April 23rd, 2004

charlie 2012 beige

About Sister Sue (and Misc.)

Just a quick post--hopefully sans drama. (Or with as little drama as possible, anyway.)

We had a major 'family woes' situation last week. Basically (without much detail) Sue's going to have to declare bankruptcy.

She retired early with a good deal of money. Enough to keep her comfortable for the rest of her life, anyway. Or so we thought.

Now she's almost out of money.

I personally place a lot of that at the door of her two (bascially worthless) kids, my niece Candy and nephew Larry.

Candy left her husband, took her child (now six) Nicole and cat Saxon and moved in with Sue. Larry envied that a great deal, and finally had a (supposed) breakdown and is now 'officially' crazy. Oh, I could sugarcoat it and call it by better names, but I don't feel like bothering.

Note that both Candy and Larry have used pot heavily since high school. They both have weight problems--Larry's is severe.

Larry is 'bipolar'--often depressed and believes much of the time that he's the second coming of Christ. When he's not over the top religious he's often vulgar and foul. He's a big guy, so he has the potential for violence.

His wife never much liked the members of our family or was able to fit into it. She's a bitch, pure and simple. She's almost never had a friend she could keep since childhood. Nor a job that worked out once they got to know her.

This is going into far too much detail about 'the kids,' so I'll skip more detail. Let's just say that these so-called kids are in their 30's now. Neither is employed. Sue's been footing the bill to keep them going. Candy and daughter and Larry plus wife, teenage daughter (not Larry's) and young daughter.

Sue's practically broke.

She didn't buy a house when she retired. She got her mobile home and (expensive) space. Her combined house payment plus monthly space rent is roughly twice what we pay for our home every month. (But Sue told us she 'couldn't afford' a house.)

There's no way we can afford to pay for her to have an apartment, much less attempt to pay her house/space payments. Can't do it.

We could potentially have her move in here, I suppose. But that would mean I'd at least have to empty and vacate my bedroom.

Don't get me wrong. This is the first home I've lived in where I've had a bedroom of my own. I certainly could give it up, I suppose. But what I'd do with all that stuff, I've no clue.

I spent one day last week trying to figure out how I could empty the closet (very, very full closet) in our office so I could put my clothes there. Then where in hell would I put my dressers? (And all the other stuff in there.) Sigh.

Aside from space, though we love Sue we have little or nothing in common with her. She's ten years older than me. (Meaning 12 years older than Marilyn.) Her interests are very different than ours.

There's more to relate, but I'll let it go. I'm certainly not going to forget this any time soon--and anyone reading gets the idea.

Skip forward to this week...

Monday Sue got the results of the new version blood test she had last week (they took five vials, screwed up and had to take more later last Thursday, seeing as she was leaving early Friday morning for her cribbage tournament in Prineville).

The results were bad. Her congestive heart failure is far worse than before (which was bad enough). The doctor took her off hormone replacement--which she's been on for years. She's already on an anti-depressant, but he's planning to increase it. He's changed around her meds to try and improve things.

She's been down ever since. I was on the phone with her five (or more) times yesterday alone. She was crying (sometimes sobbing) almost every time.

I spent 12 hours with her on Wednesday.

Sue is basically physically incapacitated (for the most part) by her combined weight and health issues. She has a disabled parking permit and can barely walk around a store to shop (leaning on a shopping basket for support).

Often we shop together. That way she drives to where we're going and I become the legs for both of us.

It's very hard to know what to say. I want her to stay as positive as she can, of course. I've watched other friends who were supposedly terminally ill survive--but they've remained positive. (One friend was told it would be a matter of months--surely no more than three. That was one year ago. Another was told she had six months, tops. That was 3 1/2 years ago!)

Sue's 'kids' aren't helping much. Larry's been 'bad' lately. Doesn't even want to go play cribbage because he's 'not in the mood.' Sue relies on him to help her set things up each week. (She's the Director of a local grassroots cribbage group. She has to set up tables and chairs and so on. Far too much for her to do!) When Larry doesn't go along Sue can barely get through the work.

Candy's been pretty wrapped up in Candy lately. She expects Sue to be around daily to help entertain Nicole. (Candy wants free time from her child. I say get a job and pay for a babysitter! Don't expect Sue to be at your beck and call.)

Nicole speaks to Sue with an amazing lack of respect quite often. She gets it straight from the way Candy addresses Sue.

Yes. Marilyn is right. Candy's behavior isn't really the problem. This is Sue's problem. She allows Candy to run her home and show her no respect whatsoever. Candy teaches Nicole that same disrespect, but Sue's the one who allows it.

In her place I'd tell Candy change her ways or get out, bag and baggage.

Sue can't even come by to visit Marilyn and me for an hour without Candy phoning her. It's ridiculous.

Marilyn and I love our sister and are worried about her.

But we're also under major stresses of our own right now.

This is always a busy time of year for us. I'm supposed to be working on the script every day (here in our home office) right now. Marilyn's work schedule is always unbelievable now, but this year she's 'training' her new boss (meaning she does much of that work along with her own). And it's very much a 'transitional' year, due to other staff changes.

Marilyn says there's been 'drama' at work almost every day lately. There are two new mothers on staff who are missing their babies while trying to come back to work.

One employee found out about an eye condition, while another discovered a heart condition. (Both young women.) There are constant issues with the executive board.

I've had facial tics before. Lately my newest one is with my right eye. It's highly annoying.

I'd like to think we're both dealing fine with the stress. Maybe we are. But we seem to need to sleep more than usual.

Thank God we have our wonderful home (that we love to pieces and are grateful for every day of our lives). Thankfully we are compatible in the way we like to live. We have our TV schedules set up the way we like them. We eat what we both prefer, when we prefer.

We got a rather nasty suprise at tax time. Our county tax was four times what we'd expected it to be! (The woman who does our taxes said she'd had numerous clients burst into tears when she told them how much it was. She had a box of Kleenex on her desk just for that reason.)

While we're excited about our new sprinkler system and grass, it was a large expense we hadn't really planned on in advance. (Sort of spur of the moment, really.)

Oh! I went to Costco and did get a new 100 foot hose. I can use that to water the whole side yard (fairly large) and our huge boulevard in front. (Some day perhaps we can afford to add those to the sprinkler system. But the man who did the work told us the boulevard alone would have been as much as the rest of the work he ended up doing! Goodness!)

I wonder what our next water bill will look like? Hm.

Well, I need to get to work. I wanted to write all this to keep a record for future reference.

Marilyn said yesterday she wished she'd had time to blog decently this past year. She'd love to have an LJ record of all she's been through.

I'm going to work out today come hell or high water! I need the exercise. Not just for my physical well-being, either.

Marilyn was disgusted that she was too tired to work out last night...

Marilyn hopes to schedule her surgery for the end of June. I'm sure she'll be relieved to get it over with.

More soon.

Happy Friday to all! Hope you all have a great weekend.

Marilyn and I have a very busy work weekend coming up. Three Rose Festival events, alone...

I wonder where the list of file labels for Marilyn's office files is? Hm. I need to hunt for it...

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