Update: This post continues to see a high volume of traffic, presumably courtesy of “Sally Mae”. If you’re reading this because you’ve been sent here to gawk at my version of events, please have the courtesy to read the comments, and my follow up post, A Response.
Good Afternoon, Gentle Reader. Full Disclosure: I’ve been drinking wine since two thirty this afternoon, and communing with the ghosts of my ancestors.
This is the only reason that I’m about to discuss “Current Events” rather than some idealized nonsense, codified into a quip that I can recall at cocktail parties. Ahem.
My Grandfather passed away on October ninth. He had gotten remarried not quite two years before he died – it was two weeks before their second anniversary. He had known his new wife for only months before they married, and (I was his best man) as I was helping him up the aisle to await his bride, he confessed to me that he thought that he was making a mistake. My Uncle L., who was officiating, as he was getting a stool for Granddad – he was prone to fainting, in his later years – heard him express his regrets, but affirm that he gave his word that he would marry Lillian. As they signed the marriage license, Lillian asked “Are you ready to sign everything over to me, George?”
He did. Or, he may have done. The minute his corpse was cooling down, she revealed her true colours. Not that she hadn’t been distant and cruel, before hand – she made my Aunt beg for permission each time she wanted to visit her father – but, at my Grandfather’s deathbed, she and her family made my family feel like outsiders – her niece replaced my Aunt and mother, her grand-nephew replaced myself and all my male cousins – we were the strangers in that hospital, and these interlopers had become nearest and dearest, due to the coma Granddad was in. We were hurt, confused, and ushered out the door within an hour of his death.
In the aftermath, we’ve been trying to treat her as family. She’s been brash and offensive, but Grandpa chose her as his bride, despite apologizing for the fact for the entire marriage. Still, she’s his widow, and deserves respect. We thought.
She’s proven her spite in the past – she has destroyed furniture that she left on the corner for the garbageman, because neighbors had looked at it. She has cut up clothes with her shears, rather than let them go to Goodwill. She disabled the stair lift before the funeral because she thought her brother-in-law might take it for a joyride. She won’t let us collect photographs or letters from family long dead before she joined the tree, or, indeed, let us into all that’s left of the family compound.
Then my Uncle George died – my favourite uncle. The only child of my grandparents left alive is my Aunt Carole – she was the eldest. Two days after, Lillian calls my Aunt Lalage (Lal-a-gay, if you’re wondering; it’s French – we call her Auntie Lall), talking about my Uncle George’s mail that comes to her (Granddad’s) house, complaining – she had opened it (and many other things, before), and informing her that her ex-husband owed so much on the storage unit, and there was x amount in the other account, &ct. Even if it weren’t a felony, it was too soon, and too unkind.
A week and a half ago, there was a sort of teleconference. Maman called Auntie Lall to offer her condolences, Auntie Lall mentioned the call she’d had with Lillian – Lillian had also mentioned that she was forming a new will – Maman called Aunt Carole, who Lillian has always despised – it transpired that Lillian had told all three heads of all three branches of the family a different story. Maman, who is the only daughter-in-law that Lillian likes (mostly because she can pull wool over her eyes at will; Ma likes to believe what she’s told) called her, while my two aunts and I were in tears. She tried to appeal to morality and spirituality and not being a C**tbag, to no avail.
We saw a lawyer today. I’m not holding out much hope, but all I hope is that I can get the my grandmother’s grandmother’s letters regarding the brothel she owned in Australia, and my grandfather’s record collection that I grew up on, and access to the property where my grandmother’s ashes are scattered.
UPDATE: Sally Mae, if you see this, I have made you a post of your own. It is currently, as of the 11th of October, on the home page of this blog, and titled, simply, “A Response“. With the ease that you found this post you should be able to pick up on it pretty quickly. I welcome your comments on that post. After 2 days, when the new post comes up, I am afraid that I will have to ban you from commenting on here.