Life is getting stranger by the day. Earlier this week, I happened to call my elderly and very frail father at midday to see how he was and he replied he’d only just got up, because he had gone to Manchester to visit his brother’s daughter in hospital. Now fo rthe past ten years, my father has insisted he is not strong enough to visit me. However, he has managed to get be in a car all the way to London for an event my brother wanted him to attend. He has also gone to Manchester to sign papers relating to property in Pakistan. But to come to visit me, oh that is too much for him, though the distance is less. Now he had gone to Manchester again, to visit my cousin. “Oh, it’s so sad, she is so ill she is not expected to live’ explained my father. So my brother had driven our parents to the hospital after work, a journey of some 130 miles.
None of them thought to call me and ask if I would like to go. Yet another brutal erasure of me. Yet another way occasion I am being told, I don’t matter. It’s quite amazing how, the less they need me for anything practically, the more this abandonment of me, grows and grows. I think it’s time I saw it as my liberation. However, I did become tearful and upset, that they did not let me join them or even let me know of the situation, so I could decide whether to go or not.
I went, a couple of days later, after calling my uncle. When I arrived, his older daughter was there too and she described how she had put up many photos of her sister, along with bringing dried flowers and teddy bears to decorate the room. She was trying to make the hospital room feel more homely and personal. However, her brother believed that angels would not visit if photos and other images were in the room, so he had taken them all down. It’s amazing how these men can forget every one of their duties as a son, as a brother, as a husband, but they see how vigorously they assert themselves over some small obscure rule.
Just a power game of the stupid, led by the ignorant. The feelings of his sister didn’t count for anything, just as my brother and parents totally forget any obligations they are supposed to have towards me, however ill I have been, they have almost never visited me. Just a power game, these Pakistani Muslims play -whatever suits their convenience. They will sell alcohol, have sex outside of marriage, fail to support their families, be a stay at home husband, while the wife works full-time outside the home… all that is fine, but put some photos up to provide some comfort and some cheer? Oh no, tut tut tut… angels won’t visit!