Thursday, January 20, 2011

Because She Didn't Leave a Will

In the beginning you told me that you would help me. We could be co-administrators, you said. We would make all the big decisions together.
I knew, even then, that it wouldn't happen. You've always been so good at talking the talk without walking the walk. You probably told all your friends that you had a heavy load of responsibility on your shoulders. You probably told them you were taking care of it all on your own, and your bitch of a sister was making things difficult for you.
When it came down to it, you signed all the responsibilty over to me without so much as an explanation. You knew I would take care of everything, just like always, even though I had to drive all the way from Amarillo to do it. Over and over again.
It didn't matter to you that I had a full-time job and four kids to take care of. It didn't matter to you that my tumor had grown to the size of a soda can. It didn't matter to you that I almost died trying to keep up with everything I had to do.
Two blood transfusions and a hysterectomy later, you called me a whiner. You thought I was being over-dramatic.
You were just a "single" guy with no real responsibilities. No steady job, no visitation with your kids, no worries at all. Maybe I expected too much from you, to think for a second that you would help me at all. You were right there in town, but you didn't even offer to mow Mom's lawn. Joey and Jason did it when I couldn't make it over there. Did you know that? And the rest of the family kept a steady eye on the place after Annissa moved out.
I don't know why you decided to start making things harder on me. I guess you thought I would just cut you a check on the first day the estate went into probate. You didn't realize the time that would be involved in selling a house, paying off Mom's personal debts and repaying Jim for all the hospital bills and property taxes and insurance payments. The paperwork, the IRS...
I don't know why you thought that threatening me would make things move along any faster. I don't know why you thought you could invade our cousin's home and harrass her. Sure, it was Mom's house, but it was our cousin who lived there. She had every right to her security and her privacy. You had no authority there. You signed it over to me, remember?
Did you know Jim was kind enough to have the roof replaced before we sold it? He didn't have to do that. And he dealt with the insurance company when that drunk driver slammed into the central air unit. Those were things that you could have done.
I guess you were too busy fucking that seventeen-year-old girl. (How old were you then? Thirty-two? And I suppose she thinks your married now, even though you haven't divorced your last wife yet. Does she even know about the last wife?)
I don't know why you bothered to show up at the courthouse that first day, when I was sworn in. I don't know why you cursed at my lawyer, telling him I was incompetent because I hadn't evicted our cousin from the house yet. As if I ever would.
He was much more curteous to you than I would have been. I think he told you politely that I had been administrator for all of five minutes. What exactly did you expect me to accomplish in that amount of time?
Later, my lawyer admitted to me that if he were me, he would have shot you already. Don't think I didn't fantasize about it. I didn't want to kill you, but I thought a little suffering would do you some good.
I thought it was pretty fitting that when I finally was able to write you a check, I had to send it to you in Lubbock County Jail. I'm smiling now, remembering it.

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