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About Clematis

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  • Your gender
  • Location (city, state)
    Sedona, AZ
  • Interests
    Lena (my therapy cat), Playing music (cello, ukulele, classical guitar, etc.), Watercolors, Ceramics, Flowers-growing and painting them

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  • Your relationship to the individual who died
  • Date of Death
  • Name/Location of Hospice if they were involved:
    Hospice Compassus Sedona, AZ

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  1. My father's ashes

    I bet it looked pretty cool... It is Erev Rosh Hashanah and it seems extra sad to be alone. But maybe it's not so bad. My neighbor made me brownies for a sweet new year (and she isn't even Jewish - she just knows that I am...), and of course I have my new job, which is a blessing in spite of the ups and downs. Nevertheless, I miss my dad. Even though he wasn't Jewish - I am a convert - these occasions were warmer spent with him, and they feel colder and lonelier without him.
  2. My father's ashes

    It's funny - several people have told me I should tint the windows. I'm not planning on it, because the aftermarket stuff seems to peel off in AZ, but I think what you mentioned was what they had in mind...
  3. My father's ashes

    Today is the five-year-anniversary of "Lena Adoption Day", the day I adopted Lena. I sure love that cat! I don't know how I would ever make it without her-so glad I don't have to. I had a dream a couple of weeks ago that I was was wading through a flooded street in Houston with Lena in my arms. It was getting dark and the water was about waist high. Every now and then I would stumble or something and she would suddenly be out of my arms and in the water swimming. I'd see her black little form in the water and scoop her out and back into my arms. Every time I would get her back in my arms she would be fluffy dry and warm again. It happened over and over again. When I woke up it occurred to me that this dream is kind of like my work in the schools. Things seem a little edgy, then it feels totally out of control, and then everything is ok again. Over and over and over until summer vacation. Last week was the Picking in the Pines Bluegrass festival; I camped in the woods with people I have known through been camping together up there for the last ten years. It was a little difficult doing all the tasks of packing, setting up, taking down, and unpacking at home with "Trigger thumb" - like I have only a hand-and-a-half. But lots of people helped me and it was great to see everybody. I have a great kitchen that I set up in a screen house. Here are two photos of Bob (the tuna boat/Mercury), Mister Cello, the screen house, and my tent. I have been really loving driving my daddy's car...
  4. My father's ashes

    But for now, I am working hard at being successful at my new job. There is sure a lot to do there! Lots of kids with lots of problems. I have my dad's picture there with me in my office smiling as a young man next to my printer. It helps me to cheerfully go about getting things done.
  5. My father's ashes

    Thanks, Kay. That's true. I came to the conclusion that my entire family was crazy and moved across the country to get away from all of them when I was 23. As it turned out, my father was the least crazy part of it and it was a wonderful thing that I was able to spend the last ten years of his life not only with him but far from the rest of the craziness. You are so right about the not seeing they need help part. Personality disorders differ from other psychological disorders in several related ways that come together in their being hard to treat. People with personality disorders think the rest of the world has a problem - not them - and so they don't seek treatment of any kind and meds don't work anyway. They are not made miserable by their problem as much as the people surrounding them are made miserable by their behaviors, and this is nowhere else as true as with borderline and narcissistic personality disorders. Being so far away has kept me fairly free of their sticky icky webs, but handling my father's estate has necessitated dealing with them. I am being paid to deal with them just like I have been paid to deal with clients with personality issues. But with clients, I have always been very good at leaving their problems at work. This is different. Dealing with people with these issues always gives me with a feeling that I have dipped my hands into some goopy stuff with the consistency of raw eggs and no matter how hard I try I can't get it off - I just get more stuck. I even get this feeling when listening to someone talk about someone I don't even know who has these issues. I get away from it as soon as I can, but with my sisters the feeling lingers...
  6. My father's ashes

    Sorry to hear about your sister problems. I wish so much that things could be better with mine and I always end up feeling responsible in some way - unrealistic as that is - when things go badly. D would never be happy with how much money she got, even if she got 100% of it there would be some problem. Because she got all that money earlier she got less now and she sees no connection. S was terrified to get involved with any if it because she was afraid it would be an icky mess. So she got me to handle it while she went "off the grid" as she called it for the entire weekend. I hate to think of what may evolve when one or both of my sisters have dementia to go along with their personality disorders - and both of them are headed for it, one with early signs and a history of alcoholism, and the other has Parkinson's. No one calls S's heavy drinking alcoholism, but three of four drinks on a normal day, more for special occasions, keeping wine stashed at work, leaving an event with no alcohol to run to her studio and grab a drink and driving back...most people don't drink like that-I sure don't. And when D sent me all those icky messages, well it was at a time that I know she would be having a glass of wine...or two...or more. We had an interesting conversation when I was back east to bury my father's ashes. They were talking about getting a buzz from alcohol. S said something, I said I get a buzz from a small amount of anything, and D said that she didn't get a buzz until she had had so much to drink that she was definitely going to get a hangover. I was startled and looked and her and said, "Oh, you have a high alcohol tolerance." She looked rather startled and we dropped it. My dad was definitely an alcoholic, but he stopped towards the end of his life because it no longer made him feel good...
  7. My father's ashes

    Thanks, Marty. I don't feel guilty but I have felt very angry. I haven't done anything wrong. D eventually did say that she was not challenging me. I suppose that what she was actually doing was simply "talking crap"... fabricating nonsense to get a rise out of me. She finally stopped and said she was willing to sign the release letter after I pointed out that she is actually paying me to respond to her nonsense. It's one thing to annoy your sister for the heck of it, but quite another to pay by the hour to annoy your sister, and make your other sister pay as well for you to entertain yourself by yanking your sister's chain. As to finding a way to stop feeling the need to explain and defend myself, that is a long and deeply rooted issue from a childhood of being attacked from all sides. I'm not sure where to even start...Maybe becoming more aware of self-talk when I feel threatened? I'm not sure. That might be it...What do you think?
  8. My father's ashes

    I know from my experience with the attorney that she only wants to communicate with me, since as the executor of the estate she is essentially working for me. If my sister hires an attorney, then she can talk to that attorney. What I did is remind D that I am working for the estate and anything I do in that capacity, including communicate with her, is something that she and S and I are paying $40/hour for. Since D gets 17% and S gets 33%, that means that they pay respectively $6.80 and $13.20 per hour to me to quibble, argue, and take pot shots. If I need to consult with the attorney on dealing with them, the estate will pay $235 per hour for her time as well as $40 per hour of my time for us to discuss what to do, and then $40 per hour for me to do whatever is agreed upon. I asked her to leave me alone, as I find it extremely stressful to be in the middle of her nastiness and S's pressure to get her the money ASAP. I really don't think the S, who is extremely financially challenged, wants to pay $13.20 per hour for me to respond to D's derogatory criticism. I am hoping that D and her husband who is an attorney in Delaware doing corporate work for a drug company are able to get some clarity. I have done nothing wrong. I told D that the person she is really hurting is S. I also told her that if she wants to blow off steam she should do it with someone else. Not me. I think D's real problem is that she is only getting 17% of the estate and she got a similar amount of the life insurance money. She went to my father in 2007 and told him she was eager to leave her first husband. (After the money ran out she realized he was a sociopath). She told my dad that if he would buy her a house, she would buy it back when she and her ex sold their house (as in mansion) and the related 5 lots. She neglected to tell him that they had refinanced the house and four of the lots to pull out the equity more than once and therefore it was under water. Eventually the fifth lot sold but it was separate so the bank could not access the money for the bad loan. The money went to D and her ex. D spent her part on a sports car, posted it on Facebook but pulled the photo when she realized our father had access to Facebook. Meanwhile, she was not paying the rent she had agreed on with my dad - the amount of the mortgage. She paid it when she could and felt like it. By the time it was all over and my dad was able to sell the house because she had moved to Delaware to be with her current husband, he had laid out over $120,000 on that house. He found out that she had moved and the house had become essentially a crash-pad for her youngest daughter to live in unsupervised by the grapevine and not because she told him. So she got less in the end from the estate. S still got a third, and I got half of the estate because I had taken care of him for ten years. The truth is that all things considered, D probably got the most money of the three of us. But she doesn't see it like that and is disgruntled. Legally, it doesn't really matter why he decided to leave her with less. It was his prerogative and he made his own decisions. I think that one the years he was increasingly saddened by the reality that he hardly ever heard from either of them unless they needed money. By the end he was saying that he was going to leave me everything. I thought that would cause even more problems and I kept telling him, "No, you're not". I was a little worried, but realized that at that point that he would be unlikely to do that unless I made the appointment with the attorney, reminded him, and took him there. I think my sisters are lucky to get what they are getting, but as a psychotherapist friend keeps reminding me they are both extreme narcissists and it is what I should expect. Meanwhile, I miss my dad every day. I have been wearing his pocket watch every day - it was his father's and a college graduation present to my dad. It helps me feel closer to him. The crystal came off one day this week and I panicked, but was able to find it and get it cemented back on. I also have a photo of him in my office that reminds me of all the things I learned from him that have helped me in my career. I wish he was with me now. He probably is, but I am too upset to hear him.
  9. My father's ashes

    The attorney will send them the release letters; if they sign and return them they release me from my obligations and there is nothing more to say. If D balks or fights, S will be delayed in getting her money and she is sounding pretty desperate. I told S that she should talk to D and advocate for herself - to persuade D to accept the status and hurry it up. S's response was basically "Why me?" Why wouldn't I fight D for her and get D to do what S wants without her having to be involved in anything unpleasant? It's really hard to figure which one of them is worse. D is so icky, and challenging me with a bunch of fabricated mumbo jumbo. And S always talking about she is a "Beta" personality and hates conflict; that means someone else should fight her battles for her and make sure she gets what she wants without getting her hands dirty. Both of them are really adolescents, in spite of their ages. I think you're probably right, Marty. I should stop responding and reacting to them. The attorney will send the release letters. If she gets them back, the money will be disbursed and it will all be over. If D won't sign, and S is that desperate, S should take it up with D herself. If D doesn't like being pushed to do this quickly, she should take it up with S for pushing and stop taking pot shots at me.
  10. My father's ashes

    Then things got worse. D sent me some messages advising me (after looking at the numbers I sent to her) that I had grossly mishandled the estate's funds, using numbers that are not connected to reality. She also said that it was too much money to "empty a small home". This is what she knows about settling an estate. I suppose that had she been named the executor she probably would have hired an estate sales business to liquidate everything. But that clearly was not what my father wanted. After about two minutes, I realized that she has used the numbers I gave her to consult with her new husband, who is an attorney in another state in another specialty of law. I wrote her back with the old quote, "Free legal advice isn't worth what you pay for it" and the fact that lawyers specialize within their area and state and typically know very little about other states and specialties. (I learned this from our dad, but apparently she wasn't listening). I also told her that I have been consulting all along with an attorney (and paying her) who specializes in will, estate, and trust law in Arizona, and she has assured me all along that what I am doing is entirely correct and legal. I concluded by telling her that it is entirely her legal right to challenge the handling of the estate, but it will be ugly, expensive, and time consuming. Furthermore, the person that will hurt the most is our other sister, who is in desperate need.
  11. My father's ashes

    D sent a message to S and I that said "This is fine". Then she sent another message saying, "$(random amount-don't know where she got the number) seems like so much money to empty a small home." In case anyone wondered why D wasn't selected to handle the estate, I believed I was handling an estate and she thought my job was to "empty a small home." It made me really angry.During my father's last years, everyone and their brother told me that Daddy should be in assisted living, with sister D being on the top of the list of these unsolicited advisors. I did everything possible to make sure that he lived at home until the end because that was what he wanted, no matter what kind of chaos that created in his house, my house, and my health. Early on several people (in hospice and residential facilities) advised me that had we gone with assisted living, there would be no money left to squabble over - it would all be gone. Since I had endeavored to keep him at home, there was money left. I was advised that we should all view that money as a bonus that I had earned, and I passed that opinion along to my sisters. They had little response to that, and now D seems to have completely forgotten it. This is a woman with a lifelong "princess" mentality...aka narcissistic entitlement. I don't know why I should expect anything different from her. I should keep reminding myself that my sisters both function like adolescents and that she is just slinging mud. This seems like a very provocative comment. I did not respond to it.
  12. My father's ashes

    I went through the checkbook I have been using to pay his expenses and my recollections of everything else and put this all in a spreadsheet, which I emailed to both of them. Since S has a broken computer and cannot access Excel, I also printed it out, took a photo with my cell phone and texted that to both of them as well, with an explanation that if they want an exact detailed accounting it is going to take some time - hint-a LONG time - because basically I don't want to do it and don't really have the time. I would have kept more careful records all along had I not had a head injury, but I did. It's just the reality that the person handling the estate had a head injury and marginal functioning for a long time. Anyway, they both agreed to just accept that and keep things moving along. This is sort of a compromise - and one that is reasonable for everyone. They get some information, S can get her check right away, and I am released from my responsibilities on this. Big relief.
  13. My father's ashes

    I think maybe what I should do is create a spreadsheet with estimates that are fairly close to give them an idea of where the money went and tell them that if they need exact numbers to the penny I can do that but it will take awhile... I really want to be done with this, and probably they do as well
  14. My father's ashes

    So...one sister, S, wants the money ASAP - like overnight mailing of docs - and the other sister, D, wants an accounting of exactly where the money went. She said that she is "just curious". That is their legal right, but it would take me some time to pull that together. I was keeping careful track of that before I had a car accident and a head injury, but after that I just did what I had to do and tried to survive. I told D to talk to S. We'll see how D's "curiosity" balances out with her concern for her sisters. S is really in a jam and D is comfortable financially with her new husband. She wanted to know if I couldn't just write S a check and settle it later. The attorney advised me against this sort of thing a long time ago, telling me that it was really in my best interest to leave enough money intact so that everyone would just agree so that they could get their money rather than nitpicking in a way that causes a significant delay. I feel like my head is going to explode.
  15. My father's ashes

    I have started my new job and all is well, but I miss my dad every day. Nevertheless, I carry him with me. I hear his comments as I go about my day and I know that he is proud of me - that after all I went through I ended up with this great job and am back in the retirement system, with good health insurance, and all that. I have taken to wearing his pocket watch that belonged to his father and was given to my dad as a college graduation gift. I wear it on a beautiful gold chain as a necklace. I think he would like that. I have also been driving his old Mercury Grand Marquis much more than my Corolla; it's like having him drive me to work while we both lounge on the sofa. Today I found out the brakes need a repair that is about $1000, and his commend was, "You have to fix the brakes...you'll figure out where to find the money". I am getting close to getting his estate closed and settled. That means paying the final bills, running it past my sisters and hoping they don't make waves, and all that. For some reason I feel suddenly filled with anxiety and grief - more than before. Maybe that makes sense; I don't know. Lena has been extra sweet and companionable. I sure love that cat...I don't know how I would have gotten through any of this without her.