this has nothing to do with cancer, but...

ohilly
ohilly Member Posts: 441
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
This has nothing to do with cancer, but I still need support: while I was in the midst of my cancer treatment, my mother died of lung cancer in Sept. Two of my sisters are the legal executors of my parents' will (my father died in 2005). Well, my parents' appartment is finally being sold and the personal effects are going to be distributed in a round robin. All I care about is sentimental objects, and I communicated to my sisters that it was only fair that everything should be included in the round robin. My sisters are claiming that certain objects were 'promised' to them and as the executors, they are going to exclude these objects from the round robin (I'm not making a claim to the objects, only stating that all the sisters should have an equal chance of getting them in the round robin).

Anyway, there's nothing I can do short of a lawsuit which I would never do because I don't believe in suing relatives. Without getting into all the details, one of the sisters who is one of the executors hates me: when my mother was dying of cancer, I visited her every night in the hospital while she was dying despite the fact that at the time I was in the middle of chemo myself. This sister still accused me of not doing enough to help our mother and had absolutely no sympathy for the fact that I was sick myself at the time.

Have other people had this kind of bitterness erupt when parents die? A few months ago I wrote a letter to the above sister suggesting that we 'let bygones be bygones' and meet in a restaurant. She refused.

I am really upset.

Ohilly

Comments

  • outdoorgirl
    outdoorgirl Member Posts: 1,565
    Chilly
    I have heard of this and seen it time and time again. It seems like people dying just brings out the worst in other people-I don't know why that is! When people should be getting together and being there for each other,selfishness and bad feelings take over...
    I remember when my grandmother died quite a few years ago,the whole immediate family was in the living room going through her things(she didn't want anything to go to thrift stores). I remember thinking,I hope Grandma isn't looking down from heaven and seeing this because she would be heartbroken and ashamed!!And my mother who was the closest to my Grandma only got a few things that my Grandma demanded my mom have.So sad..
    A friend of mine is going through the same thing after her father died.
    I am sorry that you are going through this and being snubbed by family-it truly is not right!
  • fauxma
    fauxma Member Posts: 3,577 Member
    You can contact the lawyer
    You can contact the lawyer that is handling the estate and ask him if they can exclude stuff like this. Just because they said it was meant for them means nothing unless there was a codicil or it was listed in the will specifically. I believe that as executor they can sell anything as long as they split the proceeds according to the will but I don't think they can keep stuff just because they felt it was meant for them. It doesn't mean you have to sue them, just check with the lawyer. I was executor of my mom's estate and I would never have taken anything from my siblings because I was in that position. But if I remember right, I couldn't just say this stuff is mine and only what I say is divided up. There needs to be a codicil or something in the will that specifically leaves things to certain people. They do the options of selling everything and just dividing the money but I don't think they can say this is not part of the estate. But again, check with her lawyer.
    Stef
  • m_azingrace
    m_azingrace Member Posts: 399
    I'm so sorry
    Ohilly, I am so sorry you have to go through this in addition to dealing with your disease! I have never had to face anything like that with my family. While we are dysfunctional in our owh way, we have always pulled together to help one another. Squabbles over who gets what and discussions of who did this or that never entered in. I feel for you, for the pain your sister is causing you at this time.

    It seems to me that her ability to hurt you gives her a sense of power at your expense. You do not deserve to be treated this way, any more than she deserves to be allowed. I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive her, for that is the true way to free yourself from this emotional and psychological abuse. Then you can concentrate on getting well. There is probably nothing you can do or say that will make her behave any differently towards you, but you have the ability to behave differently toward her. The only way she can continue to hurt you is if you continue to allow it. Feel sorry for her, and treat her with kindness and compassion, for this type of person needs to be pitied. Stop reaching out to her, it only empowers her to cause you more pain.

    As for the division of the possessions, I hope you are able to get something that is important to you. But remember, no one can keep you from having the precious memories of your parents that are tucked inside your heart!

    I hope these few words will give you something to think about, perhaps even some comfort. Remember, there are people here who care about you. Let us know how it turns out. Gracie
  • Cindy54
    Cindy54 Member Posts: 452
    Your Post
    is so sad, Ohilly. That your Mom has not even been gone a year yet, is even sadder. To think that all the girls in your family cannot compromise and pull together when they should is unfortunately, something that happens to a lot of families when a loved one dies.

    When my Grandmother died, all that were left in the family was my father and his sister. His sister took over the estate, sold the house and belonging. My Dad got nothing. Not even a photo or some small thing to keep as a remembrance and hand down to me. He did not want money, all he wanted was something that belonged to his Mom. The money from the sale went to his sister and her children. And it was not that they were in great need of it.

    Sometimes dying and grief bring out the worst in people. I am sorry you have to go through this pain again. But one thing to remember. You have made some wonderful memories of your Mom, especially during her illness. No one can take this away from you. No commments or words from your sisters can take this away from you. You were there for your Mom even though you were struggling. Your Mom knew this. And believe me, the love she had and still has for you is a far greater thing to have than any material thing ever will be. Let your sisters have what they will and say what they will. You know better. And so did your Mom.

    From my heart to yours, Ohilly...hugs...Cindy
  • chenheart
    chenheart Member Posts: 5,159
    Yes! Yes! Yes!! I don't
    Yes! Yes! Yes!! I don't know just why death brings out the greed, hostility and meanness in people, but it sooo often does. And when things go wrong, sadly there never seems to be a calm and equitable way to settle it, either. Spite, pent up anger and one-up-manship so often rule the day. I know you want something of sentimental value...I can't blame you. I don't know how this is going to play out. I would hope that family empathy would move your sister, but evidently it hasn't. There may not be anything TANGIBLE that you will actually receive, be it fair, promised, or not. In which case, I hope that the love and memories you have of your parents far surpass any physical evidence....and that who you are is the true testament to your character. How others act and react, well, thats up to them. For what its worth, a house fire destroyed all of my TANGIBLE childhood memories, and soon thereafter, my dad died of lung cancer. I had left Germany for California to get married and I was 2000+ miles from my Dad and never saw him again. I wished I had something of his. But at that proverbial "end of the day"...the emotional tie I had with my dad, and the things he taught me and how he felt about me as a daughter are forever with me. I hope that all the good and generous parts of me are because of my dad.
    I wish you that heart/brain connection with your parents too~ regardless of the ugliness you are now experiencing. A clean conscience and a pure heart are truly priceless. Be in peace.

    Hugs,
    Claudia

    Hugs,
    Claudia
  • fauxma
    fauxma Member Posts: 3,577 Member
    chenheart said:

    Yes! Yes! Yes!! I don't
    Yes! Yes! Yes!! I don't know just why death brings out the greed, hostility and meanness in people, but it sooo often does. And when things go wrong, sadly there never seems to be a calm and equitable way to settle it, either. Spite, pent up anger and one-up-manship so often rule the day. I know you want something of sentimental value...I can't blame you. I don't know how this is going to play out. I would hope that family empathy would move your sister, but evidently it hasn't. There may not be anything TANGIBLE that you will actually receive, be it fair, promised, or not. In which case, I hope that the love and memories you have of your parents far surpass any physical evidence....and that who you are is the true testament to your character. How others act and react, well, thats up to them. For what its worth, a house fire destroyed all of my TANGIBLE childhood memories, and soon thereafter, my dad died of lung cancer. I had left Germany for California to get married and I was 2000+ miles from my Dad and never saw him again. I wished I had something of his. But at that proverbial "end of the day"...the emotional tie I had with my dad, and the things he taught me and how he felt about me as a daughter are forever with me. I hope that all the good and generous parts of me are because of my dad.
    I wish you that heart/brain connection with your parents too~ regardless of the ugliness you are now experiencing. A clean conscience and a pure heart are truly priceless. Be in peace.

    Hugs,
    Claudia

    Hugs,
    Claudia

    Claudia,
    So well said. I

    Claudia,
    So well said. I lost my dad when I was 15 and I have nothing of his but our memories and fortunately some photographs and these are more than enough. When I lost my mom a few years ago, I realized that while it was nice to have some sentimental items my memories and knowing what a great relationship we had meant more than anything else. I knew I was loved, cherished and that she loved her granddaughter and took immense pride in her talent, her sweetness and her spirit. I can ask for no more than that. You are right, when all is said and done no one can take the love from you and it is priceless.
    Perhaps for Ohilly's sisters hoarding these sentimental items is their way of feeling loved but possessing objects doesn't mean love. Love is indeed, as Claudia said, a heart connection. Nothing can sever that, nothing.
    Stef
  • tgf
    tgf Member Posts: 950 Member
    fauxma said:

    Claudia,
    So well said. I

    Claudia,
    So well said. I lost my dad when I was 15 and I have nothing of his but our memories and fortunately some photographs and these are more than enough. When I lost my mom a few years ago, I realized that while it was nice to have some sentimental items my memories and knowing what a great relationship we had meant more than anything else. I knew I was loved, cherished and that she loved her granddaughter and took immense pride in her talent, her sweetness and her spirit. I can ask for no more than that. You are right, when all is said and done no one can take the love from you and it is priceless.
    Perhaps for Ohilly's sisters hoarding these sentimental items is their way of feeling loved but possessing objects doesn't mean love. Love is indeed, as Claudia said, a heart connection. Nothing can sever that, nothing.
    Stef

    Memories
    I was very lucky growing up in what I thought was a very close family. All four of my grandparents lived in the same town and both sets of grandparents were each other's best friends. My sisters and I used to love spending days, nights, weekends with them. One of my grandmothers was an antique dealer so her house was full of antiques. A few years after my grandmother died my grandfather died. When he died her children ... (my father and my aunt) were the executors (sp?)and totally in charge of everything. There were 5 of us grandchildren... and we were all very close and we were ADULTS. A few weeks later we all met at my grandmother/grandfather's house. Well ... the first thing my father an aunt decided was that one of my sisters was "promised" an antique record player so she'd get that. It was beautiful. About 6 feet tall with all sorts of fancy wood carving and it actually played those large metal records and it had some way that you cold select which "record" it would pull out of its rack and play. Well my sister hauled that off right away. Then ... since one of my cousins was "slightly" musical ... my father and aunt decided she should have my grandmothers electric organ ... which was NOT an antique. At some point they had an appraiser come in an appraise the antiques in the house and then they told the 3 remaining grandchildren (excluding the grandchildren who got the record player ... and organ) ... that each of us could select items worth a total of $1,000 using the appraisers sheet of paper. To make a long story longer ... They were not going to let my cousin who got the organ choose anything because she "already" had something valuable. I ended up asking her to select a few items from the list and I'd get them with my "$1000 gift" ... otherwise she would never have gotten any of the things that meant so much to all of us ... seeing them in my grandmothers house for all of those years. We all made our selections and were told if we wanted anything else we could go to the auction and bid on them. It all sounded so cold. We were all in shock and couldn't believe we were being treated like that. Anyway ... a few months later ... out of curiousity ... I looked up in a book to see how much the antique record player was worth. Well ... it was ONLY worth approximately $37,000!!! I made some comment to my father about that and he just shrugged it off and made the comment that my grandmother had told my sister she could have it. At that point I told him that my grandmother had also told me I could have it and she probably told the other grandchildren they could have it... but we weren't going to be jerks about it. Again .. he just shrugged it off.

    Oh ... one more thing ... as the 5 of us grandchildren were walking out of my grandmother/grandfather's house ... I happened to see some piles of "trash" to be thrown out. I asked my father and aunt if it was indeed stuff to be thrown out ... and they said "yes." In that pile was a wooden chinese checker board my grandmother and I used to play with from the time I could play games. I grabbed that. Then I also saw a ceramic peacock that sat on my grandmother's shelf for years and years. I grabbed that. It turned out that it had chips in it ... and probably always had ... but it was still part of my memories at my grandmother's house. There were also a few other items with sentimental meaning that I grabbed. And ... those items were considered trash by my father and aunt. They were clueless.

    And ... one more little thing ... that stupid electric organ they made my cousin take because they were sure my grandmother would have wanted her to have it ... well ... it was valued at about $150.

    None of it seemed fair. We fine grandchildren were treated like crap and if my grandmother had been able to "come back" for that day ...she would have had some very harsh words for her son and daughter.

    Sorry this is so long ... but it makes me angry every time I think of it ...... Thanks for listening.


    hugs,
    teena
  • susie09
    susie09 Member Posts: 2,930
    tgf said:

    Memories
    I was very lucky growing up in what I thought was a very close family. All four of my grandparents lived in the same town and both sets of grandparents were each other's best friends. My sisters and I used to love spending days, nights, weekends with them. One of my grandmothers was an antique dealer so her house was full of antiques. A few years after my grandmother died my grandfather died. When he died her children ... (my father and my aunt) were the executors (sp?)and totally in charge of everything. There were 5 of us grandchildren... and we were all very close and we were ADULTS. A few weeks later we all met at my grandmother/grandfather's house. Well ... the first thing my father an aunt decided was that one of my sisters was "promised" an antique record player so she'd get that. It was beautiful. About 6 feet tall with all sorts of fancy wood carving and it actually played those large metal records and it had some way that you cold select which "record" it would pull out of its rack and play. Well my sister hauled that off right away. Then ... since one of my cousins was "slightly" musical ... my father and aunt decided she should have my grandmothers electric organ ... which was NOT an antique. At some point they had an appraiser come in an appraise the antiques in the house and then they told the 3 remaining grandchildren (excluding the grandchildren who got the record player ... and organ) ... that each of us could select items worth a total of $1,000 using the appraisers sheet of paper. To make a long story longer ... They were not going to let my cousin who got the organ choose anything because she "already" had something valuable. I ended up asking her to select a few items from the list and I'd get them with my "$1000 gift" ... otherwise she would never have gotten any of the things that meant so much to all of us ... seeing them in my grandmothers house for all of those years. We all made our selections and were told if we wanted anything else we could go to the auction and bid on them. It all sounded so cold. We were all in shock and couldn't believe we were being treated like that. Anyway ... a few months later ... out of curiousity ... I looked up in a book to see how much the antique record player was worth. Well ... it was ONLY worth approximately $37,000!!! I made some comment to my father about that and he just shrugged it off and made the comment that my grandmother had told my sister she could have it. At that point I told him that my grandmother had also told me I could have it and she probably told the other grandchildren they could have it... but we weren't going to be jerks about it. Again .. he just shrugged it off.

    Oh ... one more thing ... as the 5 of us grandchildren were walking out of my grandmother/grandfather's house ... I happened to see some piles of "trash" to be thrown out. I asked my father and aunt if it was indeed stuff to be thrown out ... and they said "yes." In that pile was a wooden chinese checker board my grandmother and I used to play with from the time I could play games. I grabbed that. Then I also saw a ceramic peacock that sat on my grandmother's shelf for years and years. I grabbed that. It turned out that it had chips in it ... and probably always had ... but it was still part of my memories at my grandmother's house. There were also a few other items with sentimental meaning that I grabbed. And ... those items were considered trash by my father and aunt. They were clueless.

    And ... one more little thing ... that stupid electric organ they made my cousin take because they were sure my grandmother would have wanted her to have it ... well ... it was valued at about $150.

    None of it seemed fair. We fine grandchildren were treated like crap and if my grandmother had been able to "come back" for that day ...she would have had some very harsh words for her son and daughter.

    Sorry this is so long ... but it makes me angry every time I think of it ...... Thanks for listening.


    hugs,
    teena

    I am sorry Ohilly. It seems
    I am sorry Ohilly. It seems that sometimes when it comes to money or inheriting property, people just turn into ugly greedy monsters. Please just move past it. You are better than them.

    ♠♣ Susie ♠♣
  • Kylez
    Kylez Member Posts: 3,761 Member
    chenheart said:

    Yes! Yes! Yes!! I don't
    Yes! Yes! Yes!! I don't know just why death brings out the greed, hostility and meanness in people, but it sooo often does. And when things go wrong, sadly there never seems to be a calm and equitable way to settle it, either. Spite, pent up anger and one-up-manship so often rule the day. I know you want something of sentimental value...I can't blame you. I don't know how this is going to play out. I would hope that family empathy would move your sister, but evidently it hasn't. There may not be anything TANGIBLE that you will actually receive, be it fair, promised, or not. In which case, I hope that the love and memories you have of your parents far surpass any physical evidence....and that who you are is the true testament to your character. How others act and react, well, thats up to them. For what its worth, a house fire destroyed all of my TANGIBLE childhood memories, and soon thereafter, my dad died of lung cancer. I had left Germany for California to get married and I was 2000+ miles from my Dad and never saw him again. I wished I had something of his. But at that proverbial "end of the day"...the emotional tie I had with my dad, and the things he taught me and how he felt about me as a daughter are forever with me. I hope that all the good and generous parts of me are because of my dad.
    I wish you that heart/brain connection with your parents too~ regardless of the ugliness you are now experiencing. A clean conscience and a pure heart are truly priceless. Be in peace.

    Hugs,
    Claudia

    Hugs,
    Claudia

    I am so sorry Ohilly for
    I am so sorry Ohilly for what your family is doing to you. It is so wrong. You are being the better person and Christian in this. I hope that you get some resolution out of this. Your story, unfortunately, is very commen in families. Take care!
  • lynn1950
    lynn1950 Member Posts: 2,570
    Of course you are upset
    So sorry to hear about your mother's death - this has been such a difficult year for you. I like the idea of not engaging your sister; that's not a winnable position. But contacting the lawyer to better understand your rights really makes sense. Peace in your heart is the most precious thing that can come out of this whole mess. So I will hope that there will be, if not reconciliation, at least mutual respect. xoxoxoxo Lynn
  • ohilly
    ohilly Member Posts: 441
    lynn1950 said:

    Of course you are upset
    So sorry to hear about your mother's death - this has been such a difficult year for you. I like the idea of not engaging your sister; that's not a winnable position. But contacting the lawyer to better understand your rights really makes sense. Peace in your heart is the most precious thing that can come out of this whole mess. So I will hope that there will be, if not reconciliation, at least mutual respect. xoxoxoxo Lynn

    Hi, Lynn
    Well, Lynn, I am least doing better on the Lexapro!

    Ohilly
  • survivorbc09
    survivorbc09 Member Posts: 4,374 Member
    ohilly said:

    Hi, Lynn
    Well, Lynn, I am least doing better on the Lexapro!

    Ohilly

    So sorry Ohilly about all of
    So sorry Ohilly about all of this with your family. Wish I could say something to make it better for you. Glad to hear that the Lexapro is helping you.

    Hugs!