Most of you know, my mother passed away Aug. 7, 2004 from an aneurysm in her brain that ruptured. I miss her horribly every day, but the holidays are especially hard. Mom and I never had the best relationship, both of us being stubborn and independent, we butted heads alot, and I do mean ALOT. Looking back, I realized it was because we were so much alike. I also realize, I am the woman I am today because of, the way she raised me. She instilled in me self-confidence and self-esteem and the knowledge that I could do whatever I set my mind to. I thank her for that, even if it meant some rocky years with her.
Mom raised my sister and I by herself, sometimes working 3 different jobs to keep food on the table and the bills paid. She always had things in order, as far as I remember, she was never late on her bills and we always had something to eat. At Christmas time, we didn't get a ton of gifts like kids nowadays do, we got a few gifts, most of them addressed to both of us, meaning we had to share them. Memories of my childhood Christmases are something I treasure. She always made them special, even with all the working she had to do. She was a very strong, independent woman and I feel sure, she passed those qualities on to me. (Although sometimes I don't think my husband appreciates them. LOL)
Now, something that for the life of me I can't figure out is why she didn't have a will. She always told us where this account was at, or where the accident insurance paperwork was at (she was without health insurance), we knew where the needed paperwork partaining to her house and her pet shop was at, she even had her funeral planned right down to what kind of dress she wanted to be wearing and the kind of flowers she wanted on top of the casket! But, no will!! No paperwork anywhere giving me or my sister power of attorney over anything, NOTHING!
Needless to say, that one detail that she didn't take care of, is the one detail that has caused so many problems and so many heartaches for me.
I got yet another call today partaining to her estate and the house my sister is living in now, seems my sister is, once again, 3 months behind on making the payments and they are threatening foreclosure, AGAIN! I am so sick of dealing with all of this, but I swear, I'm beginning to think it's never going to be over. It's bad enough trying to deal with the pain of the holidays without Mom, but dealing with my sister's lack of responsiblity is making matters even worse! I told the man that called from the bank to just foreclose if he needed to. I'm not bailing her out again, and since I signed the house and all it's contents over to her more than 2 years ago, it's her responsibilty, not mine!
How could my mother raise 2 girls that turned out to be completely opposite from one another, as different as night and day? The woman I turned out to be worries herself sick over getting bills paid and taking care of things like payments before anything else is done, the woman my sister turned out to be, could care less about paying bills, as long as she is having a good time and getting things she wants, not making sure the things she needs are taken care of first.
At any rate, I spent my whole life "taking care of my little sister" just like I was told while we were growing up, I was the oldest and I needed to look after her, etc, etc. Well, no more, it's time she gets up and takes care of herself. In the meantime, I hope Mom would understand and know that I just can't do this anymore.
I want to remember all the good times I did have with my mother. Not all these problems, that stem from her not having her affairs in order, clouding the memories.
I leave you with one of my favorite photos of Mom, taken about a year before she passed away. She loved those little birds that she raised for the pet store and you can see, they loved her as well.
Please keep a good thought, that I can get through these holidays and the memories I have will come to me as bittersweet, not just plain bitter.