This Winter has been hard, as I have a hard time asking for help. I was raised to figure things out on my own, and to find a way to get things done despite any roadblocks.
One of my biggest challenges this Winter in dealing with my mortality is to find a way to heal the rift with my Baby Sis.
I don’t know that it’s possible, because I wouldn’t have changed anything I’ve done in life, and I’m trying to respect the boundaries her anger is putting between us.
I lost the bid to fix my Baby Brother’s grave. I gave it my best shot, having asked for professional help in 2013 and being assured that I had a sound argument. However, that effort was merely sending good money after bad in terms of dealing with a crappy lawyer who did something different than what she was hired to do, and agreed to do, and who then backed off when it came time to go to court. I have to live with that. I also have to live with the fact that I chose not to leave it to my Baby Sis to handle, causing yet more hurt.
However, in fighting that battle as I promised our Mom, I seem to have crossed an unfixable bridge with my Baby Sis. I’ve called and left a few voicemails, but it’s nothing but crickets. I want to respect the boundaries she’s drawn, so I am backing off. She has a right to tell me to get out of her life. While I would think that I am out of her life being 3,000 miles away and given her previous complaints about abandonment, I guess I just wasn’t far enough gone.
Believe me, I “get” crazy.
If anyone out there has seen, “The Ya-ya Sisterhood”, I know both my Sis and I are damaged from our childhoods dealing with a functionally alcoholic father, a depressed mother, and (my Sis’s words) a goody 2-shoes sister who was supposed to die at any breath of cold air. So, I get it when it’s all just too much.
There is a scene in the movie where Sandra’s character is slamming the phone against the counter, demanding to know why she has to deal with her mother and the madness, and I understand that on some level that’s what I represent to my Baby Sis.
She’s never seen me as her biggest fan or advocate because I moved to CA and “abandoned” her (her words). While I’ve tried hard to meet her half way in a manner that works for both of us, I’ve done nothing but hurt her because of our differing viewpoints. My “no”s were too much for our relationship to survive, apparently:
– No, I could not be her Maid of Honor. (I don’t believe in marriage, nor religion).
– No, I could not be her eldest son’s God parent. (Again, I couldn’t promise to raise her son in the church).
– No, I could not shift my responsibility for Jimmy’s grave to her shoulders. It wasn’t her burden. It wasn’t her unfinished business.
But, continued cracks in the foundation of our relationship as we always seem to be at cross purposes.
So, while I would like to involve her in my life’s final arrangements, I cannot do so because of many factors – one of which being that she fights the reality of death being a part of life. Plus the fact that this is a long distance relationship and the related hassles of managing those affairs. And, finally, because the responsibility needs to go to the next generation – her eldest son – as he promised long ago to help me, and it will be easier on everyone if she doesn’t handle my final wishes. She already has enough on her plate.
So, not having received any acknowledgement about #2 nephew’s pending nuptials, and getting nothing but silence from my fellow POW from our family’s private little battle, I’ve moved on to make everything as clean as possible for final details so that I’m not leaving a mess for anyone else to clean up.
The Roomie will be listed as my #1 Executor, and she will be given a copy of all the paperwork. There will be a certificate of deposit created with the Roomie as the beneficiary, and she’ll be able to get her hands on the 3+ months of forecasted necessary funds to handle my affairs the minute she produces a death certificate.
I’ve paid for all of the foreseeable arrangements in advance, and the will is being drawn up with the healthcare directive and power of attorney set to allow the Roomie to handle everything unless she chooses not to do so.
Thereafter, if the roomie refuses to handle everything, or dies before me (not likely), things will devolve to my eldest nephew as my Executor.
I know it will break my Baby Sis’s heart to not be in charge, and cause yet another rift between us, but the reality is that she can’t handle it and I’m trying to be kind and not burden her with that level of work. Especially when she’s not talking to me.
And, I’m trying to protect my eldest nephew by making him alternate Executor # 2 so that he doesn’t have to fight with his Mom, should I pass away as expected while everyone else is still around and able to handle these details.
I can’t see any other way out of all of this, so I’ve cast my decisions to the wind to let the hurts fall where they may in the hope that there will be little collateral damage.
My sop to my Sis’s emotions is to make her #3 as Executor on the paperwork, able to take over only if the Roomie and the Nephew refuse to fulfill the role. That’s the best I can do, and I’ll live with the consequences of continuing to work at what seems to be cross purposes. It’s the best I can do to find a compromise for reality for us both.