When my mom died in 2015 I ended up in the hospital for feeling suicidal. A bunch of other stuff happened that resulted in me going from working, taking a class, and living independently to being put in a board & care home. I had to quit my class and take two months off of work and to add to my unhappiness, I was in pretty bad back pain from straining my back. It was quite a fall from grace. I hadn’t been in the hospital for 25 years and I had lived on my own for twenty years, mostly renting rooms in families houses. I hadn’t been in a group home since 1995–but there I was once again.
Anyways, I adjusted, as I told Jake, group homes aren’t these terrible places. There were good points and bad points. The good point was that I was around people once again and that was good for me. The food was good and my roommate was pretty cool. We had our differences but we liked each other for the most part. Other people there liked me and they were friendly. It kind of sucked because it could be seen as a step backward and I was unhappy sometimes there. Often.
My family was trying to help me; I had my two sisters and my stepdad and stepmom. Eventually I went back to work and took another class while I was there. I was the only person there with a car though a few other people had jobs or went to school.
My stepdad lived an hour and 45 minutes away, up north past San Francisco. Before my mom died, they used to live just half an hour away; I was at there house at least once a week for several years. The three off us would have dinner. and play cards or watch TV.
I knew my stepdad for more than 25 years. I actually first met him in 1988 when I still happened to be on drugs at the time. He was this kind of stuffy, boring professor who taught Business at the local University. He wasn’t a bad guy but he had a bad habit of lecturing all of us and getting on these big, long, boring monologues. He was my moms husband so we all tolerated it. It took me many years to discover he was a control freak. Then they sold their house and moved up north.
But in 2016 I was in this board & care and my stepdad used to make the hour and 45 minute drive down to pick me up and we would visit my mothers grave and then go to lunch afterwards at this certain restaurant. Of course we both missed my mom terribly and we paid respects to her every other week at the cemetery.
But the funny thing was that all along I thought he was this stuffy old guy but once we started going out to lunch regularly we started having these good conversations and I discovered he actually had a good sense of humor and he was interesting and our lunches turned out to be kind of fun times and we both opened up and talked a lot about women and music and other things.
Well, this went on during the whole time span that I lived in the board & care; about a year and half. So that was fine. I’ll shift gears here and say another thing that was going on was that him and my moms house was worth a lot of money. Like a million dollars. And the plan was that when my step dad died me and my sisters and his two sons would sell the house and split the proceeds. We would stand to get about $60,000 each! A nice sum of money. But my stepdad was only 75 years old so that was way in the future.
Then he remarried and I moved out of the board & care home into an apartment. He still came down to visit but he had this new wife. Well, I don’t know what triggered it but all of a sudden he cut down drastically on his phone calls and he wasn’t answering my emails. He did the same thing to my sister but they didn’t know him as well as I did. I couldn’t understand why he started doing this. Then I got the distinct impression that he was trying to distance himself from me and my sisters. His new wife died (she was 90) and he married a new woman. He stopped coming down. Now he would send us a long email about him and his new wife about every three months. I just thought, “Well, OK, he had some kind of change of heart and he’s cutting off our family…” This was just two years ago and this is how it’s been so I don’t visit him. But looming in the background was that we would still inherit the house.
Well, today me and my two sisters drove up to see him and his wife. I hadn’t seen him for three years. And he had news for us. He had switched houses and now he had a less valuable house. And he wouldn’t come right out and say it but they are thinking of selling the house and living off the profits themselves. I mean I never really counted on the money; I knew a lot could happened before he died and things could change and we might not get anything., And apparently, this is what happened. But boy, it was big news. I’ve known him for 30 years and this is how it’s all ending. I don’t know if I’ll see him again because he’s the one who did the distancing. It would have been nice to get 60 grand but it won’t happened. I never could have foreseen this.