2008-07-01 14:23:58 ET|
So, I got an e-mail from my stepfather. See, a year or two after he married my mother she passed away from cancer. She meant to leave me a significant some of money and her house. I got the money (and blew it the way us youngens do) but let Mitch (my stepfather) live in the house until he felt he wanted to leave and I left the house in his name. Well, I don't think he means to move and so he offered to settle it with me for a sum of money. Here's the e-mail he sent:
"I closed my B of A because it was redundant, so I'll have to use wire or mail. Give me your physical address.
We didn't sell Terri's house, nor can we seem to keep a good renter in it. Along with all the repairs we've done to this place and helping Mom, we aren't in a position to give much, but will help a little.
I am very conflicted because I want to my word to be good, but now realize what a stupid offer it was, made out of emotion and sentimentality. You actually have zero stake in this place and would have probably lost it or dumped it had your Mother gone ahead and given it to you. You contributed very little, if anything to the household and the disrespect you showed us by moving Suzy into your bedroom is still a sore spot. You have no idea how much that hurt your Mom. That and visiting her so few times while she was on her deathbed and asking for you morning, noon and night.
I had always hoped to "bond" somewhat with you, Paul, but now in looking back, it seems you only contact me when you need money and now that you've spent all yours, you want some of mine. Well, I've worked long and hard to get out of the hole (my wife too) and since times are going to get tough, we need what little cushion we have to get by ourselves.
You've never taken my advice, even when I've been proven right again and again, so I won't offer anymore except for, work hard, it brings good "luck."
And now, here is the reply I sent (tell me if you think it was polite enough):
I appreciate that you have decided to be good to your word to my mother. As I recall her final decision was to give you the house under the condition that should you move or pass away the house would be given to me. I admit that I've never had the intention of living there (having no desire to live in Tucson) but the profits from the immediate sale would have proven to be a fantastic boon in the paying of Suzann's school loans. However, after you married Teri I no longer held to the belief that you would move out or pass the house on as mom desired. That is only fair; after all, you are building a new family that you need to provide for.
I have only ever asked for what my mother gave to me, and have declined many things that she intended to be left in my care to include her Native American paintings or the sculptures (specifically the silver and bronze angel, which I do miss dearly).
I remember how much mom loved Suzann, and how happy she was for us. I know that she looks after us even now and is proud of what we have accomplished together. We are getting out of debt, I am making a man out of myself here in the Air Force, and most importantly, we are both happy. I remember how much I visited my mother as she was in the hospice, and how it costed me my job at the time, but that was a small price to pay. I remember still when I was in South Carolina and received the call where mom told me about the cancer and told me I could stay with dad or move back with her. I remember the day she came home from the hospital and how I took care of her for years and the thanks she gave me for it. I feel no guilt about her illness or my actions during that time.
I understand how taxing it can be, being in financial straights. It makes me even more glad that you have decided to remain true to your promise, and I thank you for that. My physical address is this:
I meant to tell you when I got my duty assignment. I will be graduating this tech school on October 24 and will be reporting to the F-15 fighter wing at Lakenheath RAF in England for a three-year tour. It should take me through the rest of my enlistment and with this new GI bill I should finally be able to finish my degree (now that I've actually got one!) and I wouldn't be too very surprised if Suzann and I decide to stay in England after my enlistment. We will cross that bridge when we come to though.
A1C Paul xxxxxxx"