Sunday, June 12, 2016

When Life Gets Messy

We all have times when life gets messy.

In my life, 2006-2007 was messy. I had one graduated in '04 who walked away from the values we embraced as a family, refused the college we could afford, and signed up for loans to attend a college charging $30,000/semester. We would not/could not co-sign.

Then in April of '06, with a feverish 5-year-old on my lap, I received the call that my dad had been found dead in his condo. I couldn't to him because of my sick child. (At that time my oldest was in college and my second was on a home school co-op trip to Europe!) That was a rough time.

All through '06 my step-father was also failing, with hospital stays, a nursing home or two, and ultimately hospice. He passed away in October of 2006.

By that time I had been working on my dad's estate for six months or so, so I was curious if my mom's affairs were in order (now that my step-dad had also passed away). I figured some day I'd be the representative for my mom's estate, and my experience with my dad's was not pleasant. He did not leave a will, and I was therefore unable to comply with wishes he had only expressed verbally.

I learned that my mom had a will. ...from 1970! It left a house to one adult child (with no means), but no cash. It left another house to another individual... but the house was no longer owned by my mother. And all the cash would go to me, since I was joint on the account. This was not what my mom wanted, so early in 2007 she went to an attorney with me and drew up trust papers with instructions for her wishes.

Before she got the papers signed to return to the attorney, we learned she was terminal with lung cancer! She became angry, despondent... didn't want to sign the papers. I finally caught her on a good day and was able to get her to sign the papers and return to the attorney with me. The new instructions left distribution to all children from mom and step-dad (which the will had not done).

Mom died five weeks after we learned of her illness. That quickly. And suddenly I had her estate to settle, in addition to my dad's, which was taking forever (partly delayed by the illnesses and deaths of my step-dad and mom). That was when I learned my mom had never settled my step-dad's affairs, and I had to open his estate as well. Of the three, that estate was the easiest. ::sigh::

Over a period of three years I sold a car, a condo, a huge amount of stuff from my dad at auction, a coin collection, a stamp collection, two vans, a boat, a trailer, and a house that I first had to renovate (new flooring, some carpet, lots of cleaning, painting, caulking windows...).

Through it all I was home schooling my youngest as best as I could. We did a lot of reading, following Ambleside Online. My son learned to read using the computer, with a program called Study Dog. I missed schooling him the way I had his sisters, but I couldn't. There were behavioral issues as a result of my absentee parenting, but I did the best I could. And God doesn't make mistakes.

From the first death in 04/06, it took until 09/09 to sell the last house. But there are still ongoing Trust actions to this day.
With my sister in the hospital last weekend and into the week, I was concerned that we were entering another similar season.

Fortunately my sister was found to have two treatable conditions and was sent home from the hospital. So I am taking a deep breath and am glad that I am not currently entering another season of "When Life Gets Messy"!


  1. really did get messy for a bit didn't it. And God walked you through it all. :)

  2. What a difficult season that must have been! Even though you couldn't give your youngest the amount of undivided attention you would have liked to, I'm sure homeschooling still was such a benefit to both of you. Very glad to hear that your sister's condition is treatable, and praying for her full recovery.