Saturday, July 09, 2011

Sometimes it is the things that are left unsaid that cause the most problems

Picture Sookie Stackhouse shouting at Jason, "I can't believe you sold grans house!"

That is how I felt yesterday after talking to my grans. She was never "grans" to me, just Grandma. We have never sat down and had a heart to heart conversation. We have never gone to lunch together. We don't get together on weekend, holiday's or birthdays. We have never said, "I love you" but she is my grandma and I do, I love her. We talk at least once a week and at 95 years of "OLD" can hold a conversation like everyone else. My grandfather is still alive but I only get to talk to him once a year, maybe when they put a new battery in his earring aid. The other times, he is hanging up on me, after shouting "who? who?" into the phone 3 times!

Last night I tried to call them in their house in upstate NY but the phone just rang and rang. They still have an old rotary phone and it sits on a doily on my grandmother's dresser where it has sat since the 1940s.  It was my Uncle's 62nd birthday and I wanted to wish him well. So after not getting him at his apartment, I called Grandma thinking he might be there. He wasn't, but I got an earful.

It appears that my Uncle, their last surviving child, (after losing my mom at 34 years of age and my uncle David at 32), has decided that taking them up to their summer house, the house near this children's graves, the one that has been theirs for years is too much work.

When I asked her how she felt, (three times in our conversation), she just giggled. Like I said, we have never had a heart to heart. I have no idea how she really feels about anything. I know her as the sweet old lady who sends me checks for myself and the kids on our birthdays, Christmas time and my anniversary. The woman who was my mother's mother. The woman who didn't have a loving relationship with my mother. The woman who always had something nasty to say about my mother's weight, my sister's weight, my nieces weight. The woman who calls me when she doesn't hear from me. The woman who worried about me when I was in the hospital last year. The woman who love but have never told other than in a card. In my cards I write everything I would want to say.

While I understand my Uncle's position; he is their only, which means, he is their chauffeur, their shopper, their bill payer, their everything, I still don't understand why he has to do this now.

As a man who was never married, never had children, I don't think he can truly understand why I think he shouldn't sell the house. They live in Queens. They go upstate on the weekends. This is their life. Their children are buried up there. Even in their 90's my grandparents, garden, sweep, shovel, clean around their children's graves and enjoy being at their house. If he sells the house, they will sit in their Queens apartment doing what? Watching TV and napping?

I hope I have an opportunity to talk to him about this. I hope he listens to me. I hope he has an open mind. I hope she gets to keep her house while she is walking. I hope she gets to see her great-grandkids before it is too late. I've really got to get there.


  1. Ouch, sounds like a slew of family dynamics at play. Wish you well with this dilemma. Not sure that I understand how your uncle can sell your grandparents' summer house, does he have power of attorney or something similar? If he doesn't, perhaps they should let go of their Queen's apt and move there, if they are able to?

    I'm not sure how sound your Uncle's health is either, but - speaking from experience - it can be exhausting to be the main caregiver, especially when the caregiver himself is no longer young. Depending on your uncle's own needs/ability - I'm not sure if it is fair for this to be expected from him.

    Then again, maybe he is being the selfish one, although it sounds as if your grandparents may have become a little childish or self-focused.

    All in all, without more to go on, I truly do not envy you and sincerely hope this can all be sorted out with love and in everyone's best interests!

  2. Crystal11:59 AM

    I hope you can make it there sweetie!


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