I'd like to get a hand from the sangha with a dana question.
I have 35 cousins on my dad's side of the family and two on my mom's side. The older of the two cousins is dealing with some severe eyesight issues and may have permanently lost sight in one eye. This weekend he got surgery at Mass General and he has a few weeks of convalescing at home before (1) they'll know if his eyesight is back and (2) he can go back to work. I don't know their insurance or financial situation in detail, but I know enough to think that sending them a package of some sort in support would be a thoughtful gesture. I've also been prompted to call him by my mother, who hosted him and his mom the days before and after the surgery.
In the spirit of ango and full disclosure both, I want to admit that this situation is emotionally complicated for me. My mother and our family in general has been very supportive of this family for a very long time, yet, for as long as I can remember, that's been a one-way street: they have not extended that support to any of us. This was particularly true when my brother committed suicide -- and, of course, particularly galling to me as a result. I won't go into the details, but suffice it to say that they blew in and out of town merely for the day of the funeral (left one hour later) and made no other attempt to support my parents (or, for that matter, me) during the worst stretch of our lives.
As you can tell by my language, I still harbor a lot of resentment about what they did and did not do ten years ago, resentment that bubbles up (along with a lot of other feelings) when I think of supporting him in this situation. The package is simple enough: I can figure out what to give him, his partner, and their three teenagers (though I'd appreciate any thoughts about what to get him/them), pack it up, send it off. The call, however, is not so easy.
I feel like this is probably an experience that can help me reflect on, act from, and deepen my commitment to dana -- that is, if I can accept it for what it is. Thus I turn to you.
I wish I could formulate a good question here, but I'd rather leave it at that and offer it for discussion. Gassho in advance.