By cbishop 7 Comments
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|41||10/31/13||Grandma's Sword||(Blog) (Forum)||Off-Topic||(Back) (Next)|
So, in Grieving For Grandma, I mentioned that I've been pissed off for the last two days, and I've had to think about why. It starts with my aunt. She's the executor of the will, she is in control of the trust, and when grandma was alive, she had the power of attorney. My aunt retired just before grandma died- thirty...two(?) years as a police officer. She was the city's first female president of the F.O.P. (Fraternal Order of Police) and she retired with a detective's badge. The detective's badge is actually why she retired. They were about to take it from her over something political, and she retired before they could do it, so that she could say she retired a detective.
That's kind of important, because my aunt has done a lot of things so that she could say certain things. She led my grandmother in conversations, getting her to say the words she wanted to hear, so that she could make changes and say, "That's what mama wanted." These included several questionable changes to the will. Even though grandma couldn't remember people, and couldn't remember things she said to you two minutes ago, my aunt refused to have her declared incompetent, because that way, she could legally say grandma was competent when she "requested" the changes to the will. My aunt steadfastly refused to ask for help with my grandma, and at times adamantly refused to let my mom or I help with grandma, so that she could say she did all the work herself.
Something else my aunt did while she had power of attorney was cash in every bond and CD that my grandmother had put away, and put them all in the bank account that she controlled. This includes CD's/bonds that grandma had set aside for me to inherit. I don't know how much money it comes out to- my aunt won't tell us- but it sure would have helped me with paying back taxes to the IRS, and generally getting out of the financial hole I have fallen into, thanks to our economy that is "not a recession." As far as I know, this money is now in the trust with everything else, slated to be split between my mom and my aunt, and it is not an inconsiderable sum. We're talking about somewhere between $250K-$500K. That's right: a quarter million to a half million dollars.
I don't care about that though. I really don't. Partially because the money's not real to me. It's never been in my hands, I've never had any control of it, and my aunt has effectively cut me off from it...although I'm not sure why. My assumption is that it boils down to "the love of money is the root of all evil" (take note: the love of money, not money itself- it's a considerable distinction). My aunt wants more of the pie, so she cut me out, and set up the will so that the split between her and mom is 55/45, in my aunt's favor. It's not just the cash though. My aunt is sifting through everything my grandmother has ever owned, trying to figure out how to get the most cash out of those things too.
This includes things that my mom and I were supposed to receive, and this is the part that matters to me. Before my grandmother died, my aunt asked my mom and I what we wanted, of grandma's stuff. My list was small:
- I had some things stored in grandma's basement, that got packed up and stored with everything else that was in her house. I wanted that stuff. It's not even grandma's stuff, it's mine. As far as I can remember of what was stored, I'm pretty sure I've gotten all of that back, but one box took awhile to show up, and I'm pretty sure that's because my aunt had given it away or claimed it for herself, and had to get it back.
- There were some things that I gave grandma as presents. I'd like to get those back. Most of those have come back to me, and can be seen in previous blogs. There's a few bird statues that haven't turned up yet, but I'm not sure I mind. There's a little cardinal that I would still like to find. It cost about two dollars, if I remember correctly, but it was all I could afford that year, and grandma wrote my name on the bottom of it, that it was from me. ...And she always seemed so pleased with it. It's a silly little item, but I remember her smile when I think of it. I'd like it back. These are items that I bought, and there has been no real objection to me getting them back, so I've mostly gotten them back pretty easily.
- I asked for a chance to go through grandma's books. I'm particularly interested in her dictionaries and encyclopedias- especially the ones she kept in her living room, and referred to often. So far, the only ones that have turned up were ones that were almost completely fallen apart, and ones that were musty and overtaken with mildew. I might be able to salvage them with some careful work. The good ones though- ones that could possibly bring money in a sale (i.e. a sale set up by my aunt, where she would get half the money)- have mysteriously not turned up yet. They're supposedly in one of the storage sheds we haven't gotten to yet- sheds that she hasn't let me or my mom see. The books are minor, really. They're just nostalgic items I'd like to have.
- One of the last two item's is grandpa's gun. My grandfather used to hunt, and when I was nine, he showed me a rifle, and told me that I could have it when I was sixteen, and he would take me hunting. My grandfather (both grandfathers, actually) died when I was ten, I never got the gun, and as dad didn't hunt, I never learned to hunt either. I've only ever fired a handgun once (at an old spray paint can) so it's not like I use guns. I just want the gun because it's something grandpa said I could have, and I don't have too many reminders of him. ...It's why dreams of him are so special.
- The last item is a sword that grandma said I could have. Something else my grandfather used to do was auctioneer at estate auctions. He was good- the fast talking auctioneer type that makes people laugh to hear it, but you can still understand what he had to say. He had a sword in the living room closet, likely from one of those sales, that I ran across as a child. It had a horse head on the hilt, and it fascinated me. I wanted it from the moment I saw it, but grandma wouldn't let me touch it, because she was afraid I'd hurt myself (or hurt someone else) so that was the end of it- I didn't play with it. Years later though, as an adult, I asked about it, grandma said she'd find it and give it to me, and I asked about it again later. She still said she'd give it to me, but it didn't happen before she started forgetting stuff. I want the sword mostly because grandma said I could have it, and a little because it's a connection to my childhood.
That's the list: my stuff, my gifts to grandma, grandma's books, grandpa's gun, and grandma's sword. Not a lot to ask, and note that nowhere on that list do I mention the money that grandma was leaving me. The money really isn't important to me. It's just that it seems to be the basis of my aunt's deplorable actions, and that's terribly, terribly disappointing.
The gun and the sword are becoming a source of irritation that is pissing me off beyond all reason though. My aunt's boyfriend/ finace ...officially, he's the fiance, but my aunt has privately confided that she'll never marry him- they're screwed up like that... but anyway... he collects swords. And he wants mine. Actually, he has mine. My aunt started playing a shell game with it. First, it was, "We've only seen one sword, but it doesn't have a horse head on it, it looks more like a lion." Then it was (to my mom), "Well, ask him which sword it is, because we've found three." Then it was two, and two is currently where the story is staying.
There's a similar shell game going on with the gun- there's three of those now too- but the difference is I can't really describe it to her, because I don't know enough about guns. It looked old back then, and I might know it when I see it. If the gun is as old as I think it is, it will probably sell, and I think my aunt has taken it to sell, planning to pass another shotgun off on me. That's frustrating, but ultimately, there's nothing I can do about it. I simply don't remember enough about the gun, and if she's hidden it, where would I find it?
She's given the sword to her boyfriend, and he doesn't want to give it up, so she's tried to pass off the sword with the lion head as the sword I am "misremembering." So I got that sword Tuesday night, and it's a cheap piece of crap that literally says "Made In India" on the blade, and bears no resemblance to the sword I remember. She gave it to my mom to bring to me, and when mom saw it, she even said it didn't look like the sword she remembered. My aunt immediately went to, "If he's going to piss and moan about it... bitchgripebitch." This has turned into my mom and aunt having it out over their own issues, and my aunt has displayed behavior so ludicrously childish that I don't even want to include it here. ...Family drama sucks.