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Thursday, June 29, 2006

Trouble on the (Extended) Family Front

My mother's family is from the eastern end of Long Island, having been there for over three hundred years. My grandmother bought a plot of family land out there, probably early in the twentieth century, and had a very small bungalow moved there. There was an outhouse, a well supplying cold water, and those were pretty much the "amenities". I spent all my summers there until I moved to the Bay Area. My happiest days were at the bungalow and I still love it.

My grandmother died without a will and the bungalow was then co-owned by my mother and her sister. I have an older sister; my aunt had one daughter, who married, had 3 children at home and died of (?) uterine cancer at a too-young age. My aunt died last year, so her grandchildren have her share of the bungalow. They (and their father) have had use of the bungalow for years, since their father bought the house next to it. They grew up there. I went there one summer (Sabetta was 6) and we stayed there for a week, just before hurricane Bob.

Now, they want to buy my mother's share and my sister wants to sell. I don't. She said I have no rights, since I don't take care of Mom. She "can't stand" being a landlady. I offered to take over the care of the bungalow, but she refused. I'm furious. She has no children and no more "right" to decide what to do with the assets of Mom's estate than I do, except I do have a child. I've been "bossed" around by my older sister all my life, sometimes directly, sometimes indirectly through fear of what she'd do to herself. She attempted suicide a few times and spent time in the psychiatric ward as a result. That was back in the 60s and maybe early 70s, before good medications were on the market. But she's still rather casual about keeping up on her meds. She doesn't trust doctors, and she does see one about her meds, but she'll stop them or change them if she feels like it.

The bungalow could easily be worth big money, due to its location, but Mom just sold her mother's house in RVC and has those proceeds and isn't in need of the money. My sister is taking care of her (she's 97) and Mom will do whatever she wants "because she's taking care of me and what would I do if she didn't?" I'm not interested in the money, just the old place.

I'm really upset. Sabetta doesn't want to sell the bungalow, either, and it seems to me that her desires count since she'll inherit my share, at least. She's the only one in that generation on our side. Damn.


Blogger Debby said...

I say hang in there and try to keep the property. It has sentimental value to you and you cannot buy that.

11:04 AM  
Blogger fleegle said...

Thanks for your geeky praise! The technique also works for intarsia in-in-the-round :)

1:26 AM  

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