I'm thrilled with your kind nudges and the odd e-mail and real world letters and cards that make it through. I know I bitched about my lot, complained about fights I had with my Mother, but I always prefaced everything wrote by saying how very lucky I knew I was, and truth be told I worshiped my Mother. Quite frankly I idolized her and wondered how anyone who could know me at all could miss this. You don't spend all of your free time writing about, cataloging ephemera, saving every little story, collecting vintage clothing, and putting on fashion shows all for the benefit of someone you don't love.
This grief, (almost three years since Mom died - April 25), is the hardest, deepest and most overwhelming pain I have ever experienced. I was paralyzed with it, desperate for escape, quite literally, for the first six to eight months, and then I was galvanized into motion by the cruel callous way in which my Mother's own wishes and my son and I were being wronged.
That's when I stopped writing because I had to. I didn't know who I could trust, and speaking openly in a public forum while lawyers were trying to destroy my character, writing briefs and telling lies about my family and about me in court, made my continuing to write here a very unwise thing to do.
I'll tell you more about it someday but basically my parents had always wanted me to step up and run everything for them. There wasn't that much left in the end because, and I am happy this was/is the case, because they all lived long lives. I wanted my family, especially my Mother who had the capacity, the drive, and the will to travel the globe, to do anything she wanted or would be allowed to do, (She so wanted to go to the observatory on Mauna Kea in Hawaii, then later in San Diego, but not only her age, [she was almost 92], but the fact she'd lost part of her lung to cancer), because no matter what she said or thought, as far as I was concerned it was her money and I really wanted her to enjoy it. But again she was so generous, unfailingly so, that she would go without, scrimping on certain things the way she had learned to during The Great Depression and World War 2. She wanted me to have a better, bigger, more animal-friendly house than the one I am already blessed beyond belief to have, she wanted for me to never have to work again, to live with my Grandparents furniture and hers and to have the finest of lives. This love extended to Beau who she wanted to somehow have enough money to buy a little home for and to pay for his education, but all of these things just weren't going to be possible with the IRS waiting for her to die so they could take half of everything away.
A long time before Mom had cancer she made the mistake of making the husband of a friend, our family attorney, and then possibly our trustee, (or not, I don't know which if any of the older paperwork, I was finally allowed to see, was real or fraudulent), but when she was given her more serious cancer diagnosis, she took a more calculated look down the road and changed her will. She knew we couldn't afford and didn't want the man we were working with to be a trustee. She didn't trust him. And when the chips were down I was the one she trusted. She told me to get rid of this man, or to try to work with him, IF I WANTED, but not to allow him to actually be our trustee, or allow anyone else to get involved. She told me that she wanted to teach me everything our secretary was doing as she felt I could easily learn to do it just as well, and save the money. She told Scott, Beau and me this. She told her closest friends this. She told her nurse this, and she told the purported trustee this.
Everyone warned me not to trust this man, but the problem was that I did, and even though I knew he really wasn't meant to be my trustee, I thought I needed him, I was afraid to go up against him, (When you are raised the way I was you are taught not to make any waves, etc.,) and I really liked and cared about him. I still do if you can believe that, (I told you, I am loyal to a flaw,) this of course makes everyone who watched us suffer so terribly because of his lack of any real care and some extremely poor critical decisions, super angry, but I'm finally getting it. However I especially trusted him when he told me that he would have made my Mother so much money with her money (In real estate ventures, something my Mother forbade me to do, which is what he was almost exclusively doing before my Mother passed, [He'd sold his family law practice to a person completely unqualifed to be a trustee since he didn't seem to know the most fundamental principals of being conferred with such a responsibility], that and taking luxury trips with his family while getting in as much golf as possible), that we would have been so wealthy as to not have to worry about any of the many things I had to worry about while grieving, like selling my Mother's home on Stone Canyon, where I grew up, or the supposedly massive tax burden he said we would owe. It never occurred to me until we were halfway through a serious family law case that he was the person who reduced what we had left to shreds by hiring friends to do jobs they weren't equipped to do. In the end he sailed off into the Sunset refusing to return our panicked calls, leaving us with an illegally appointed "trustee" whose plan was to sell my own home out from under us and rent an apartment or somewhere for us to live far away where land is cheaper to come by. He told me this himself during one of several drunken conversations, then when he'd sober up, during the day, he'd act completely surprised, deny it, and then try to ascertain who told me as if he were a general and one of his foot soldiers had given away a strategic military plan to the enemy.
Well, I'm exhausted and I've barely scratched at the surface of year one. I think you can see why this has been so hard for me to do. Can you?
I can't write any more, it's too painful, it only gets worse and I'm starting to feel ill at ease about sharing any of this. I can tell you that after so much time, and tremendous expense, the purported trustee got tangled up in so many of his lies to the judge that even the judge was making fun of him. Of course this left him with nowhere to turn but to us. So he made an offer to back out quickly and my attorney, seeing our little remaining money being poured down the black hole of our legal system told me to take it, poor though it was. The offer allowed him to get away with what amounted to fraud, theft, perjury, irreparable damage to what was left of my poor parents estate, and very real emotional harm and distress, but we gratefully waived any pursuit of this in exchange for our freedom. Our agreement however did not cover the behavior of our "family friend" our original lawyer, but distressed though we may be, financially and God knows how much more otherwise, I am happy to disconnect totally from all of the old bad energy and do what I can to move on saving what little is left.
Okay, I truly can't go on, as it does get darker, but I've got my little family and my Auntie Jani who is the one true blessing that's come out of all of this, I have my neighbors and I'm about ready to start venturing out again after three long years to see if any of my friends will still have me after such a long self imposed absence, and we'll see. Please pray or non-denomination-ally do anything you might want to for us, as I am always doing for all of you. Yes, I still pray for all of you because I still love you -- Jacqui
We're trying to figure out how to afford to go away for a day for my birthday on Tuesday, (March 29). My one wish is to see Jani, well, my one wish for my birthday; My one real wish would be for world peace, love and happiness, tossing in good health because at my age you really get how important it is. If I manage to get my Beloved Scott to be happy for most of the time and go with me to play near some tide pools, well then that really would be something.