Cousin Jill

“I can’t get enough of family,” said the text at 8:00pm Sunday night.

I glanced at the phone for barely a second and decided to shut the phone off for the night.

“It can’t be that bad?” shrieked my mother though the phone.

“It is.” I shrieked back.

This is a nightmare.

This was not the first text I had received from cousin Jill. By far. She had started this nonsense when my mother gave her my phone number a few years ago. I had asked my mother not to, at times insisted she not but now I see. It’s not so easy to say no to cousin Jill. She can be as persistent as a mosquito on a hot summer night down by the water.

Cousin Jill had texted me about 5 years earlier asking me to be her healthcare agent as she was,in her words, taking care of her affairs. She wasn’t quite 60 yet and as she was nearly a stranger to me, I thought it bizarre for such a request. I ignored the text for over two weeks but, as I said, she’s a mosquito and no amount of bug repellent would make her go away. Then as if I’d already said yes, she asked for my social security number.

It was during that same time, my sister in law’s mother was lying in a vegetative state in some hospital and I knew my brother thought nothing of it, well not enough to pull the plug, as they used to say. So I wrote a brief yet direct message stating that she didn’t really know my feeling about, well anything and that my brother and I didn’t share the same views on end of life issues and well, maybe I wasn’t the best person to ask.The texts stopped for a while and feeling I had dodged a bullet.

Nearly a year and a half later I received a text from Cousin Jill. This time she was asking if me and my family would like to join her at a restaurant for a Passover Seder. My mother wanted to go or maybe not, I couldn’t quite tell. My wife and I picked up my mother and arrived at the restaurant

[this story ends here]

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