Wednesday, 1 August 2007

And The Beat Goes On

And here's the latest news on my mother. I got this email from my sister last night saying my niece is in the hospital with unexplained vomiting, my aunt wants an urgent private meeting with my mother before I get there on Saturday, and my mother is left in charge of the four little girls.

So I call my mother. My niece had been vomiting uncontrollably for a few days and finally had to go to the hospital. They don't know what's wrong with her. My sister thinks it's a cyst on her ovary. Sounds more like food poisoning to me. I had something similar in India. Last week they went to a bbq where there was barbecued pork, which my niece claims she's allergic to so she took her kids to KFC (and we all know how healthy that is). See, my sister runs an alternative health business and employs my niece (as well as my brother and a nephew). So everything with them is about food allergies, etc. (And I'm not telling her I'm taking HRT). Also, my niece spoke to her husband, who supposedly is disabled by a back injury and takes a lot of pain meds. Somehow he managed to take his mother, sister, and nephew to Disney World and helped give the nephew a bath when he won't do that for his own girls. So I wonder if there isn't a hysterical element to this vomiting.

Meanwhile, my nephew has been running around doing odd jobs for my stepfather's daughter and doing the shopping. Which leaves the octogenarians in charge of the little girls. Whoever wrote little girls are made of sugar and spice hadn't met this group. My mother borrowed a playpen and plonked the 13-month-old in it and leaves her there despite her shouting. Meanwhile, the three others are running in and out, digging holes in the yard, climbing trees and falling out of them, torturing the dog. Here's the age range: 13 months, 3 years, 5 years, and 7 years. I had to laugh at the thought of all that chaos and my mother and her husband in their old people chairs that lift them up to standing position. Can you imagine? My mother decides she has to run after the girls, but first let's get out of this chair. The little girls apparently aren't allowed soft drinks at home but have been drinking them nonstop at my mother's (because that's all my mother drinks). So they're probably all hyped up on whatever is in those drinks. My niece has to go back home tomorrow and my nephew has to drive her to Denver, an 8-hour journey, spend the night, then go back the next day. And we arrive on Saturday.

Now onto the urgent meeting. Many years ago my mother sold her share in her parents' house to her sister, for a song, I might add. My uncle insisted on a codicil saying if my aunt ever wanted to sell the property, my mother would get first refusal and would be allowed to live there till her death should she need a place to go. My aunt wants to sell the house to her grandson, but he wants the codicil removed. My aunt wants my mother to sign off on the codicil in exchange for $5,000, and wants her to do it before I get there because she's afraid I'll talk my mother out of it. Neither my mother nor I want her to live in that house. However, I'm not sure what it's worth. My nephew has had my mother give him power of attorney so he has to be present if she signs anything. That power of attorney then transfers to me when I get there. I want my mother to see a lawyer specializing in property law before she signs anything.

And this brings me back to the question of my mother moving. She feels living in my sister's house with all the comings and goings of the various residents (I could write post after post about that) would be too stressful. She'd rather live in some sort of assisted living place. So we have to ascertain if she can afford that. Also, she told me that apparently if she outlives my stepfather, she's due to get some $30,000 in CDs (certificates of deposit). That's IF she outlives him. Also, the CDs might not actually be worth $30,000. Is $30,000 worth living the life she's living?


J said...

oh, good gracious!

Wills and codicils and relatives with alternate ideas and intentions...I've had my own experience with that and it wasn't/isn't exactly pleasant.

Is there any one who can stay with your mom and keep her from that meeting until you get there? Sounds like she needs some serious protection.

I'm so sorry for all of this for you.

TWO glasses of wine, I think...

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

J.: I'm having the whole bottle. It just gets worse. I told her not to sign anything till I get there.

Pixie said...

Wow have you got your work cut out. So pleasure at wyoming (sos can't spell)may be short lived with all that to deal with.

Have a great time non the less. And whilst your there I'll be in Philly drinking mojitos. So see you in blogland when we both get back.

I'll be coming up to Liverpool later in the month if you still want to meet up for that drink

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

Pixie: Have fun in Philly. It's a great city. I tried out for a job there in the 80s. Didn't get it but had a fabulous time nonetheless. See if the Black Banana (gay bar naturally) is still around. Yes, let's meet for a drink. When are you back? I'm back on the 21st. I'll have to reveal my true identity as well (I'm really a guy, ha ha).

Lizzie said...

All the very best wishes for a 'succesful' conclusion to what must be a v. worrying & stressful time for you. Hope the trip goes well.

Lizzie x

lady macleod said...

oh dear, ordinarily I would reccomend a cup of tea, but my dear I think you need something Much STRONGER. good luck with it all.

laurie said...

wowser. wowser. wowser.

and i thought MY family was nuts.

@themill said...

And I worry?!!