Sunday, June 23, 2013

Cain and Abel, and maybe Sally, today

We all know that in the Bible, when Cain slew Able it was the first murder and the first we know of a life threatening dispute between brothers.  This apparently started the series of all the sibling disputes which have followed.
My question is as follows: WHY?
I know of two situations intimately, where two sets of brothers who once loved each other, fought for each other and seriously planned their lives around one another, have become sworn enemies and are totally incapable of even talking to one another. WHY?
Oh, I know the circumstances of each situation and there all sorts of incidents which led to the breaking point of each relationship, but what I cannot understand is WHY?
It is always somewhat understandable when siblings with large age or character differences just cannot get along and avoid each other.  Sometimes they do not see each other for many years and there is little or no communication, but they do not hate each other.  They just do not like each other too much and there isn't a lot of love lost between them.
In the situation, however, when the brothers or sisters have been very close I can only ask WHY?
What is it which comes between the two to cause such anger and separation?  From my observations it seems to be two things.  Control and money.  In both cases the final split came after the death of the Father, who was loved and respected.  The mother was left a widow and the younger brother assumed a position of control he had previously been denied when the father was alive.  For differing reasons the younger brother was asked to assume some help and assistance with the estate which remained  for the widow.  During the remaining years of each mother's life the tensions built between the elder and second brothers.  The third brothers, in both cases, took sides with the elder brother.  When the widows finally passed there were open fights with words and insults and the 2 sets of brothers have been unable to get along since.  If they are to meet there are harsh words and further alienation.  I believe these matters can never be resolved as neither set of brothers wants them  to be.  The money and inheritance problems have never been completely resolved and lawyers have been consulted in both cases.
I have been thinking and thinking and several possibilities come to me.  In both cases the younger of the two brothers had health problems which most likely led to them being somewhat spoiled, but nonetheless neither felt he had been given enough love from the parents. The elder brother in both cases was strong and competent and the apple of their mother's eyes.  I am sure for many years resentments smoldered in the younger brother's hearts but they both made it seem like they loved and admired their older brother.  They used to trail after their older brother when they were young and tried to get their attention.  Once the parents were gone their true feelings were given an outlet and what had smoldered, burst into flame.
The families of both sets of brothers have been devastated by the fractures and keep trying to handle what went wrong. 
I do not know if my thinking makes any sense to anyone but me.  I would seriously make sure that if I had more than one child my will would be in place down to every last detail before either me or my husband became incapacitated.  Siblings and relatives will fight over animals, possessions, jewelry, money, the family Bible, you name it. Whatever is left can be a fight if resentments have been buried over time.  My two close encounters involve men, but it is the same for sisters, or brother and sister.  Beware the murderer in your midst.  He or she would slew their sibling if given the chance.