The sweet elderly lady I’m talking about is pictured in my latest ‘Wordless Wednesday’ post, affectionately referred to by my darling daughter as ‘Nana’. She’s not actually Princess Nagger’s grandmother, but she’s always been considered part of our family. The nice older gentleman in the picture with her is ‘Papa’, and is in fact my lovely father-in-law. My husband’s parents never wanted children, but 9 years into their marriage, they were surprised with his pending arrival (so much so, that hubby’s mom told his dad she was pregnant the very day he was at a car lot to purchase his ‘dream’ car, a 1956 or 1957 Thunderbird convertible…due to the ‘news’, he had to opt for a more ‘family friendly’ car instead…). They were both ‘older’, so it’s intriguing that my father-in-law is the same age my grandfather would be were he alive today… 🙂
At any rate, hubby’s mom passed away from cancer when he was only 18 years old. A few years later (or a few years earlier, I can’t remember), Nana’s husband died from acute liver failure. He was an alcoholic, and Nana was very patient during their marriage – even had to go ‘fetch’ him after he died…at his girlfriend’s house. She had two very small children at the time, and did a wonderful job raising them as a single mom – which was even more difficult to do, considering that was the late 50’s early 60’s.
She and Papa were close friends, and she was considered Papa’s ‘Significant Other’ over the last several decades. They never married, but they did everything together – she often recounted their numerous (18) trips to Ireland, over the years where she’s a descendant, she lamented growing too old to travel and not being able to look forward to those kinds of trips anymore. Papa is a stubborn old coot (and I love him dearly), they did try to live together for awhile, but since he’s so fiercely independent (he’s 86, will be 87 in January), they ended up getting separate apartments at an upscale retirement community. She’s now 92 (will be 93 in March) and is suffering from acute Alzheimer’s and during the past year has been moved into what is called the ‘Care Center’ at the retirement home. She still has her own apartment there, but she has round the clock nursing care so she stays to a specific schedule which is so very important. I am so glad that for the past 11 years I have been able to get to know her and love her and she has been a prominent part of our daughter’s life as ‘Nana’. I have enjoyed immensely the stories of her childhood and subsequent years – this woman is ultra amazing!
The two small children she worked so hard to raise and bring up to wonderfully have turned into vultures in their adulthood. Why does this happen?? Part of it, I suppose, is she has a tendency to be too nice – if either of her children asked for anything, she’d give it without question. Which is why her son did the worst thing imaginable – with his name on her financial accounts, he quickly squandered her life savings – to the tune of approximately $400,000.00. When she moved into the retirement home about 14 years ago, she had to make a deposit of about $96,000 for them to ‘keep’ for future care…refundable if she should ever choose to leave the home. She also had to agree to keep an additional $96,000 in an account to ‘match’ her deposit, so she would be ensured complete care in her final years. That $96,000 is gone, thanks to her ungrateful son. But it gets worse. Because her son ‘stole’ her money (and she refused to go after him to get it back), her daughter is now poised as a vulture over that remaining $96,000. It’s Nana’s money, no one else’s, she is the one who worked hard in her lifetime to save it, so she should be the one to decide what happens to it.
Now that Nana is down to her last $96,000.00 (and I’m sure the current state of the economy isn’t helping her investments any!!!) her daughter is afraid that it will all be gone and she’ll get nothing, after her brother took all of their ‘inheritance’ for himself. She even talked about removing Nana from the retirement community and having her live with her…uh, hello? With Nana in the condition she’s currently in, it’s even more important for her to stay exactly where she is…the nurses are wonderful, they check on her regularly, make sure she’s eating, taking her medication at the appropriate times, getting to sleep and waking up each day…the fact that Nana doesn’t recognize anyone anymore (except Papa, but they’ve had a regular routine for years, so there’s no chance of him being ‘forgotten’, no matter how bad things get).
Her daughter hasn’t visited her much, so Nana doesn’t recognize her at all – she asks Papa “Who was that red haired girl?” the few times her daughter has paid her a visit. Her daughter has now taken over all of Nana’s financial accounts, and sends her mother money monthly for necessities…only, she’s not sending enough. She apparently sent $25.00 (of Nana’s own money) one week, with a note to make sure she is the one to spend it (who else would??), but the problem is that Nana has her clothing laundered and pressed by the home, and they charge $15.00 to do the laundry, plus an additional $7.00 if the resident wants them pressed. Since Nana is an ‘old school gal’, she always has her clothing pressed…so that leaves her with $3.00 for the week…um, hello?? She loves to go out to eat on occasion, (those good days she has), so how’s she supposed to do that on $25.00 a week ‘allowance’…from her own money…not to mention any additional necessities – never mind simple ‘mad money’??!
Since Nana can barely take care of herself, there’s no way she can press her own clothes…if Nana didn’t live an hour-and-a-half from me (when traffic is good), I’d go down there and press ’em myself. No strings, no expectations – just to do something nice for someone who is nice. So the home sent a request to bill out the charge for pressing – and since her daughter handles the finances, they sent the request to her, of course. The answer from her daughter? NO.
In fact, she mandated that NO extra expenses of any kind were to even be considered. Whaaa??? It’s Nana’s money, if she wants to spend it the way she wants to, there should be no question whatsoever. But what the daughter is worried about is that now that Nana is in the ‘Care Center’, it’s more expensive than her former residence there, so the longer she’s there, there is the possibility that payments will have to be made from the agreed upon ‘matching amount’ of $96,000. But see, the daughter is looking at that as her inheritance, and she doesn’t want to see it disappear…you know, $7.00 or so at a time. So Nana’s ‘golden years’, her final years on this earth are being dictated by her vulture daughter, and already ‘ruined’ by her vulture/selfish/greedy son.
How sad when people turn into greedy, spiteful people, in spite of being raised with lots of love and generosity from their mother. How sad that children have an ‘expectation’ of getting what they can from their parents when they cross over. That any success their parents were able to accomplish, the hard work they had to do to save up any kind of money for later years is expected to come to the surviving children…and when a parent takes too long to cross over, how they resent her for hanging in there this long…how sad.
I cannot wrap my brain around the attitude of ‘entitlement’ people get. My parents never have to worry about that from me, they’re going to be around for quite sometime (God willing), since they’re only in their early 60’s…and whatever they have, they’ve worked very hard for, so if they decide to blow all of it on nonsense (or anything that makes them happy), it’s their right! I will never consider their hard-earned money as ‘mine’ or as ‘my inheritance’ – I didn’t earn it, I’m not entitled to it. Yes, I’m all fired up -I’m going to try to come up with ‘The Seven Dollar Solution’ for Nana…I’ll keep you posted! 😉