Hospital-ity

Renovation to Mom’s house is nearly complete, an occupancy permit has been granted, and after over four years, there is a glimmer of hope that she will get to live in her own home again before she dies! (Plot synopsis here, if you’re new!)

Why, after fourfuckingyears, has this become a priority for my niece, DQ, and her husband, BJ? Progress was sporadic from the start, since BJ needed time off for vacations, deer hunting – not to mention his paying jobs. I had considered several options to increase his motivation over the past few years, but Mom didn’t want to make anyone mad.

The motivation came from an unexpected source – BJ’s parents. When DQ and BJ first married, BJ’s parents bought the house out of foreclosure, offering to rent the house back to them. This arrangement worked fairly well – until September, when BJ’s parents announced their plans to get a divorce. The house must be sold. By Christmas. Essentially, they’re being evicted!

Taking Mom to the cardiologist when this was breaking news, she let me know that DQ had been putting pressure on to change the deed to the house before moving in. For her protection. My reaction was a bit less than enthusiastic…

daisyfae: FUCK THAT!

Mom: I know. I don’t see any reason it can’t wait until after we move in, but she’s worried that the rest of the family will cause trouble and she’ll be homeless.

daisyfae: She has earned compensation for taking care of you!  No one is arguing that! She can always sell the land you gave them. [grinding teeth] You just tell me what you want to do and i’ll make it happen…

Mom: She’s putting pressure on me to set up an appointment with the attorney.

daisyfae: Under no circumstances are you to go to see the attorney to change your will, or the deed to the house, without me present. This will not only protect you, but it will protect DQ should anyone ever think there was coercion.

Mom: That makes sense. I just don’t want her to get upset with me…

daisyfae: Tell her it’s my schedule. i really am busy at work, so taking a day off is going to be tough.

And that’s where we left it…

The message was apparently delivered. A few days later i started getting passive-aggressive pings from DQ about setting up an appointment with the attorney. i was polite – and my schedule really has gotten tough.

This is unpleasant and stressful.  i became engaged in another round of “Trailer Park Mexican Standoff” via e-mail. Trying to take the heat for Mom, without causing any trouble. My instinct is to call bullshit, and be a far more direct, but Mom requested the sideways approach.

It didn’t surprise me to get a call from DQ as i was leaving work last Thursday. Because i was driving, i let it go to voicemail. Just not in the mood to deal with the bullshit. Retrieved the voicemail when i got home.

DQ: Took Granny to the doctor today because her cough has gotten worse, and she’s been very weak. Doctor sent us directly to ER. They’re going to admit her – probable pneumonia. I’ll keep you posted.

Well.

So much for my righteous indignation. When shit hits the fan, DQ does an excellent job taking care of Mom. All squabbles set aside. Priorities firm. We’ll sort out the legal stuff later.

Visited Mom over the weekend, and she took a few minutes to write a note to The Boy. Wished him a happy birthday. Told him she’s proud of him. Didn’t mention her troubles.

hospital-ity

She’s home now, and is doing much better. We came up with a new plan of attack.  We’ll get back to the regularly scheduled bullshit later…

26 thoughts on “Hospital-ity

    • Could either be genetics or alcohol — either way, i can easily consider you a sister! Still trying to get back to that bit where i can meet them where they are — “they’re doing the best they can with what they’ve been given.” Sometimes it’s easy to let myself get spun up again…

  1. The title hit me. Multi-tasking breakfast/laundry/phone…left it aside.
    Not in the mood for any more condolence letters so I was greatly relieved to get to the end of this.
    I’m sorry you still have the legal angle to sort, but pleased your mother is out of hospital.Maybe you can take her to the derby rink as a getting well treat!

    • Sorry – didn’t mean to shock! i scared people awhile back with the title “dog gone”! Original draft – which was almost 1,000 words – related more to ‘hospitality’, but i try hard to get to 500 words. Should have renamed it after edit. In either case, she’s doing better… i’ll be headed to The Park some time this weekend to start excavating her storage locker to see what can be saved for her new ‘apartment’. Derby starts back up in the Spring – will definitely bring her for a return visit!

  2. Astonishing that the house is almost done. I remember when this whole thing started [mumble-mumble] years ago. So glad to see it’s coming to fruition. But the motivation really is most unfortunate. You’d have hoped etc., etc.

    That’s a card she’s signing, right? Not an addendum to the will?

    • There are a surprising number of my regular readers who have been with me almost from the start – when i began the blog in 2008. Pretty amazing, and i never would have expected these sorts of connections…

      What is perhaps most aggravating? They can’t do financial math. For most humans, that alone would have been motivation. The rent they pay is about twice what they will have to pay when they take over the payments on the construction loan — they will only be ‘given’ the equity in the house, along with about $50k worth of property. A reasonable deal for all they’ve done for mom… They’d have been far better off financially to accelerate the renovation.

      Worse still? During the construction, MOM has been paying the construction loan. She has also had to pay for a secure storage locker for her belongings. At least $600/month for 4 years. Roughly HALF of her Social Security check is going directly into the shitter… That’d be $28,000 of mom’s money that has been wasted during this process. But who’s keeping track? Certainly no one in The Park!

      • I know a guy who has a bevy of those storage units that he rents out. When a new tenant arrives, he tells them they should just get rid of all the stuff instead of paying him to store it for them. They rarely listen.

        Recently, he was dealing with an estate that included three (3) of the monster size units. The sons came to clear them out. Normally, he doesn’t help folks empty their units very much, but he arranged a truck for them. He said, “I’m going to help them out. After all, their mom paid me over $150,000 to store her stuff here.”

        • Mom was a hoarder, so the original excavations took many months. We got rid of a lot through that process – she was comfortable donating to the church rummage sale. After four years, she told me yesterday that she thinks she might have to get rid of a lot of it still. hopeful that we can move in a bare minimum of what she wants and needs, then replace things once she has time to think about what’s missing…

    • Glad it’s almost done. Just want her back in her own damn house again… and hope that she has a few years to enjoy it! The quality of the work is excellent! But there are three basic elements that every project must manage – cost, schedule, performance. Performance? Very good. But cost bogie has been blown to smithereens (some for cause, some notsomuch), and schedule has been nuked! i’d have fired the contractor at year 2…

      Basically, i’m going to get Mom in for an independent consult with an attorney to explore all of her options. She can then decide what she wants to do – and can execute any changes she wishes to make. i don’t see why anyone other than Mom needs to have that conversation with an attorney. If DQ wants to see a lawyer? That is entirely up to her – but Mom’s decision will be final. My job is to see that she makes a fully informed decision…. Grrrr…

      • amen, sister! your mama still has her, as they say, wits about her, so (and i speak from PERSONAL experience) a GOOD attorney, will ask her IF she wants anyone present when they speak (and i’m hoping it will be you) to make sure she understands all her options. you have my heart, sugar, none of this will be easy. (like y’all don’t already know THAT!) xoxoxoxox

        • it finally hit me when i was in ‘that place between sleep and awake’. ain’t nobody got to go with her to see the attorney. SHE decides what she wants, and then it gets done! if she wants me there? cool… if not, no problem.

  3. You have to love a strong woman. In your case, several times a night whenever possible. Search your birth records, I have a strange feeling that we may well be of the same family tree. Which makes what we are about to do next… extremely illegal!

    • i believe it would only be of concern if we were to breed. given the state of my dessicating eggs, i am pretty sure that’s not a risk. although one has to ponder just what such an offspring could do… so let’s hit it, cousin!

    • She’s doing well – and we’ve started moving bits and pieces of her furniture back into her house. She has a metric ton of ‘stuff’ to go through still, but it feels good to start the process…

      oh, and the boobs are still out — the reconstruction work from 2007 is holding up quite nicely! :-)

  4. good luck!!! Don’t envy you that one. Luckily never had much of this, mostly cos most of our parents had little etc. Seen it in other families though – not pleasant at times.

    The only time it was a real problem was when my Mum died – I was executer. In the middle of sorting that out my sister-in-law kicked my brother out. He walked away from a very valuable family home signing it all over to her so her and the two boys could continue to live there (she later kicked one of them out and make a package downsizing… grrr!) but one day my solicitor calls to say her solicitor had been in touch asking for 50% of my brothers share. Luckily he was an old boy with years on the clock, he calmed me down by reading the most brilliantly sarcastic letter he’d written back. Basically – “You ain’t mentioned in the will darling you’ll not get a penny from me” but over about 3 sheets with quotes of past cases etc. I said “How much do I owe you for this – I’d rather pay separate than it come out the estate fees” – He laughed “Your Mum and Dad first came to this office in 1948 when they married – you think I’d charge for this?” He retired a couple of years ago – he was in his 90s I think. Lovely, lovely man. She did still get her 50%, my brother just couldn’t be arsed to fight it but at least she had to wait.

    • What a gem he was! Sad to hear that she eventually got half the inheritance, but at least she got a proper slap on the hand along the way. Here in the US, inherited resources are not considered part of a divorce settlement. This is why BJ is getting antsy about the legal arrangements. If DQ inherits the house, and the land, and then decides to put a boot in his arse? He has no rights to it – which would probably be a bit annoying since he’s done all the work on the renovation… My opinion? That’s their business, not mine, not Mom’s….

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