a bad state of health and mental wellness. However, my oldest sister did not keep her promise. I was still the one dedicating most of my waking hours to our last parent.

Dealing with our dad was extremely difficult. I had to move into our parents’ home, so I could be closer to him. I had no time for myself or my own needs. I cut my hours at work to part-time so I could be around to care for him, and my love life was nonexistent. Plus with COVID-19 I had to be extra careful, and I could not socialize. My sister, on the other hand, wouldn’t even stay with my father if I was at work, and not even if I just needed to step away to do something for myself for an hour. I had to hire a home health aide to assist him.

My sister actually had the nerve to drop off her girls for a three-day weekend during all of this so that she and her husband could have a couple’s getaway. I was furious, and she didn’t understand why. It blows my mind how selfish and inconsiderate she could be.

Our dad died a year and a half after our mom, and that’s when things got ugly. We received individual cash inheritances, but additionally, I was gifted the family home and two cars. My sisters are livid, especially my oldest sister. She has been harassing me nonstop to sign the house over to her because she believes that I don’t need it as a single woman and that she, her two kids, and her husband could use it more.

When I think back, I can remember good times with my oldest sister. She would braid my hair, take me to school, stave off bullies, and just take care of me in general. However, the last four years have been daunting and difficult, and I’m still processing the loss of both parents which is challenging.

What should I do – should I stand my ground or sign the home over to my sister or lose yet another family member?

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What people are saying

15 thoughts on “I Took Care of My Ailing Parents for Years with Little Help from My Siblings, Now My Oldest Sister Thinks She Deserves the Home My Father Left Me Because She’s Married with Children 

  1. Cc says:

    You deserve everything he let you. Your sister is wrong. And she is trying to guilt trip you. Now you can find you some one if you haven’t already ads start you a family.

  2. Orelia says:

    Stand your ground and keep your home that your parents left for u

  3. Della A .Short says:

    You were left those things by your parents,to show their appreciation for all you did for them!!! Stand up! You deserve whatever you got out of love and appreciation! Don’t let your siblings berate and make you feel bad! Good luck in the future..

  4. Sherry Sterling says:

    Stand your ground. You were the one there taking care of both of your parents. You showed true love. Keep what your your father given you. You have the memories. Blessings to you.

  5. kitty says:

    stand up for yourself. be string and firm. don’t let your sister guilt trip you. the house was left to you keep it. live your life and enjoy. she will get over it and if she does not, oh well

  6. Gina R Lord says:

    You have earned whatever your parents left you! Your dad left you the house for a reason! You stopped living your life so that you could help your parents with their lives. Keep the house, you deserve it!

  7. Sharon Smith says:

    Honor your father’s wishes; he made the decision. Tell your siblings your father’s decision stands and you wouldn’t consider disrespecting his decision. If they disagree with that, take it up with him.

  8. tmmm says:

    keep it. or sell it and keep the $.
    you did the work. He chose you.

  9. TP says:

    You did your best and you can put your head on a pillow every night knowing that your parents appreciated all your help and you gave them the care and love they deserved. You need to worry about yourself now and be selfish as they did to you. You might want to sell the house and use that money to start a new life it’s your turn now. If not and you want to stay there then enjoy the memories and start new ones there for you and your future family.

  10. Gina N says:

    Gosh, I feel like I’m reading my own story! As someone that walked in nearly identical shoes, Please don’t be bullied! Keep what your parents left for you. Your sacrifice has been great and you deserve the portion your siblings were left as well. I caved to the bullying and split everything, and now I am a bitter older woman struggling to make ends meet. My siblings are all doing very well financially. They say let me know if you need anything and I just think to myself can you turn back time? I would do things differently. Be strong, your parents were smart and made it easier for you by giving you what they did because they knew what you sacrificed. Trust me sis, you will need that money. God be with you no matter your decision.

  11. Deborah Hunt says:

    Keep the home. You deserve it. I went through the same thing. They will get over it. Take the time now to heal from your loss and enjoy life. You deserve it!

  12. Patricia Jones Scott says:

    You deserved whatever your father left you! Being a caregiver is NOT easy! Please enjoy your home and two cars. Don’t worry about the others! God got you and He knows exactly what you need.

  13. Riki says:

    I am literally going through the exact process. The last two years I’ve been taking care of my family and after my dad passed away a few months ago, my sister promised the same thing to my dad on his death bed that she would help out. I am married with three kids and she is divorced again and living single. My two older brothers are out of town as well. She already planned to leave the day after the funeral and didn’t say anything to me. I found out as I was going home when my out of town brother approached me and asked who is staying with mom. I said our sister is… he said I think she is leaving to Las Vegas tomorrow. When I asked her the first thing she said was, I told the other brothers. I said but you didn’t say anything to me. So who is staying with mom? She was like I don’t know, but I’m leaving tonight to the hotel and I’m going back to Las Vegas. When I reminded her she was staying until the end of the week, she diverted and said, that is a hard no, I am leaving tomorrow. I said wow, I guess me and my wife have to take care of mom. She said, perfect and we argued and she left. Then two days later she wrote a group text and said, “ after a lot of prayers and reflection, I’ve decided to take several steps back caregiving for mom to focus on my mental and physical health. I will come to visit mom, and I will be available to cover for emergencies only if my schedule permits. I appreciate your support and understanding.” When she was there before dad passed, she was in the house, but she smoked her weed in the backyard, made her presence with laughter or wanting people to feel sorry for her ramshackled life seeking pity, then go into her room and pass out.

  14. Riki says:

    Don’t give them anything because you will have the best memories of your parents also. Parents already knew who would step up. You got this believe me. (I forgot to add this part)

  15. Dianne Peterson says:

    Don’t change anything. She is selfish and very inconsiderate. Your parents knew what they were doing. Keep it all.

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