Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Thinking, pondering and grieving

It's been slow going for me. Tonight's the viewing. She asked to be cremated so this will be the last time the family can pay respects to her before well before they cremate her.

I've always wanted to be cremated for some odd reason. I hate graveyards, so that's probably the reason. I know once my body has perished, it doesn't matter but I want my ashes out there and not stuck in a box six feet under.

You tend to think of a lot of things you wouldn't normally think about at times like this. Like greed. It's funny there's always that one child in the family who despite the fact they were always loving and caring before turns into a monster at the end.

But I have a theory on that. It's always that one child in every family who's the greediest, but it's often that same child who is hurting the most.

One example is my ex's family. My mother-in-law raised a happy family. Some were (to me) shown a little more favoritism but I also have a theory about that, too. I think the ones who are shown more favoritism are the ones the parents feel are the neediest. But really they aren't. It's just the way it looks to the parents for one reason or the other. Or perhaps in a strange way, they want to give to this person in ways they couldn't give to the others.

When my mother-in-law died, it was that one child who claimed everything, despite the fact there was supposedly a will. Well, actually, the will was respected..it was the other things that weren't in the will. Possessions too numerous to mention or maybe in the will it didn't really specify who would get which and was just mentioned "to be distributed amongst the children."

When you leave it open ended like that, it's that child who is going to go for as much as he or she can. And what happens is that the once solid family structure falls apart. My ex has not spoken to his sister since then and it's been years.

I remember this sister telling my ex to go into the house and get what he wanted after their mother died. What they all didn't want, they were going to get rid of. So he goes and it doesn't pan out quite the way he thought. There were a few boxes in the middle of the living room with his name on it. Supposedly, the sister boxed things SHE felt he should get and took the rest. Everything you can imagine, she took.

But there was one box she overlooked. My daughter found it. It contained a jewelry box. The jewelry wasn't expensive at all and since my ex was about to walk out with basically nothing, my daughter grabbed the jewelry box. In this jewelry box was the ring his mother - her grandmother - had promised her after she died, so she basically felt it was meant to be.

The sister finds out about it and is livid and demands her to give the jewelry box back. "I just don't want to start trouble," my daughter says and agrees to give it back and I looked at her and said, "Are you crazy? She walks out with tons of things that are worth thousands and you and your father walk out with nothing and you're going to give it back?"

The sister ended up calling my daughter a thief, something she would never ever have done if not for the emotions surrounding your mother dying I'm sure.

My daughter ended up keeping the jewelry box but that was the last time anyone talked to the sister again.

As it turned out, the sister basically lost it or at least that's my assumption. She ended up having a fling with her mother's doctor (wait, that was just before she died), had a boob job and bought herself a high level condominium in the hubbub of the city. One of her own children wouldn't even speak to her and instead stayed behind with her dad while the other one when to live with her.

In my own situation, when my mother died, there was just my sister and I. I was the closest to my mother as my mother tended to leave us with my grandmother a lot and go live somewhere else (she hated the shore). So, my sister basically didn't see her as much as I did in my younger years - before the divorce which sent her a little beserk. It's hard to explain unless you're her but we lived with our grandmother for years in a little trailer and later my grandmother bought a house and moved it to her land so that we could have more room.

A year before my mother died, she finally woke up to her senses and rented a bungalow beside my grandmother. I was elated. I finally had my mother back.

I moved out of my grandmother's and into her house. Instead of sharing a bedroom with my sister, I now had my own room. I decorated with David Cassidy posters and listened to Partridge Family records. We had kids over (something I really never wanted to do at my grandmother's) and flirted with boys. It was at that point I finally found peace with my mother leaving earlier on and we became closer than ever.

It was at that time I also discovered boys. I dated a few dead beats in the sly but when I met my ex, it was as if I had finally found someone my mother would approve and so I ended my wild chick days and prepared my wedding.

My mother was happy I had found someone who came from a nice family with money. I think she felt I needed the stability and the security. But I also feel she was fighting her own demons - here she came back to be with her children and it might have been too late because the one she knew she could depend on was leaving her. Sort of like pay back time maybe but it wasn't intentional. I would never do that to my own kids and never did.

I got married hippie style (back then that was the thing to do) and moved in with my new husband. We lived in a small trailer in the middle of the woods and communed with nature.

I stayed in contact with my mother constantly. I loved my new married status but I wanted to let my mother know I wasn't leaving her in spirit. She and her new husband opened a cab business in town and I would work there in the mornings. The pay was shitty but I wanted to keep the family business thriving (for who I don't know as it wasn't certainly for me).

One morning, I was too sick to go in and I tried calling the house and there was no answer. I got in the car to go over and tell her I wasn't coming in and that's when I found her dead.

It's a long story. Supposedly at least this is my belief, the lights in town went out just before she died. There was lots of water in the bathroom floor so I'm thinking she freaked while taking a bath and maybe lost it who knows but she was found kneeling with her hands outstretched in the middle of her bedroom floor completely naked. Dead.

I walked into the house and her dog was in the living room which was odd. Usually he's right there in bed with her. I walked down the hall and her door was open and that's what I saw. I screamed and ran next door to my grandmother's house.

I watched her being rolled away on a stretcher with a blanket over her body. And that was the last I saw of my mother.

It's been a long time since then. I was only 19, so it's been a long long time but some things you just never forget no matter how much time goes by.

After she died, I felt really abandoned. It was my one chance to have my mother back, and she left me again. And it was permanent this time.

But anyway, I became the greedy child. I wanted everything she had because...it was my way of keeping my mother with me. She didn't have much so it wasn't things that were expensive, just things that were sentimental. And I wanted it all.

So you see...maybe the greedy child isn't a bad person, she just might be the one who was grieving the most. I could be wrong as there's lots of people out there with different personalities but it's something to think about, isn't it.

2 comments:

  1. Hugs to you, Dorothy! It is interesting how the least likely person suddenly goes berserk about who's getting what and making demands. But what insight into why - I hadn't thought of that before. And, bless you, Dorothy, for being one of the few bloggers out there still pouring your heart out. I don't feel so alone.

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  2. I guess that my brother and I were lucky on settling our parent's estate after Mom's death. There were things that we both wanted- he got some of them while I got others. We just worked it out.

    Pat & I need to get a will made. I think it is even more important after a blended family like we now have. None of the kids are particularly problems but they all should be treated equally. We must do that this year.

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