If you’re anything like my husband, you’re getting sick of all the turtle talk and ready for a change of subject. Thus it is time to address, in that sideways fashion reserved for ongoing legal dramas, The Other Thing.
To be clear, we’ve never really stopped dealing with the legal drama—and, apologies but I’m still under instructions to stay vague so you won’t get a lot of details.
Actually, I’m under instructions to not talk about it at all, so you see what I’m willing to do for you.
Husband and I, as well as our friends, have spent many long hours puzzling over the behavior of certain persons who are or used to be related to me.
ME: I just can’t figure out why Mark’s doing all of this. Like, what’s the gain for him?
HIM: Maybe he’s just a bitter, contrary asshole. Have you considered that?
ME: (laughs) Okay. But I don’t really believe that.
HIM: (shrugs) If you say so. You’ve met him; I haven’t.
ME: No, I mean I don’t believe in that. Everyone does the things they do for a reason, for some personal gain. There’s no such thing as evil for the sake of evil… not in humans, at any rate.
HIM: You really think that?
HIM: You really have never met anyone so contrary that they would fight against any other authority, even if that went counter to their own interests?
HIM: Think about it.
ME: Okay, fine; teenagers. Mark was a marine.
WAITRESS: (arrives with food)
ME: (picking at salad) That “she’s a liar” thing was good, though. It’s still working for him, even now…
HIM: It can’t work forever, not when he keeps getting caught in lies.
Husband is my great cheerleader; I honestly would have bought a ticket and kicked some ass if he wasn’t here keeping me sane.
We are still—yes, STILL—waiting on very critical early steps of the estate that were skipped because Kenny didn’t want to hear me tell him how to do things.
Correction, he didn’t need me telling him how to do things, according to this actual text exchange:
ME: I just got a call from (bank). YOU are the executor, you’re supposed to be in contact with everyone, settling accounts, taking inventory, notifying everyone… please get on that. I gave them your number.
KENNY: I don’t need you telling me how to do things!
ME: Clearly you DO, or I wouldn’t be getting calls from the bank. They didn’t even know Marsha was dead.
KENNY: Your shit is still in the garage, when are you coming to get it?
ME: That can be shipped, as we discussed.
KENNY: I didn’t know anything about that. And there was no inventory, the house is almost empty.
ME: According to the attorney I spoke with, that’s supposed to be the FIRST step.
KENNY: There was nothing worth keeping anyway.
ME: That’s not how it works. You need to be sure you’re doing things correctly. If you’re in over your head, use a lawyer.
It went on from there with stuff I’m not talking about right now because Kenny did eventually get an attorney for the estate (and him) and shit’s gone so far downhill that my lawyer is getting annoyed. And my guy is pretty unflappable.
Current status: Kenny moved out of state and has insisted on doing everything through snail-mail (even his lawyer is frustrated by that), still hasn’t turned in the inventory (though his attorney promises every week that this is the week, swearsy-realsies), and has come up with a new strategy to cut me out of the will entirely.
ME: (scream of primal rage)
HIM: (attempting to drive with a howling distraction next to him) What the fuck are they—
ME: You know this is all Marsha’s fault. She hated me, she used her deathbed to tell them stories about why they should hate me—
HIM: Instead of using it to make peace.
ME: Oh, she never cared about peace. And she’s burning in hell for sure.
ME: There’s the irony; Dad wanted to hurry up and join her, but now he’s up there waiting for his first wife.
ME: And her children are devoting what was supposed to be their mourning period to making my life miserable.
HIM: I don’t know why—
ME: Now will you agree that I need to move him away from her?
HIM: … Yes. But let’s not do it until this is all settled.
ME: No, I’ll wait… but as soon as all the other dust settles, I’m moving my dad away from that conniving bitch.
HIM: (nods) Agreed.
I’ve taken some heat from a few friends for this plan, because the prevailing sentiment is that my father’s final resting place should be determined by his final wishes.
Here is my logic:
- I’ve learned things about her and about them that change my perception of their entire relationship. Things that never quite sat right with me (but at least she makes him happy, I thought) are now obvious signs of abuse and manipulation that I ignored.
- I shouldn’t have to visit her in order to visit him. She hated me and wanted me gone and—now that I know more about who my parents were in life—the feeling is mutual, bitch.
- I am in possession of my father’s full service record which, for a career marine, is effectively as complete a picture as I could hope for of his life when he wasn’t taking me to Disneyland or drunkenly bellowing at me. I can see, laid out in a microfiche timeline, the course of his life and his battle with depression. I can see, therefore, the last time and place he was truly happy and that’s where I want to return him.
If you disagree with any part of this reasoning… stuff it. He’s my dad and as it turns out his body is legally my property. If he didn’t want me doing whatever I wanted with it, he should have stayed alive and changed my mind instead of putting himself in the hands of his brother who—
Let’s not go there.
So that’s where I’m at. Intermittent bouts of fuming and occasionally unable to talk about anything but the one thing I can’t/shouldn’t blog about.
ME: And that’s the other thing. Kenny has moved cross country twice in six months. We can’t afford that, so how did he?
HIM: (meaningful look)
ME: Yeah. Exactly.
HIM: He’ll end up owing—
ME: Oh, quite a few people are gonna come out the other side of their little plot owing money. But it won’t—
HIM: It won’t bring your dad back, I know.
ME: (looks away)
ME: (quietly) Still… they shouldn’t get to profit.
ME: I don’t care if it eats up every penny of my inheritance, they won’t get away with it.
HIM: (nods) Agreed.
 Besides, the whole turtle/tank situation is very much in flux, frankly—I keep hearing “don’t worry, it’ll sort itself” every time I walk into the local fish stores; they don’t even greet me anymore, just immediately rush to calm me the fuck down. BUT I’M NOT DONE COMPLICATING IT SO HOW CAN I WAIT PATIENTLY??
 If you are new and unaware of The Other Thing, you can begin here. Or, if you are not a glutton for tragic drama, you could probably pop in here and here. Or you could just skip it all and infer from context; I won’t judge.
 Yes, he really expected me to fly back to Colorado in order to slap labels on some boxes… or drive out there just to pick them up and drive back, a total of 3-4 days in the car round trip. This is not reasonable.
 Spoiler Alert: ignoring it doesn’t make it go away. Pretending mental health issues are for weak people doesn’t make yours vanish in a puff of smoke. If you’re struggling, ask for help. If a professional tells you what you need, listen. I get that it’s hard and might even feel shameful, but people will find out when you’re gone and that’s just shifting the hurt onto them—asking for help is actually a selfless act of love toward the people who love you.