Blood is NOT thicker than water…

[A note to readers…this is very long, and very emo­tion­al, so at times it may not make sense, and I apol­o­gize. There is also so much I am leav­ing out.…I’m just emo­tion­al­ly drained.]

I woke up today miss­ing my phone. It wasn’t on my night stand.

I asked Amy where it was and she said she took it and would only give it back if I promised I wouldn’t reply back to an email I got. Which meant only one thing…my father’s broth­er emailed me.

This is what I received:

Since I am the One and only heir of the [Your father’s] estate, I have tak­en pho­tographs of all of his house­hold goods and items. Any­thing miss­ing from his estate with be a crim­i­nal charge. Any items miss­ing will be a police mat­ter and a civ­il law­suit.

Just try me Bert. If that TV is gone, I will kick your punk ass.

This is noth­ing new to me.

For years grow­ing up this man would ver­bal­ly abuse me and call me names like “fag­got”, “Fairy” and “Lit­tle Lord Fontleroy” (which I guess was to be an insult, and while I haven’t read the sto­ry by Frances Hodg­son Bur­nett, what I can tell from Wikipedia, it doesn’t sound like it is any­thing like what he intend­ed it to mean.)

It got worse as years went on, to the point that this man (who is much old­er than my father and act­ed like a father to my dad) was even able to coerce my father to also join in on the name call­ing.

What kind of an ani­mal do you need to be to make some­one else treat their own child that way?

I got enough name call­ing, and abuse from school, my home should have been a safe haven…and it wasn’t. My moth­er tried all she could to pro­tect me, and she taught me the val­ue of love and treat­ing peo­ple fair­ly. For that I am eter­nal­ly grateful…with that I can end the dread­ed cycle of abuse and make sure my own chil­dren NEVER go through what I did.

But I made my peace with all that. I’ve made peace with my dad. I under­stand his own his­to­ry and know that he can’t stand up to his broth­er (who is much old­er than my father and act­ed like a father to my dad, when their own father left them at ear­ly ages). He has his own issues to deal with. I for­give him.

Once I moved out of my par­ents house, I elim­i­nat­ed all con­tact with my father’s broth­er. Once when I had chil­dren of my own, we went over there when he “hap­pened” to be there and he start­ed call­ing my old­est son “sparky”…and wouldn’t stop when I told him to. I knew were it was head­ed, so we left and have made sure that we are nev­er there when he is there.

For years my father and Grand­moth­er would beg me to “for­give” him and if I would only “APOLOGIZE” to him (for WHAT!? He should apol­o­gize to me!) that he is very gen­er­ous to fam­i­ly and I am miss­ing out. But they wouldn’t lis­ten when I would remind them what he did to me. They would try and invite us over and not tell us that he would be in town…when he would show up unexpected…we would leave.

What frus­trates me the most is that just when I think I am “free” and have heard the last word from him…he does some­thing like this to just bring back all the mem­o­ries of the hurt in the past and the ques­tions of “what did I ever do to you to deserve this?”.

That is real­ly the one thing I real­ly want to know. What did I ever do to him to deserve being treat­ed this way?

My moth­er (more than any­one) taught me that fam­i­ly is every­thing. Being from a poor fam­i­ly (my dad’s side was accus­tomed to being “well off”, even though they endured their hard­ships too), my mother’s fam­i­ly had extremem­ly lit­tle. She taught me that its the peo­ple more than the “things” that count.

Over the years I could eas­i­ly see that my dad’s side of the fam­i­ly is about buy­ing love. Where my mother’s fam­i­ly is about giv­ing love. So that is what I have tried to do over the years. Give love and give kind­ness as much as I could to every­one, not just fam­i­ly. No one should ever feel down­trod­ded or “bought out”.

When I under­stood that my sis­ter had a real men­tal hand­i­cap, and saw the unhealthy life my par­ents lived, I resigned myself to the fact that I would not have a life of my own.

AT AGE 15, I real­ized that my life DIDN’T mat­ter and that it was up TO ME and ME ALONE to take care of my fam­i­ly as they got old­er and that was going to be “my” life from then on.

Since I was the last of the Gill/Jones line on this side, I knew that I would need to have a fam­i­ly to keep the line going and that I would need to be some­what suc­cess­ful in life because I would need to care for not only my elder par­ents, but my elder sis­ter as well, when the time came.

No child should have to resign them­selves to that kind of life at AGE 15! I should still have been able to dream, to not have to wor­ry about any­thing. By the fol­low­ing year, my hair had already start­ed to slow­ly go grey.

But I did, and I did what I could from then on to be the “gold­en child” for my fam­i­ly.

I am there when my dad needs tech­ni­cal help with any of his office stuff, Amy is there to help make break­fast for him and check up on him every­day dur­ing the school year (and spo­rad­i­cal­ly dur­ing the sum­mer when the kids allow). My moth­er lives with us, because she can’t live on her own. She can­not han­dle man­ag­ing finances, my dad han­dled all that, it would freak her out.

I even have gone back to col­lege to get my bachelor’s degree, because no one else in my fam­i­ly has and I promised my grand­moth­er and great-aunt that I would. I am try­ing to bet­ter myself for my fam­i­ly. I have had suc­cess­ful jobs, that haven’t made me rich, but they have been ful­fill­ing jobs that have all taught me so much and have bet­tered me in some way. My cur­rent job isn’t glo­ri­ous, but I have a sense of pur­pose there and feel I can real­ly make a dif­fer­ence.

But the thing that gets me the most about all this…I don’t ask for any­thing. My cur­rent home, Amy and I got ON OUR OWN. My 2001 Mini­van we BOUGHT ON OUR OWN brand new, off the lot with only 6 miles on it…and had it until a kid crashed into me in 2009. My Sun­dance I had paid for on my own. My entire Senior year, after years of fight­ing with my dad for school funds, I paid for every­thing for school: year­book (2 actu­al­ly, one for my best friend), school dances, All night senior par­ty, t-shirts, lunch­es, school sup­plies, etc. I had a job, so I took care of myself.

I don’t ask for gas or gro­ceries (although my dad does offer). I don’t ask for mon­ey (except twice when I was out of work and need­ed to make a mort­gage pay­ment). Hell, when my dad was in a car acci­dent and was out of work, Amy and I moved into their home and MADE THEIR ENTIRE FIRST MORTGAGE PAYMENT and helped pay for util­i­ties, for them each month, so my par­ents wouldn’t loose their home.Yes over the years he or my grand­moth­er would slip me mon­ey, or offer to buy gro­ceries, or repair our car, or buy gas…but there is a dif­fer­ence in offer­ing and ask­ing.

Yet, peo­ple seemed to for­get that and think that all I want from any­one is mon­ey or things. I could care less. Mon­ey isn’t important.It’s the peo­ple!

I won’t lie, and say it wouldn’t be nice to have some­thing if my dad passed away. It would help me sup­port my family…notice that last word…FAMILY. Not for me. But for my kids. If there was any mon­ey to come my way, I would try and put col­lege funds togeth­er for them, if there was enough…if not, then it would per­haps help pay the bills for a few months.

And yes, there are some mate­r­i­al things I would love to have, but only because they hold mem­o­ries for me. Their sen­ti­men­tal. Their things I grew up with as a child and have such very fond mem­o­ries for. For instance a small mag­net­ic pedestal chess set that my grand­moth­er taught me how to play chess on. But they’re not that impor­tant to me. I have the mem­o­ries.

But get­ting emails like this, that paint me as some greedy per­son, which I am not, just chaps my ass. Espe­cial­ly since my father sur­rounds him­self with peo­ple that ARE GREEDY and are only being friend­ly to him, because he has spout­ed that his moth­er and aunt had money…so they think they may be able to get a piece of the pie by being his friend.

Here I am at times strug­gling to make ends meet, and not ask­ing for help, yet these wolves prowl in and actu­al­ly demand things from him…and he just hands them over.

I’m start­ing to try and “un-resign” myself to the life I had pic­tured at age 15. My sis­ter is married…she has some­one to take care of her…so there is one wor­ry off my list…and my moth­er lives with us…so no real wor­ry there…all that is left is my dad…and I don’t know what to do.

Do I con­tin­ue to give my ener­gy to him and his sit­u­a­tion, only to have every­one else around him, whis­per in his ear that I am this greedy per­son and doesn’t deserve anything…or do I just walk away from it all. Con­cen­trate on my own life (and my own fam­i­ly of course) and just let the wolves move in for the kill? And if there is any­thing “to be had” allow it to just pass by…allow a lega­cy to be tak­en by oth­ers, instead of secured for my chil­dren (his grand chil­dren)?

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3 Responses to Blood is NOT thicker than water…

  1. Steph says:

    I think many things about this post.

    What is sad and dis­ap­point­ing is the man­ner in which this per­son expressed their frus­tra­tion, threat and anger towards you in such a cow­ard­ly, pas­sive-aggres­sive man­ner. Email? Sir, try grow­ing up and join­ing the adult world where we tact­ful­ly get our point across with­out hav­ing to low­er the bar to this kind of garbage.

    Sec­ond­ly, it’s sad that there doesn’t seem to be much con­cern about the fact that there are oth­er fam­i­ly mem­bers involved than just him­self. How unthought­ful. Estate issues are dif­fi­cult ones. They gen­er­al­ly bring for­ward the actu­al per­son instead of the super­fi­cial one that mas­quer­ades around.

    Ask your dad what his wish­es are. Respect them. Help him when you can. But focus on your imme­di­ate fam­i­ly and sur­round your­self with pos­i­tive ener­gy that pro­vides you with some emo­tion­al pro­tec­tion from wolves like this. You’ll be bet­ter off in the end and will have bet­ter mem­o­ries of great moments.

  2. Alex says:

    …I kept think­ing about this last night.….people like that just blow my mind…

    I also had a cou­ple of thoughts that might be help­ful. My father has no sib­lings or oth­er rel­a­tives and after my mom died he had to redo his will. Have you talked with your dad about his will?
    My dad gave me a detailed print­out of where things were, who to con­tact and how to go about a few things. He made David execu­tor, put me on his check­ing account, cars etc. He has a stand­by deed to the house with my name on it that would just need to be filed (I don’t under­stand the legal­i­ty of it but it was rec­om­mend­ed to him). I have his pow­er of attor­ney and if any­thing hap­pens to him phys­i­cal­ly or men­tal­ly the deci­sions all come down to me. If he has wish­es it is us who would car­ry those out — and my sib­ling does not have any access to the house.

    Those kinds of things may be things to talk about with your dad (if you can) and tell him/show him the email from his broth­er and express your con­cerns to him. To my knowl­edge his broth­er has no legal rights to any­thing your father owns so really.…all he’s doing is whip­pin out his willy to try and prove some­thing.

    I’m sor­ry your uncle is such a jerk. Some­one in your sta­tus made com­ment about the dif­fer­ence between rel­a­tives and fam­i­ly is that you choose your fam­i­ly. It’s true. Most of my rel­a­tives don’t acknowl­edge I exist — I don’t think of them as fam­i­ly. Focus on your fam­i­ly and how­ev­er it works out, focus on the good parts as frost­ing on the life YOU built. 🙂

    • Bert says:

      Alex, I’ve had a few talks with my dad, regard­ing his will and his wish­es. I told him him, that out of every­one in his imme­diate fam­i­ly, that it real­ly comes down to me to make sure his wish­es are car­ried out, (no offense to my sis­ter, but I have a more fis­cal head on my shoul­ders and under­stand legal doc­u­ments bet­ter than her) and ask­ing him to sit down with me so we can go over what he has, where he wants it to go, etc.

      I do know that before his mom passed away, that he did redo his will (to include her funds, as he should) and I believe he willed every­thing to his broth­er (if his broth­er pass­es first, then every­thing shifts to us kids). So legal­ly, as far as I know he does have a right to every­thing.

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