It pains me to say this, but I have two bastards for brothers. Bastards in the sense that they are willing to make false claims about our home and our treatment of our daughter to the Department of Child Services, just to hurt us. What they did was hurt and anger our mother and most importantly, they hurt my daughter.
My youngest brother had earlier in the month of June made the claim to my mother that he had seen me wiping out her car with a towel because I had left the top open during a thunderstorm and now it had extensive water damage. (My mother at this time was still at the rehab place and still not capable of thinking in any logical sort of way.) I tried to tell mom that it wasn't true, and she could see for herself, but she would have none of it. She wanted her car back in her garage. (I had been driving it because she needed to go to doctor's appointments or wanted to go out to eat, and it would have been impossible to take her, my daughter, and me in a two-seater truck.)
I took the car back and left mom alone, not going in to see her at her rehab place. My brother Bill took over. He brought her home when she was ready... and then he and his wife Erika stayed with mom several nights. They finally began to pressure her to make him Power of Attorney (I am currently Power of Attorney) and to cut me out of the will. (I will say that no matter how bad it has been between my brothers and me, I have never asked mom at any time to cut them out of the will or trust... that in the end, they would find that I would take my duties as Executrix and survivor Trustee seriously, and everything was going to be distributed as mom had wished.)
I think at that point, my mother knew she'd made a horrible mistake by believing Bill had her best interests at heart. She had called her neighbor and asked her what to do or think. Her neighbor counseled her not to give Power of Attorney to Bill, but if it was such a problem, then she should speak to her lawyer. Mom's neighbor also asked that she not tell Bill what she had said.
But mom didn't remember that request, and Bill found out. It wasn't too much longer before the older brother, Richard, called mom's neighbor and told her to mind her own business, that "we know what's best for mom" and Bill would be the better choice as Power of Attorney. Which is absolutely laughable.
You see, Bill can't even handle his own finances, let alone mother's. Years ago, he got himself into financial difficulty and filed Chapter 13 bankruptcy, then decided to file Chapter 7 so he could wipe the slate clean and buy new stuff on credit. He also ended up getting in trouble at work, for which they suspended him without pay for 6 months (he told the family he was "laid off" due to a lack of work - not the truth). He had to find two or three part time jobs just to make ends meet. Once he began working his regular job again, he bought a house. Things were fine until he bought a lot of mowing equipment to start his own business on the side. He then got himself into legal trouble (charged with Intimidation and Criminal Recklessness, Class C and Class D felonies). He finally entered into a plea agreement, changing the charge to Criminal Recklessness Class A Misdemeanor and one year of probation.
Of course, he was required to wear an ankle bracelet. When that was taken off, he went out to play pool with his fiance and the next day was tested for alcohol in his system (he wasn't supposed to drink any alcohol during his probationary period). He tested positive, and his excuse was that a doctor had prescribed cough syrup with alcohol in it. That proved to be a false statement - found out he'd been drinking beer when playing pool. So then they put him in a program where he had to stay in a half-way house for alcoholics and the only place he was allowd to go was to work. Somewhere in all this, his place of employment put him on days - so he lost his night bonus... and if memory serves me correctly, he also was not given any overtime. He was released from his probation just after January 1st this year.
Somewhere in all this mess, he has defaulted on loans. His house is currently in foreclosure proceedings.
And HE wants Power of Attorney.
I was at mom's house on June 26th, and we had been having a wonderful visit and reconciliation. I admitted that my pride tended to get in the way of my common sense, and I apologized to her. Pride is my worst sin, and the reason why I believe that I can only try to mitigate what level of hell I end up in, rather than ever being allowed into heaven.
What I had found out about Bill's stay with mother was, when he had been at mom's house after bringing her home, he had done some work for her. Mom offered to pay him, but instead he wanted one of the cans of silver coins that dad had collected when back in the early 70's he had speculated silver would increase in cost. (OK, dad was right, only he was 30+ years too early... so, not in time for dad to realize any potential profit.) Mom said Bill could take one can. While I was there on June 26, he called her and told her that the silver was worth a lot of money (no shit, Sherlock) and she should let him sell it for her so she could get some money out of it.
Now, my mother's best friend Phyllis was there when he called, as was I, and we both agreed that if mom let Bill have the silver, she wouldn't see very much of the proceeds from it, if any. Phyllis urged mom NOT to give it to Bill. I was in total agreement. I was aghast that my brother would be charging my mom to do things for her while she was still in a recovery stage from open heart surgery - or for any reason at all. She is his mother and deserved more respect than that.
She moved the money to a safe place. I'm not telling where, but it would be next to impossible to find it. She decided that she was not going to be taken advantage of any longer.
Later that evening, on the 26th, Bill called her to ask if she had made him Power of Attorney yet. She said no, she wasn't going to do it. He got extremely angry with her. And then he had the audacity to say that mom didn't pay his (now) wife enough to help her out with her medications.
Supposedly, Erika had come to her house to get her medications in order in her pill box. The truth is, I had already done that when mom had gone home temporarily on May 13. The meds were almost identical except for the coumadin she was taking. There was actually very little that Erika had to do. She did create a large poster board with her meds listed and the time to take them, but even that has changed since it was created - so it wasn't exactly a good solution to mom's problem. Mom had paid Erika $50 for doing this.
It is outrageous that mom was "charged" to do this. When I'd brought mom home on May 13, I bought her groceries, cooked her supper, washed her dishes, put some of her clothes away, took her trash around to the front for the garbage men the next day (and there was a LOT of stinky trash), and I fixed her pillboxes with her meds. I never asked for nor expected one cent for any of this. I did it because she was my mother and needed my help. I would do the same for my husband's mother, if needed. This, in my opinion, is the definition of what FAMILY does for one another in times of need.
Needless to say, Bill was upset and furious that mom wasn't going to capitulate to him.
Mom hung up from that conversation. Not too much longer after she'd hung up, she got a call from Richard, who began screaming that she was a whore, a slut, a bitch and she was called quite a few other names before she said she didn't have to listen to it and hung up on him. Richard, being ever the narcissist, tried to call back and mom just ended up hanging up on him again.
Here's something you should know about Richard. He told my mother's best friend that he was a millionaire. He bought a Mercedes and the money was just rolling in. He told my mother's neighbor that he was rich beyond his wildest dreams, a millionaire, and he was going to buy two mansions in Indianapolis - one for his doctor boyfriend (yes, Richard is gay) and one for him and mom to live in. The one he was buying for mom and him would have a swimming pool in the back and she could go swimming any time she liked. (Hair stands up on the back of my neck when I hear this - mom does not swim - can't even float, and doesn't want to learn at 72 years old.) Then he called one of our aunts and told her that he couldn't afford to come out and see mom because it was too expensive, he couldn't afford an airline ticket and gas cost too much. Then he called mom and said he couldn't come out to see her because I would make trouble for him. Which story does one believe? And if Richard is so rich, why doesn't HE bail Bill out of his troubles? Bill isn't smart enough to figure that one out for himself. Unless Richard is giving Bill the "I'm too poor" excuse.
I had earlier in the day told mom that, after hearing what her neighbor said about Richard telling her to "butt out" (in so many words), I believed Richard was behind Bill's lies and was manipulating Bill to get her to give him Power of Attorney. Bill is not smart enough to come up with this on his own. And Richard thinks he's smarter than all the rest of the world combined. Bill is easily led into believing or doing whatever others want him to believe or do when people around him play on his status as a victim. Tug that invisible ring through his nose and he just blindly follows along.
Mom called me that night to tell me about the phone calls from Bill and then Richard. All I could say was, the phone call from Richard just proved to me that he was behind it all and now he's mad that mom didn't go along with it. He obviously thinks she's either incredibly stupid or so out of it she doesn't know up from down. He is wrong.... very wrong.
The next evening, on the 27th, when I was sitting in the living room with my husband, I told him I fully expected that their next move would be to call Child Protective Services on us with some complaint, to which my husband replied, "Nooooo, they wouldn't go that far, would they?"
Kenzie and I spent July 1 through the 3rd with mom, helping take her to appointments she had and taking care of anything she needed done (like refilling prescriptions). Tuesday evening, I saw I had a voicemail on my cell phone, to which I called and heard Roy say he needed to talk with me. I called and he wanted to know when I was coming home. He needed to show me something, but didn't want to discuss it on the phone. Then I called him back and said I need to know what is going on. He told me that he had found a note on our door from a social worker and it said they needed to come talk with us about allegations made about us abusing and neglecting our daughter.
All I could say was, "What did I tell you last week? Didn't I say this would happen?"
I told mom about it... and Kenzie overheard. She began to cry and say she didn't want to be taken from me - heartbreaking tears and sobbing, clinging to my neck. I held her and told her that in NO WAY was anyone ever going to take her from us. We were her parents, and we were GOOD parents, and there was no reason for anyone to think we weren't. No one would ever take her from her family or home. Later, when driving home, she said, "Bill and Richard are mean men!"
I agree with her wholeheartedly.
My mother called her neighbor and told her what had happened. That's when her neighbor blurted out, " Oh my God, he did say he was going to do that. I just though he was mad and blowing off steam. I didn't pay it any attention." What Richard had said was that he was going to call child welfare on me because I deserved it and was mentally ill.
I dunno... for people who have read this blog, I don't think I rise to the level of mental illness. Certifiably crazy in love with our daughter - but not mentally ill.
Well, suffice it to say we saw the social worker on Friday, July 6. She came and told us of the allegations. Both allegations had a small kernel of truth to them, but each was shown to be unsubstantiated. For one of the allegations, we had previously had two social workers at our homes approving us for adoption, and we had fully disclosed to them an issue that was found to be okay by them... and now by the social worker from the Department of Child Services.
I don't understand how they thought this would help them. They just appear to be hateful, vengeful, and spiteful. When hate takes over your life, then there is no room for logic, reason or sense. And no compassion - they simply have a feeling of entitlement and rage.
I have a few opinions as to what comes next... I won't list them here, but I know this won't be the last of it.
Do I hear offers from Lifetime for the rights to a made for TV movie?