It's All up to You Now!
by Anna Lee
When my father passed nearly 4 years ago, Mom was left with a hoarders home and a collection of more than 20 junk cars, a warehouse full of "collectibles", a jammed full garage and more. It appeared overwhelming! My sister arrived, along with my aunt and uncle, and poured through everything.
Bank accounts, personal papers, income tax returns, drawers, closets . . . they even busted open her safe! All this began before Dad had been buried and continued afterwards for an additional 2 weeks. After compiling a List of Assets notebook they left on the kitchen table, they finally left. I am the youngest sibling and live in the same town as my mother.
I won't ever forget my aunt's words as she packed up her car to go home. "It's ALL up to YOU now!" she proclaimed. As if my mother, who lived independently without any help at all from any of us, had suddenly become an enormous burden.
As it turns out, I love having it left up to me. Mother and I make an amazing team and have bonded over the restoration of her 100+ year old house.
The hoard is gone, the warehouse, cars and it's contents auctioned off, and in the process she has added more than $100k to her bank account! Now her dreams are coming true as we paint, reupholster antiques, and put in a new kitchen floor and appliances.
Since Dad's funeral I haven't seen or spoken to my sister. I don't waste my time worrying about what she is or isn't doing. She is missing out on some wonderful years with our Mother. After all, she is in her 80s and can't last forever.
So what if Mother needs help with chores, heavy lifting, and I share meals with her daily? I take her to all appointments so we try to treat ourselves to lunch on those days and make it an adventure.
My sister knows Mother has suffered with broken bones, surgeries and illness since Dad's death. She doesn't feel the need to be with her through those times. Hey, I have had a few surgeries of my own lately. All Mother and I can do is stick together and look out for each other.
Any situation is about attitude and making the best of it. You cannot force others to care. Stop wasting your time even thinking about them. They won't change. Focus on YOU and your parent. You are both so worth it! Treat yourselves really, really well during the time you have left together.