In which a Lawyer is engaged

Update: This post continues to see a high volume of traffic, presumably courtesy of “Sally Mae”. If you’re reading this because you’ve been sent here to gawk at my version of events, please have the courtesy to read the comments, and my follow up post, A Response.

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Good Afternoon, Gentle Reader. Full Disclosure: I’ve been drinking wine since two thirty this afternoon, and communing with the ghosts of my ancestors.

Angry Ghost

This is the only reason that I’m about to discuss “Current Events” rather than some idealized nonsense, codified into a quip that I can recall at cocktail parties. Ahem.

My Grandfather passed away on October ninth. He had gotten remarried not quite two years before he died – it was two weeks before their second anniversary. He had known his new wife for only months before they married, and (I was his best man) as I was helping him up the aisle to await his bride, he confessed to me that he thought that he was making a mistake. My Uncle L., who was officiating, as he was getting a stool for Granddad – he was prone to fainting, in his later years – heard him express his regrets, but affirm that he gave his word that he would marry Lillian. As they signed the marriage license, Lillian asked “Are you ready to sign everything over to me, George?”

He did. Or, he may have done. The minute his corpse was cooling down, she revealed her true colours. Not that she hadn’t been distant and cruel, before hand – she made my Aunt beg for permission each time she wanted to visit her father – but, at my Grandfather’s deathbed, she and her family made my family feel like outsiders – her niece replaced my Aunt and mother, her grand-nephew replaced myself and all my male cousins – we were the strangers in that hospital, and these interlopers had become nearest and dearest, due to the coma Granddad was in.  We were hurt, confused, and ushered out the door within an hour of his death.

Bouncer with headset

In the aftermath, we’ve been trying to treat her as family. She’s been brash and offensive, but Grandpa chose her as his bride, despite apologizing for the fact for the entire marriage. Still, she’s his widow, and deserves respect. We thought.

She’s proven her spite in the past – she has destroyed furniture that she left on the corner for the garbageman, because neighbors had looked at it. She has cut up clothes with her shears, rather than let them go to Goodwill. She disabled the stair lift before the funeral because she thought her brother-in-law might take it for a joyride. She won’t let us collect photographs or letters from family long dead before she joined the tree, or, indeed, let us into all that’s left of the family compound.

Lock

Then my Uncle George died – my favourite uncle. The only child of my grandparents left alive is my Aunt Carole – she was the eldest.  Two days after, Lillian calls my Aunt Lalage (Lal-a-gay, if you’re wondering; it’s French – we call her Auntie Lall), talking about my Uncle George’s mail that comes to her (Granddad’s) house, complaining – she had opened it (and many other things, before), and informing her that her ex-husband owed so much on the storage unit, and there was x amount in the other account, &ct.  Even if it weren’t a felony, it was too soon, and too unkind.

A week and a half ago, there was a sort of teleconference. Maman called Auntie Lall to offer her condolences, Auntie Lall mentioned the call she’d had with Lillian – Lillian had also mentioned that she was forming a new will – Maman called Aunt Carole, who Lillian has always despised – it transpired that Lillian had told all three heads of all three branches of the family a different story. Maman, who is the only daughter-in-law that Lillian likes (mostly because she can pull wool over her eyes at will; Ma likes to believe what she’s told) called her, while my two aunts and I were in tears. She tried to appeal to morality and spirituality and not being a C**tbag, to no avail.

We saw a lawyer today. I’m not holding out much hope, but all I hope is that I can get the my grandmother’s grandmother’s letters regarding the brothel she owned in Australia, and my grandfather’s record collection that I grew up on, and access to the property where my grandmother’s ashes are scattered.

UPDATE: Sally Mae, if you see this, I have made you a post of your own. It is currently, as of the 11th of October, on the home page of this blog, and titled, simply, “A Response“. With the ease that you found this post you should be able to pick up on it pretty quickly. I welcome your comments on that post. After 2 days, when the new post comes up, I am afraid that I will have to ban you from commenting on here.

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About Ty DeLyte

Madame DeLyte has suffered a grave disappointment - YET AGAIN - and still believes that freedom, beauty, and truth are what's valuable, rather than vulgar cash. He'd add love to that list - but, well, what can he say about love?
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26 Responses to In which a Lawyer is engaged

  1. Bernie says:

    Hang in there Tyler.

  2. lindsey says:

    How awful…I’m so sorry, Tyler. It’s people like this Lillian whom are the reason I hope karma is a live, kicking thing.

  3. ekgo says:

    I hope to read later posts that speak of the terrible fall Lillian had and how she knocked her head against a newel and cannot remember her evil ways and your family has since been able to retrieve valuables and memories from your grandfather’s home. Because that is all just dastardly bullshit.

    • Tyler J. Yoder says:

      Don’t I wish. The situation *is* improved by you knowing how to use the word “newel” correctly.

      She has been grudgingly doling out things to me, and me alone – my cousins and aunt haven’t heard from her since the funeral. I have no idea why she’s trying to make nice with me in particular, why I’ve become the “chosen one” or whatever, but I’ve gotten things with a note from my Granddad saying “for Tyler.” Each time, it makes me cry.

      • ekgo says:

        I am always amazed at the lack of newel knowledge out there. Normally, I would have said newel post because more people understand that, but since you’re a wealth of Victorian knowledge, I knew I didn’t have to add the post part.

        Well…maybe Lillian is being haunted. It would serve the old gold-digger right. I’m sad for the rest of your family but relieved that you still have a form of contact with your grandfather, as it were. I’d cry, too, if I got things from my granddad with notes bearing my name.

  4. Sally Mae says:

    Karma kicks both ways… Don’t be too sure what you read here is the way things really happened. Insiders in the know and not under the influence of alcohol would probably be giving a different accounting of events. watch out for karma! Karma says you shouldn’t speak with a forked tongue when presenting to others you are being accurate. Alcohol addles the tying?

    • Tyler J. Yoder says:

      The alcohol affected, perhaps, the tone of this post. It did not affect the events. I did my best to be fair and objective while writing this, but I’m afraid that my emotions were high and I was very upset. An interloper, who my grandfather barely knew, had taken all the family heirlooms. And, as the months went on, refused us access to his ashes. And the spot where those ashes were buried. I do not think I am in the wrong here, Sallie Mae.

    • Tyler J. Yoder says:

      And, you know, I think that venting about events that are wounding one’s family, one’s heart, on one’s blog – that no one read at the time – I don’t think that’s something Karma’s really going to be big on getting revenge on. I was tipsy, I was angry, I was hurt. My grandfather had been taken advantage of, and his widow made it perfectly clear that that was what she was doing, and he regretted the marriage, even as he was walking up the aisle. He was too honorable to back out, because he was a good man. I don’t think that speaking the truth about this makes me vulnerable to your “karma” which, unlike actual karma, penalizes those who speak the truth.

    • Tyler J. Yoder says:

      And if you want an insider who hasn’t been under the influence of alcohol for twenty years, I can give you the telephone number of my aunt, my grandfather’s daughter, who was suddenly, sharply, disinheireted and didn’t complain, and who was there that day when we consulted the lawyer. If you really disbelieve my statement that much, I would love for you to consult her. She will apologize to you for the entire controversy, and tell you to trust God that it’ll work out okay, and not stand up for herself at all, despite the fact that she was cleaning his toilet and putting her retirement on hold since my grandmother passed away.

    • Stuart says:

      What interesting vague-trolling. Having watched said events unfold as a concerned third person, I am reminded how shocked, then traumatized by the events. There really was a long period of sober introspections, and “Are we just reading these people wrong? They can’t really be doing what it seems they’re doing? Right?” -was a frequent question the author asked me personally. My sober observation and long interactions with this family leaves me with a definite impression that I would trust Our Hero dead drunk over most people stone sober; even if he does get a bit florid with his pen on occasion. However, in this particular case, if anything, he seems to have understated many points.

      Also, “Karma…” To quote the great Inigo Montoya- “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

      • Stuart says:

        (Second sentence should read: “…I am reminded how shocked, then traumatized Our Hero was by the events.”)

      • Tyler J. Yoder says:

        Thank you so much, Stuart, for coming to the defense. This hurt, more than it should have, and having friend who will leap to the wall really mean a lot.

    • Gwydion Stone says:

      Sally Mae, you appear to have a mistaken notion of what karma is and how it works, but that’s fairly common.

      “Karma” is action or deed. It expresses the idea of cause and effect, and is not necessarily a cosmic machine (or deity) specifically doling out retribution or reward based on merit. If it were, billions of unfortunates would be released from suffering, and evil and cruel people would be wiped from the face of the earth like so much dog shit from the bottom of a hung-over Elder God’s shoe.

      Put in its simplest terms: karma means that when you piss in the pool, you get to be a pissy person in a pissy pool.

      Whether you’ve gotten away with it without anyone knowing or have escaped punishment, no supreme being can erase the fact: you pissed in the pool. You made it pissy for yourself and for others. At the end of the day, when you lie in bed at night, you must own the fact that you’re a pissy person.

      That’s karma.

  5. Pauline Ward says:

    Tyler, people must be able to justify their cruelty or they will be forced to admit that they are wrong. Unfortunately there are many people in the world who will sacrifice their honor in order to preserve their ego.

  6. Rosalind says:

    Yes, Sallie Mae. Karma is a bitch. You should take your own advice to heart.

  7. batnette says:

    People become hurtful when loved ones pass. It appears that your family held it together quite nicely. I have an aunt that swooped in weeks before my grandfather died and collected all the things she wanted and now no one speaks to her. People are selfish… it sounds like Sallie Mae is one of those people as well…

  8. Tyler J. Yoder says:

    Thank you, everyone. Sally Mae’s words hurt more than they should have. I appreciate it.

  9. Sally Mae says:

    Sure, Tyler I will take you up on your offer of that phone number and the conversation to follow. Many family members have regrets when their parents or grandparents get married later in life. You say your grandfather was an honorable man… seems to me if he had wanted things to go to anyone other than his current spouse he would have left a will..I don’t see if you mentioned there was or wasn’t a will. If your grandfather lived in the state you do it would be community property and go to the spouse automatically unless there is a will stating differently. Again… as an honorable man, loving husband isn’t it possible that he was providing for his current wife’s future in the event he was the spouse to depart first? Isn’t it possible many people heard him say he was happy and he loved his current wife? Isn’t it possible that in grief of loosing two family members so close together that things became overwhelming for your family members? Isn’t it possible they knew each other for many years and you just weren’t aware of it? That’s how it usually is with an older generation that is involved in clubs and organizations. Grandkids get busy living life and don’t call or come to visit as often when they move out of the area. Grandparents just keep on doing what they’ve been doing and wait for the phone or doorbell to ring, while, remembering all the good times past.

    • Tyler J. Yoder says:

      Sally Mae, I’ve rethought that offer, and I really don’t think my Aunt would appreciate a phone call from an angry stranger on the internet. I’m sure this change of mine is entirely caused by alcohol – I’m not drinking at the moment, but I do sometimes, and I’m sure it’s made all of my behavior erratic.

      He did, in fact, have a will, and every time I would visit – which was frequently, as he was ill, by the way – he would tell me precisely where it was kept. After he passed, no mention of said will was made, and we were asked not to telephone my step-grandmother. Not for harassment, she simply wanted nothing further to do with us.

      You know, I was going to respond further with your points, and so on and so forth, but frankly, I don’t have the energy or the time to waste defending this post. This happened months ago, and I was hurt and reactionary. The situation has progressed, we’ve discussed some things with the relevant parties since then, and so on and so forth. You make a lot of assumptions for someone who’s not involved. If you *are* somehow involved, please go ahead and drop the cloak of anonymity the internet’s giving you and contact me directly, honestly.

      Cheers, person who’s dredging up a hurtful part of my past.

    • k says:

      I also enjoy reading all of three paragraphs of something and immediately jumping to my own conclusions and leaving spiteful comments that diatribe about how the author is totally in the wrong.

  10. Sally Mae says:

    yes, Tyler I knew your grandfather and he thought the world of you. He was an upstanding dignified honorable man. Proud to tell his fellow M’s that he had chased, caught and lobbied hard and successfully to get her to marry him. I spoke with many family members at his service they all said how they were happy he had married for the second time because that made him happy. grief makes great stress for all concerned. you put this out there in a blog for the public to see and direct people here to read your writings to further you love and career in writing. i do enjoy some of your writings, you are quite talented as your grandfather said. maybe this is a writers creative license that you remember things the way you put here in writing. she isn’t a cruel person she didn’t push you out. she called you to come visit so you wouldn’t miss out. no I won’t tell you who I am as I do not wish to be slandered in your blog as you have done to your step-grandma and her family members who were only ever nice to you. maybe we will meet at the lodge and then I will tell you in person it is I. good luck in your endeavors in life.

    • Tyler J. Yoder says:

      Sally, I’m not going to spend anymore time discussing this. You keep missing the point when I say things like “I was upset at the time” and “things have since progressed” and “a dialogue has been opened,” instead choosing to focus on the vitriol I felt months ago.

      I *did*, in fact, put this on a blog, in public. While I did not present two sides to this case, I didn’t need to. This blog showcases my thoughts and feelings; I do not have to show alternate points of view, but I do realize that they exist, and I am open to learning, growing, and changing. By focusing on an event that I have repeatedly stressed took place months ago, and my *immediate* knee-jerk reaction to it, you keep ignoring the events that have taken place since then. We didn’t pursue the case with a lawyer, not because we didn’t have a case, but because we thought it was unfair, unkind.

      Your opinions and experiences are certainly different than mine. If you wish to continue this dialogue, my e-mail is not difficult to find.

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