If you’ve been on board for any portion of my Trailer Park journey, you probably know that my relationship with my siblings has had many moments of “what the actual living, breathing FUCK?” After Mom died in 2014, our relationships were further tested as we worked through tons of her belongings. As executor, i was pretty stressed – meeting the intent of her instructions to me, both legally and morally.
Spending time with my sisters earlier this month, i was reminded that we’ve covered a lot of turf in the past few years. One particular exchange bubbled up into my memory bank…even though it was not discussed during our recent visit.
10 May 2016 – E-mail from S to DF: Mom was adamant that each of her daughters get a diamond ring which she put in the safety deposit box. I find it funny that they have just disappeared! The one thing that Mom wanted me to have and it is nowhere to be found. DQ [note: DQ is sister S’s daughter, and was Mom’s caretaker] knew Mom’s wishes and she would NEVER keep them. No one else seems to be looking for them!
11 May 2016 – E-mail from DF to S: It’s taken me time to respond because of the absolute rage I’m experiencing (still) that you are accusing me of stealing the rings. This has been the angriest I’ve been in decades… I am STILL in a rage, but only now has it cleared my head enough to respond. Mom told me about the rings. I knew where they were supposed to go. They were not in the safe deposit box, nor any of the lockboxes at home. Not once did I ever suggest that DQ had taken them. Not. Once. I noticed Mom wasn’t wearing them during her hospitalization in July. I assumed they were safe. I can’t magically pull the rings out of my ass. I can’t go back in time and figure out where they are. I am beyond insulted that you are accusing me of EITHER stealing them OR not giving you something that Mom wanted you to have.
11 May 2016 – E-mail from S to DF: I am sorry that you are so enraged about the rings. There is nothing I can do to make them show up either. If you don’t have them then you don’t have them. I just want to make sure that DQ is NOT accused of taking them. Please call me – we need to talk.
12 May 2016 – E-mail from DF to S: I don’t have anything more to say. I’m furious. You accuse me of stealing (because you are worried that someone will accuse DQ of the same), question my integrity? This is not recoverable – words have consequences. It can’t be ‘talked out’.
Shortly after i sent this, i had to get in the car and drive to a regional university – i was giving a presentation that i’d worked on for months, pushing myself into new technological territory. While driving, i started getting calls, texts. i ignored them all. Arriving at the university, i took a deep breath and read my messages from S:
12 May 2016 – E-mail from S to DF: You are correct that words hurt and sometime things are said in anger that are not truly meant. There is NO EXCUSE for the things that I have said. To question your integrity is totally uncalled for. For the anger and hurt that I have caused you — I’M AM TRULY SORRY!!! What I have to tell you is that I found the rings. Mom had put them in a box of costume jewelry that she knew I wanted and it had a ring box in it. I took the box but never opened it. I already had regrets for the things I have said before I found them and this makes it even worse. Yes – I deserve it!! I am extremely SORRY! They mean nothing to me any more! Losing my sister over them was not worth it! I will send them to you to do what you want with and hope that someday you will find it in your heart to forgive me!
That all happened over two and a half years ago…
In September of this year, S and i planned our trip to Florida to spend time with sister, T, i suggested that she bring the rings – and that perhaps it would be a good time to distribute them. As S and i were preparing to leave for the airport and head home, we put the rings on T’s kitchen counter. There was no need to bring up any of the demons around the mysterious temporary disappearance of the rings.
It was 6:30 in the morning, and we were all pretty groggy. None of us were really sure which rings came from which of Mom’s three marriages, but we let T choose first. The set of two – probably from Mom’s annulled starter marriage – came to me.
We hugged. Made plans to get together again. It was what Mom had wanted – and although it took us four years, and a shit ton worth of angst to execute, we did it. And i have completely forgiven my sister…