Two weeks back, on a Friday morning, I awakened to an email, posted by my brother on Facebook (which I don’t use except to post these posts) that my mom was in hospital. I learned later that day that she had actually gone in on MONDAY. My younger sister and I, who live at opposite ends of the country from her and my dad, talk with her on the weekends. Why would my older sister, who lives a half-hour away from them, not phone one or both of us the day she went in? I don’t want to think for even an instant it was because she didn’t want either of us flying out there just now:
Meg: Has Macy Girl called you yet?
Me : No…why,do you ask, my loving dimestore sister?
Meg: Because she called me yesterday to ask me if I wanted a setting of great-grandmother’s china, or a lamp. I told her I have no use for either, but that you really have a bad jones for lamps.
We both laughed. (One of my ideal jobs would be to rescue beautiful or interesting lamp bases which are horribly befouled by mismatched shades. I’d have my team of crack lampshade fabricators create the perfect shade for each base, and sell the resulting perfect lamps from my perfectly-named store: The Perfect Lamp.)
Me : No, Macy Girl hasn’t called. So she and brother Paul have finished divvying up the folks’ goods between them?
(My elderly parents haven’t died: They’re moving from their house to a small Assisted Living apartment.)
Meg: Not just between THEM. This is what she said to me:
“I took what I wanted, and Paul took what HE wanted, and (Paul’s wife) took what SHE wanted, and (my daughter) took what SHE wanted, and (my son and his wife) took what THEY wanted, and what was left over was the china and the lamp.”
Sounds fair. After all, Meg and I, for good reasons, chose not to pay for flights and hotels to go pick through the loot (my mom is currently in isolation with an infection–there’d be no visiting). I’m sure that, had we done so, an equitable system would have been devised so that we got our turns somewhere among our siblings’ spouses, and their children, and their childrens’ spouses.
Me : Well, Meg, it’s not like Mom would’ve felt any differently. Remember, she put even the dog ahead of me.
Meg: And who could blame her? I don’t remember you ever fetching a thing.
Me : That’s because you never scritched me between the ears.
Macy Girl and our brother are the co-executors of our parents’ will.
(My dimestore sister and I are the co-recipients of our parents’ won’t.)
ADDENDUM LONGER THAN THE POST
Am I hearing something different than what you are hearing?
Is Macy Girl conscious of how she sounds? One hopes not. Does it come from the fact that she was raised by a family, and we were lowered by one?
Macy Girl acknowledges that she was (and is still) highly favored by our parents, but says it wasn’t her fault that this occurred. Meg and I agree. We hold Macy Girl responsible only for her behavior as an adult.
Macy Girl has expressed great resentment that she bears the brunt of helping our parents as they’ve aged. Meg and I feel that Macy Girl is an adult and makes her own choices.
Meg and I choose not to live near to, nor enable, our abusers. It is only due to our geographical distance that I have managed to establish a relationship with my mother.
We would assist them as they age by providing information on how to obtain non-family members to assist them. (Meg’s career was helping seniors.)
If Megan and I WERE the type to weigh and measure rights to resentment, or entitlement… Well, let me just say this:
WHO has borne a greater burden from these folks: The favored, or the abused?
ADDENDUM TO THE ADDENDUM
This post was not intended as a statement of support that Meg and I have a right to our parents’ things just because they gave birth to us. If the post succeeded, you won’t have even thought about that 🙂
CODICIL TO THE ADDENDUM
Macy Girl and Paul are actually the co-executors of our parents’ will and trust. Macy Girl was named first. When Meg and I gave our opinions that she wouldn’t follow our parents’ wishes to divvy things up evenly four ways, my father added Paul.
Per the will, all of the home contents are to be divided when they die by us taking turns and pointing to what we want. Now, there is no need for that.
Next post in this Mommy Hyde series: Hateful Mommy Hyde–Part 1
First post in this Mommy Hyde series: Dinner For Seven