Monday, May 08, 2017


Imagine no possessions...

Told daughter "I must have sang that song one too many times," Could not carry what was left of my worldly things around in a backpack. My idea that I could travel by skates, what I called "my most prized possession," did not work. The weight of backpack and tote bag put me off balance. I took one last skate, went to sell them back to the place where I bought them.

Guy said they no longer buy used skates; they rented them, so I said he could keep them; must have felt sorry for me, gave me $10.00. Do not know if I literally cried, but it was very sad to me to give them up.

As I told my sister, "that is not the point", when she repeated for the zillionth time "roads change the maps are out dated."

My mother asked me to keep the maps; maybe Rocco will want them when I die. I asked him, back then, if he did, he said "yes." When sister started throwing away things from that file cabinet (rather than organizing her own files, strewn about on a bedroom floor," the maps were first to go. Even Rocco's name was figuratively on them ~ I had specifically told her not to dump them; Rocco wanted them.

One person's junk is another's treasure.

Now that Mom is gone, maybe Rocco would have decided he no longer wanted them and tossed them into the recycle bin. Dorothy did not give him that choice.

Dorothy did not give me a chance to claim our childhood mixing bowl. Dented, she said. That dent was part of its charm. I have never found a metal mixing bowl like that one, sloped sides. Memories attached to it.

Dorothy did not give anyone a chance to claim Corning Ware, nor donate excess glass lids to Goodwill ~ I have often found lids like that at a Salvation Army type store. No big deal, she threw them away. The Corning Ware, however, she took to the deli (where she works.) I did not tell her I would have taken Corning Ware.

20 years ago I did not know that I would outlive my mother. I did not know that I would have a roof over my head. I doubt I would have put my name on Corning Ware, paper scotch taped on something going into an oven?

I could not have foreseen tall pedestal mugs would not be used and washed, so would not have entered my mind to, again, scotch tape a piece of paper on them.

I especially could not foresee anyone throwing all my father's and mother's books. If I had, I might have taped my name in some of them. Yet, when I left Mom's after spending 6-months cleaning out her house to get my old job back in California, I did not have an apartment lined up, nor money to rent one.

The Manager welcomed me back, but said she would leave final decision to Department Supervisor. Dept. Supervisor did not return phone calls or e-mail messages. Hello living on the streets.

I applied for jobs, the low-paying kind. No address, an issue, used my nephew's in El Segundo; an interviewer asked about the commute; I was only applying for jobs in Long Beach where I intended to live ~ told her that, once I had a job I would be moving to Long Beach. No need to say, "I am living on the streets in Long Beach..."

It is not about possessions, it is about diminishing the value of our mother's estate depriving heirs of their rightful fair share of said estate. It is about her taking unauthorized initiative to give away, throw away our mother's stuff while she was still living.

I saved two jewelry boxes from the trash because I just happened to be there. Sister took Mom's jewelry out of the boxes, put the stuff in a hanging pouch, intermingled with her stuff. She would show it to the grandchildren to pick out what they wanted. One said "I thought I was getting a memento of Grandma, but it was Aunt Dot's."

Probate, of course, requires jewelry to be appraised. Sister Sue wanted a Holly pin she gave Mom ~ sentimental value. Since D took jewelry found in drawers out of the boxes, the holly pin got lost. D substituted another holly pin in the box. Sue kept saying, "I don't remember giving Mom this." I showed her the box which clearly said "Love Sue & Drew." I had forgotten D telling me about the substitution.

Oh, well, no possessions...

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Pots and Pans

Sister sent text message that said, in part:

"She said she would take some pots and pans when I sort them out." 

Since sister has been giving away or throwing away our mother's possessions ever since she moved into the house. I texted her back: I might want some pots and pans too after she takes what she wants. I also said that Rocco & Susan might like to look at them too before she gives them away.

The she is the caregiver. Sis had just listed things she gave to caregiver & her daughter, granddaughter. I knew about some of the things; a tad bit upset about bath towels, do not care about the knickknacks.

Sis writes back that she is giving the caregiver some of her pots & pans. No where in the above sentence did she indicate that she was not talking about our mother's stuff. What do I care if sis is giving her things to caregiver; not my business.

Back and forth text conversation: Mom had said to put your name on anything you wanted. Or thou shalt not complain that I gave non heirs bits and pieces of the estate without contacting 5 living heirs, and 9 secondary heirs.

Sister Susan wanted some things that have gone missing. Me too.

Sister Dorothy did not have Power of Attorney, thus had no legal right to distribute Mom's possessions while Mom was still alive. Nor to throw stuff in the trash; not for her to decide what things hold sentimental value to siblings.

Sister fond of repeating, if they don't know it is here, they won't miss it.

I concluded the conversation saying I would buy my own pots and pans. Bake ware actually. Yet it is bothering me. She is not executor of the estate and has no legal right to distribute (especially to non-heirs) my mother's possessions until after Probate allows for the release.

Saturday, May 06, 2017

Throw It Away, Throw It Away, Throw It Away

Wake up in the middle of the night; visual memory floats through my mind, now angry over getting yelled at yesterday.

I was going through files in an upstairs file cabinet, mainly to salvage some Very Old Stuff from the recycling bin before Dorothy tossed it.  I was creating two folders; one medical, the other financial. A brother and sister asked to see them ~ "if you find Dad's," or Richard's or Mom's. Susan could not remember a date of something; wanted to look through medical records.

I did not question why, I just respected my siblings request that I save certain things for them to look at. Dorothy does not like clutter, so she started cleaning out that file cabinet. Funny, she goes on and on about how much she hates clutter, yet never minds her boyfriend's and her own clutter ~ in living room, in former guest room, in kitchen, on the back porch...

...a filing cabinet in upstairs hallway does not constitute clutter.

I never said that to her ~ about the clutter. When I left the kitchen shelves alongside the window were clutter-free, just Mom's knickknacks on the shelves. Do not know what they looked like when Dorothy moved into mother's home to assume caregiver duties. The counter and kitchen table were clean and free of clutter also. Not so now.

The back porch was clean and clutter free; off topic.

Do not know why Dorothy was standing over my shoulder. I started putting a Life Insurance Policy in the Financial folder. "Throw it away," she demanded. "No," I said, Rocco & Susan, blah, blah, blah. NO THROW IT AWAY, throw it away, throw it away. So I dumped it in the trash can where I was dumping recyclable papers.

The insomnia night, had me looking back, angry at myself for listening to her, rather than doing what I wanted. The only thing I come up with is she said the policy expired at a certain age. At the time I guess I assumed she knew what she was talking about; that she definitely knew this particular policy had expired.

Still, I would never throw away an insurance policy without first reading it. Yet I did as she commanded.

Mother passed away now, they were talking about her J & J Life Insurance Policy. They did not know how much it was worth. I am left wondering if that policy Dorothy insisted I throw away was the J & J policy. Do not know if companies give employees a copy of life insurance policies. I think they would do so.

I suppose getting yelled at more recently brought back all those other instances of her yelling at me.

Friday, May 05, 2017

Harboring childhood resentments

"I do not know why you call it my dollhouse; I never played in it because Daddy put his tools in there," my sister yelled at me. She did not say "you all," or maybe she did. It was all encompassing, but why did she reserve her wrath to spew her anger at me?

She did play in her doll house. I repeated as story about My Big Fight With Joanne. The hair pulling childhood fight started in Dorothy's doll house. We were playing dress up wearing my older sister's dusters, probably borrowing some of their necklaces or beads. Having a tea party, perhaps. Dorothy's little table and chairs were in her doll house.

Joanne and I were in 5th grade when we brought the little cardboard dollhouse to school for show and tell. The 6th grade girls sneered at us, "You still play with dolls." Therefore the Big Fight With Joanne happened later. Meaning Dorothy did indeed get to play in her doll house.

That is not the only childhood resentment she is harboring.

Rather than being glad that she had a grandfather that noticed her, built her a large dollhouse, she is angry.

My father kept his wheel barrows, ladders and such in The Chicken Coup. Perhaps, because Dorothy never played in her doll house, he started putting excess tools in her doll house. I only vaguely recall something of Dad's lying on the windowsill after she mentioned it. One little thing did not make the tiny house unusable.

My brothers took the chicken coup, attached it to Dorothy's doll house when they were in high school. They made it into a print shop; later moved print shop into the wall in section of the garage, due to lack of heat. They had a kerosene heater to heat garage.

I could understand if Dorothy resented that but she never mentioned that the brothers doing it disturbed her. Even if it did disturb her, we are now closer to death than to childhood, which is why I mentioned a psychiatrist ~ harboring childhood resentments is not healthy.

Me getting yelled at due to her harboring of childhood resentments disturbs me.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

I Language

I never mastered I language.

"It pisses me off when you yell at me?"

"I do not appreciate you yelling at me?"

"It disturbs me when you yell at me?"

"I feel that you need psychiatric help because you keep yelling at me?"

I had finished helping my sister write out thank you cards for expressions of sympathy in our mother's death. Sat there looking at all the left over cards ~ left over from when our father died in 1983 or thereabouts. Only used a couple of the new cards provided by funeral home.

I said something like, "I guess we should keep them. May need them for Joseph soon. Or Larry."

She yelled, "If anyone says Joseph or Larry again I will kill myself." She quickly took that back. Does not want to die before her trip to Italy.

I was stunned into silence; then said, "Yeah, take it back..."

Family tells me my brother, Joseph, looks good. I was in California when he had the gall bladder attack, so can not imagine how much worse he looked then. My siblings and I often talk about "who will be next," because we already lost 2 brothers and sisters.

Brother Larry had to have a heart valve replacement; the valve is leaking; another op on its way.

I live in a senior building and often hear tales, such as the sister of a resident who underwent a heart valve op, then died during the operation. Like Larry, she was the baby of their family. The older sister, needed a heart operation; she declined, fearing she would die on the operation table like her sister Dolly. Rose was the oldest, 93-years-old.

Seems reasonable that I would be concerned about my baby brother.

Joseph was a life long smoker and heavy drinker. Before Larry's heart problem, I would guess either he or I would be the next to go. But when speaking to my neighbors, I mention sister Susan's high blood pressure, Rocco's Type A personality, high cholesterol might also have a heart attack and bye, bye.

My sister (the yeller,) I would say, and God forbid if she goes (high blood pressure) the family would be up the creek without a paddle. Due to Dorothy being the caregiver.

It was just an idle comment, like saying "Drive carefully," when a visitor is leaving. Long time ago, she yelled at me when I said that. "What do you think I am going to be reckless and careless?"

That memory resurfaced when I heard a neighbor tell her son (or son-in-law) to "drive carefully."

After that time sis yelled at me, I started saying, "Have a safe trip." So that the memory of getting yelled at was never buried deep in my psyche.

I struggle to find "I Language" words to clear the air (?) ~ "a word causing pain makes anger come up" and at the moment I have anger with no place to go; a bad place to be.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Second Watch

A quote from J. A. Jance's novel, Second Watch:

"That's what friends are for," I said. "It does not matter if they're old friends or new friends. They're the kind of people who will listen as long as you need them to because, sometimes, telling the story and having someone listen is the only way to figure out how to move on."

I guess that is the reason I suddenly appeared at my long neglected blog, not being able to move on from recent hurts that have been causing me insomnia nights. Do believe I had a few  olfactory hallucinations (phantosmia) ~ vague recall of looking around for cause of a scent that should not have  been there. Like marijuana smoke, when no was nearby, meaning the wind could not cause it to drift in my direction.
Well recalled was leaving my apartment smelling weed in the hallway. Twice late in the evening. Elderly women living on my floor are not the pot smoking type; do not think the male whose apartment is closest to mine would likely to indulge either.

Sometimes smells do drift up floors; usually smelt in the elevator. Often we smell food or burnt toast drifting out of someones apartment. No recent nightmares, however, not that I recall; glad those recurring harrowing dreams are gone.

I thanked my brother for listening several times, but had to shut up realizing I was causing him distress. And what one person considers cleaning out the house another considers improper distribution of property diminishing the value of the estate, depriving the heirs of their rightful share.

Not getting any sympathy there; okay, wrong again. A person who did not have Power of Attorney giving away pieces of Mother's estate to non-heirs, her friends, her boyfriends family, the Deli, the trash, the metal man ~ cool with him; he's not practical.

To continue to do so after death is in violation of Probate process especially since she is not Administer of the Will. Doling out Mom's possessions as if they all belonged to her and F you to legal heirs who might like to claim some property or at least have the chance to see it and decline.

Anger with no place to go. Let it go, move on. Thank you for listening.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

14 Saved As Drafts

Have 14 posts saved as drafts. Read two, one ironically titled Funerals ~ having to do with living 3,000 miles away from home, when need to attend funeral of loved ones passed away ~ as I said at my mother's funeral ~ today is the day why I moved back east ~ though I hate it here.

Note To Self: Be sure to clarify that to family ~ "I hate it here except for being close to family.

Not sure when I wrote Stressful Life Changes ~ when I opened saved draft, Blogger changed date to today's date. Not sure if I will publish the rest of those saved drafts; this post just an FYI,

I never seem to find time to fix this blog ~ sidebar links that go nowhere and such. Maybe tomorrow...