Monday, January 11, 2010

Yay for work!

There is nothing that feels as good as having work, being productive, using the skills that God and a good education gave you and allowed you to develop, and learning new things from students to boot.

'Twas a good day today. Maybe 2010 will indeed be a better year?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Holiday depression crap

As I get older, I dislike the holidays more. Not because I don't like or believe in the reason for the season—I know that over two thousand years ago, a remarkable man was born mortal but under extraordinary circumstances, and that this man had gifts and abilities that we have not had on this planet since. Unfortunately I don't think we remember this is why we have this holiday, and it's become something else, a time of reflection I suppose.

Today my daughter left open her Facebook page to her cousin, my deceased sister's daughter. I do not consider this young woman to be my niece, but it's her choice. She has totally embraced my deceased father's widow and her family as her family—something I cannot do. This girl posted a bunch of Christmas photos taken with my father's widow and her children. It was like a stab to the heart. They celebrated the holiday in the huge house my father built his second wive; it's a 4 or 5 bedroom home, and it was built for the two of them, plus plenty of extra bedrooms for "visiting family." My father has been dead longer than he was married to this woman, yet she continues to live like a queen, and her daughters continue to benefit from their mother's good fortune to marry an older man who fortunately for her, died and left a crummy will.

I look at those photos of that house and see no sign that my father lived there. The furniture is not what was there when he was alive, except for the ebony baby grand piano that no one is able to play. There were gifts strewn about everywhere. Everyone is wearing nice clothes.

When I was a kid, my father was quite thrifty, and drummed it into my head that we were sacrificing for the future, that he in his old age would not want for anything and that his children would have his investments to help them to live comfortably long after he was gone. I believed everything my father said. I did what he asked. I did not report him to the cops when he hit me when I was a teenager, convinced I was a slut (believe me I wasn't). When my father remarried, his new wife was quite a bit younger than he, and I was warned by a co-worker that she was a golddigger, out for the money. But what could I do about it? Nothing.

Her three daughters became his perfect new family. He took them on vacations to Mexico, Hawaii, and places I don't know about. Vacations we did not take when I was a kid because we were sacrificing for the future. They had designer clothes; we had mail-order clothes from Spiegel. They had anything they wanted; when I was a kid we couldn't afford it.

One constant was the promise that there would be a piece of property for each of my paternal grandparent's grandkids—that promise had been made by my grandparents, understood by my father and uncle. But my dad kept stalling, saying he needed to transfer the property in the most beneficial manner tax-wise. A couple of years before he became ill, we decided on which lot he would deed to me, and I had house plans drawn up. My father knew I wanted to have a place to keep horses. My dad had also had numerous conversations with me regarding his estate, his wishes, and how I was to be executor even though I wasn't so crazy about the idea.

He wanted his widow to have income from certain investments, and I agreed that was the right thing to do. However, there were certain real estate investments he wanted held in trust to benefit his heirs, and that included an apartment complex, mobile home park, the 350+ acre ranch owned by my family from before my birth, the house I grew up in and the house he built to be held in trust.

Long story short, that's not what happened, and I had to endure my father's widow telling the cops that I'd made a death threat against her while his last-minute non-attorney written will was being probated. It was easier for me to leave the area rather than deal with her threats and accusations. She lives on $12K a month, most of that from his investments and his social security benefits. I am having a good month if I earn $3K. Usually it is quite less than that.

While my father was alive, I never asked him for money. My siblings did. I should have gotten a piece of the pie while he was still alive; I'd have at least gotten something. As it is, I don't have the promised acreage, and my beloved horses are gone. I thank my father for his cruelty and mind-fucking abilities daily. (note sarcasm)

It's not healthy to wish ill on someone. It's also not healthy for a kid, even if that kid is an adult, to not be able to remember one truthful thing a parent has said to her. But I cannot help wish that somehow something my father said would become the truth. I look at those photos and feel a hollow emptiness toward my father that is not healthy, and his widow has done her level best to keep me feeling that way.

Someday her lies will come back on her, and she will be made to face up to her greed and cruelty, if not this life, the next. And my sister's daughter hopefully never needs her mother's blood family for any reason.

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