Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Broke and not

I really dislike living in a broken house. I hate my kitchen with its cabinet doors forever coming off the hinges; for as long as we have lived here it has been this way. One never feels quite so trapped by one's circumstances as when one is facing a huge upcoming expense and can't figure out how to meet it. So I dream of more expense, redoing my kitchen, refinishing my scuffed wood floors, painting the house, replacing the broken down living and dining room furniture, lifting up the carpets in the bedrooms and laying wood floors instead, redoing the bathrooms, yes, all of it.

This is what I'm thinking about this morning instead of contemplating how I will find a rather large sum needed for an essential thing related to my mother's estate. I don't want to fight with my brother about it. I feel us teetering on the edge of the kind of family conflicts so familiar after a parent dies. I have seen it close up again and again, the bitter rifts, and I swore that I would not let that happen with my brother and me. So even though I wish he would help me with this, maybe he simply can't, and I will have to figure it out myself. I love my brother. He has been good to me and good to our mother. I am writing this here because I want to call myself out for the resentment I am feeling over having to take this on all on my own. It's just money. Although it's never just money when you don't have it, is it?

Perhaps it is time to wade back into the waters of debt, from which I so carefully extricated myself some years ago. I'm not at the age when one should be taking on new debt. God, I feel anxious. This whole situation is making me so anxious I want to cry from sheer frustration. And yet I will walk through this. I will put one foot in front of the other and meet this. I will try to dissipate my resentment over the lack of support I am feeling in this moment from (almost) all quarters. I will try to see this differently. Here's something: My brother did take on the lion's share of expenses for our mother's care in her waning days and I was grateful to him for it. So I will do what is necessary now to puzzle out the situation and carry out my mother's wishes. And then I will move on.

On a much brighter note, last night my daughter strung the lights on our very fat Christmas tree. Her dad and her boyfriend helped her at certain points, but she was the driver of that train for sure. She refused to be overmatched by the size of the tree the men in our family happily chose. That thing takes up so much room I'm thinking of charging it rent. Here's the Snapchat she sent out. It doesn't really capture the tree's spreading width. Our darling girl is definitely the chief holiday ambassador in this household. What would we do without her? ❤️


  1. Well, I don't blame you for being anxious about that kind of money! Is it possible to talk to your brother to learn, if nothing else, why the burden is falling disproportionately on you? Or would that merely open wounds? I hope you sort it out OK.

    Great tree!

  2. Do whatever you can not to let a rift become impassible. I say this from experience. Very sad experience. And then, dammit! Do whatever you can to at least get those cabinet doors fixed! I know exactly how you feel!
    What a lovely tree.

  3. I love you. What terrible worries ugh. I will hold you in my heart today.

  4. I am not much of a holiday seasoner, myself, but I do admire that tree--lights look great!

  5. Money issues are so stressful. Whether it's needed for repairs or estate expenses, it's never enough. I have been rather poor my whole adult life. I have less than $100.00 to my name right now. Christmas is almost here. Ugh. It will all work out.

    Yes tree is huge! I love it. A tree that big needs a name.

  6. They always say money can't buy happiness, but it can sure get you a long way toward it, because not having enough is a huge stress. Two questions, in hope of giving the ol' kaleidoscope of perspective a fresh twist ... You said your brother paid the lion's share of your mother's expenses in her later days, but I think I also remember you did a lot of the caregiving work, did you not? That has value as well. And this: would your mother want you to go into debt to carry out her wishes? This assumes you have a choice in spending the money. Good luck. It's crazy what can happen between family members and you are a very smart person to recognize it and be trying to find a way to avoid it.

  7. Your tree is lovely. I am sorry for your troubles and your anxiety over this. Is there no way extended family can pitch in to help? Hugs!

  8. i hope whatever it is that you need to do for your mothers estate will not burden you financially, at least not for too long. In the meantime enjoy the holidays and your beautiful Christmas tree and forget everything that needs to be fixed, replaced and renovated.

  9. You are good daughter. The kind that deserves a good daughter like the one you've got. I agree that you should ask yourself if at all possible if this is an expense your mother would want you to undertake for her sake. Would you want your daughter to undertake it for yours? Just a thought. I wish my hub was there to give your home a makeover for the New Year. He is very good at making what can't be replaced right now look as if it had been.

    I have been forcibly relieved of the care of my Mom by my sibs who have put her in a home. I am really hurting and not at all sure that I will ever be able to forgive them. Christmas doesn't feel like Christmas so we will be going to Tortola to my husband's father's home. Hopefully the sea will help heal me. I am knee-deep in baking my black cakes whilst packing. All the best to your beautiful family for the season.


  10. I hope this works out in the best possible way for your own finances and for your relationship with your brother. That tree looks pretty and powerful. Maybe it will bring good luck in the form of a windfall. If not, sit back and enjoy and try not to worry. This season can be happy but also stressful enough without that.

  11. yes, i've seen the rifts even in families I thought were stronger than anything. Hard decisions, but you probably have that voice telling you what the right thing to do is. Aren't daughters wonderful? After 29 years, I still find myself falling in love with mine, over and over again. We are beyond lucky.

    All the best to you as you figure all this out, and may you find joy and peace this Christmas season!