Leave it up to my stupid older cousins to totally ruin my life (and my mom's).
I must apologize for not talking this all out before, but there was always something else going on or I was too tired/stressed to get into it all. It's probably best to just vent it all out now and be done with it. At least then you'll all have some idea of what mom & I have been dealing with for most of this crappy year.
Let's outline the particulars from the past first for those who may not know.
When I talk about family, it's not just my mom (and my dad who is now dead). To us, family has included the relatives we have out here in WA state. This includes...
My grandparents (mom's parents and now both deceased)
My aunt & uncle (mom's sister & brother-in-law, also deceased)
My two older cousins, R & K (my aunt & uncle's children)
For years it was the nine of us. We'd travel together, have Sunday suppers out together, and spend major holidays together. We were close. We were happy or at least acted like we were most of the time, by no means were things perfect, but life was good.
Then the deaths began. My grandmother back around 2000 or so (I can't remember exactly when now). Then my dad suddenly passed away in 2006, my uncle in 2010, my grandpa in 2011, and my aunt in 2012 in Feb. After my grandma and dad it was 3 deaths in the past 3 years. This leaves only me, my mom, and my 2 cousins (including K's husband and new baby daughter). That's all that's left of our family (outside of relatives back east who have also died off to a precious few).
Due to my grandpa and my aunt dying so close to each other, they left a complete mess in their wake as far as their estates go. No wills from either of them. No guidance or idea what they wanted done outside of verbal agreements made over the years. Nothing in writing. My aunt & my mom had started to divide up my grandparent's things last year after he died, but never finished and never went through probate.
My aunt suddenly gets stomach cancer late 2011. Mom & I end up taking care of her 24/7 and living in her house because at that same time our furnace quit working (and it being the middle of winter at the time). My cousin, K ends up helping us frequently with her mom's care: picking up prescriptions, getting her to doctors, wrangling w/insurance, and bringing in nursing help for us near the end. Ultimately my aunt ended up going to a nurse's home in her final days because mom & I simply couldn't care for her anymore. Meanwhile, my other cousin, R, was almost out of the picture. Granted, he was sick with pneumonia for a period of that time (which he told nobody about until after the fact) and he only came by to see his mom ONCE after he learned of her cancer.
Everything came to a head on the day of my aunt's funeral. After the ceremony, that went smoothly, K said she wanted us all to meet at my aunt's house to have a "family meeting". So we're all there....me, mom, R, K and her husband. Next thing we know, K, under the guise of getting R to comply with a will that my aunt never even got to sign, lays into him. She chewed him out (and her husband stormed out of the house, threatening to punch R). She was angry about him not coming to visit their mom and a whole bunch of other things. It's all kind of a blur. Now I agree, some of it was warranted, but not like THAT and certainly not on the day of their mother's funeral! Mom and I were just in shock. K left and we ended up talking with R about the whole thing for the rest of the day and night. It was terrible. I will never be able to forget that terrible afternoon and the repercussions of it have destroyed our family.
The events since that day is a jumbled up mess and I know I can't go into it properly anymore so I won't even try.
In essence, R started probate on my grandpa and my aunt's estates, supposedly just as K was about to. That ticked K off. R had his lawyer, so K got her own....and took the probate away from him. Now she's executor of both estates.
So mom & I are stuck in the middle of their power struggle, not knowing who to believe when we hear different things from each of them. Meanwhile, we're still living in my aunt's house because we can't live in our own w/out any heat or proper working electricity. We can't get the power or the heater fixed until we clean out the house some and right now it's winter and too cold to work in there. Then you couple that with the wound in mom's breast that we've been dealing with nearly the whole year. Going to doctors and treatments for the past 9 months. It's doing much better now after 40 hyperbaric chamber treatments, but it's not quite 100% healed.
Now K is threatening to sell my grandpa's house & belongings if mom & R don't buy her out of her part of the estate. R can't afford to buy her out, so mom has to pay for all of it. Somehow, this news has not been passed onto K's lawyer, even though R told his lawyer to relay the info. So we're at a stand-still. Meanwhile, I get messages and emails from K, asking for this and asking for that and most of the time I have to ignore them because either my mom or R tell me not to say anything. And half the time we have trouble contacting R because he works so much. Actually, neither of my cousins have been very communicative with mom & I through this whole thing. Most of the time we've had to contact each of them to get any information about what has been happening. Thankfully, lately R is keeping us better apprised of things.
So R, mom & myself really don't know what K is up to, except that how she's doing it is very cold and uncaring. She's either attacking R through the courts or ignoring him. He's ready now to issue a court order against her for harassment. He's ready to send her to jail if need be. This is what this all has come down to. It's gotten so ugly. *sigh*
From the looks of things, K is trying to get the 2 estates settled as quickly as possible, anyone else's feelings be damned. She's already mentioned to us about coming down here and starting to go through things in the house soon. Sounds to me like she wants us out of here by January because she wants to sell the house. I don't know how we can move back into our house with no way to heat the place. My mom thinks K and her husband must be hard up for money. Maybe so, I don't know. K hasn't worked in over a year, but her husband still works. Maybe the cost of the lawyer and the new baby is becoming too much? Not that we'd know how they're doing because she's not communicating that to us! Gah!!!!
I am pretty much done with both of my cousins at this point, especially K. They've destroyed what little family we had left. If they had only talked their feelings out civilly from the start none of this would've happened. Gotta believe my aunt and uncle are turning in their graves over how their kids are acting. I don't know what K is thinking. As my mom says, it's like we don't even know her anymore. K and I used to be like sisters. We were close, even moreso than R and I were. Now, all that's gone. Of the two, I (and my mom) trust R a bit more at the moment. At least he's talking to us and on our side about things.
So be grateful if you have family about you that you love and trust. They're more valuable than gold.
We had a sucky Thanksgiving and looks like our Christmas will be the same way. Yesterday, I wanted to push past all this, somehow find the Christmas spirit and tell mom we were gonna put up my aunt's tree anyway and do the holiday the best we could, rotten cousins be damned. Now, I'm not even sure I wanna do that. Maybe I'll feel better in a day or two. But I gotta convince myself so I can convince my mom. I love Christmas....or at least I used to. I know things will never be how they were again, but I also don't want to ignore the holiday either. It's so hard to find the Christmas spirit with all this going on. And who knows what's going to happen over the next few weeks? Mom & I might be living out of our car for all I know, if K kicks us out of here. That's the thing...the unpredictability of it all and knowing your fate is in the hands of someone else, someone you used to trust, but can't anymore. Just when I try and forget this whole mess (which is hard, believe me) and try to move on, K or R contacts us and there's more crap to deal with.
Honestly, the stress and emotions are tearing me apart right now. And my mom has the nerve to think it's all on her. I think not! I'm in this just as much as her, but that's the way she is. Her troubles are her own and don't involve anyone else...like her daughter! That lives and breathes every day with her!
Can you tell it's been a high stress day? Year? I'm so so done with this year, but I don't see the next one being any better. Am I still thinking suicidal thoughts? You bet I am. If it wasn't for my mom I'd be gone. I'm so through with this crap. It's just not worth it. But I couldn't do that to her, leave her alone with all this. So I keep holding on....somehow.
Thanks for reading all this, if you read it all.
I just needed to get all of this out.
Sorry I didn't tell you all sooner, but as you can see....it's been a bucketload.