Hoarding Woes: Title Bout, Round 2, The Cards

No, we didn’t come to blows. I received word that my dear aunt was not being so kind. Again, in the late afternoon, she veered off kilter into a swearing, sneering mean old woman. Accusations flew toward the staff and my wife about all manner of conspiracies. I was summoned for back up. But, I was busy.

I have remarked here before, that it is critical in juggling someone else’s records, finances, medical, bills etc. to have a system to separate it out from your own. If your life is in any form of disorganization, for whatever reasons, pay particular attention to this point…seriously, it will cause you enormous aggravation, if not money and grief.

A financial planner would probably smirk at this. But, just taking care of my own bills and family planning, plus work is a sufficient load right now. Add to that my mom’s estate and probate status and enormous debts plus my aunt’s estate and medical care/finances and you see the potential for errors. 

So, today I was at aunt’s bank. I had snuck away from work on a FUF (it is a particular way we explain Friday’s that tend to turn to a mess long about late afternoon). I had really wanted to sort out some of my aunt’s bills and accounts. But, I received a call from the realtor and title company re my mom’s house and the closing sale. They realized they needed today, certified copies of my mom’s and dad’s death certificate. I knew I already had these at home. Well, I had had them at one point. A ‘thorough’ search failed to find them.

I won’t say it was an impossible task. I drove into town and to the State Office site and filled out the forms (know the full names, DOB’s, approximate  date of death…I was amazingly 4 years off on my dad’s, etc.) paid the cash (or check, no debit, credit cards allowed) and sat to wait. I was not alone; it was a busy Friday. Quite some time later, I started the lengthy drive across town to the title company.

I dropped off the death certificates and a few other records re liens and then was told it was time to sign all the documents releasing the house and accepting the terms. At this point, I had been rushing about. Nothing too difficult, but moving about at a fast pace. I was more impacted by the death certificates than I had considered...it never occurred to me. Reading the details, brought a slight pall over my mind. So, as I sat to sign away my parent's home, I felt a tightening in my breathing. I was not overtly sad or emotional. I just felt a twinge that this is the end of an immense ordeal. A massive hoarding cleanup coupled with bittersweet memories that have bombarded us for 18 months...well for 14 years overall. The signing did not take long. It was done. Finished, I now had to set this part of my life in another corner of my brain and looked at my phone.

There were several texts wanting to know how soon could I be there, my aunt was not being very nice. The condition was not resolved. I remembered last night and vowed to walk in expecting the worst and to handle it calmly. I arrived to find my aunt refusing dinner and sitting amongst others with a less than friendly countenance. I tried to feed her, but she would not take food. She would not drink nor take her meds. I thought ok enough of this BS, the others don’t have to witness the little wet hen, so I removed her to her room along with liquids and pills. I spent the next ten minutes or so asking, begging and game playing trying to get her to take her meds. Finally, as if talking to a five year old, I told her the pills were going in her mouth whether she liked it or not. And, they did and she reluctantly sipped just enough water to get them down. I know…bully. 

Not willing to just sit and watch her talk about make believe conspiracies at a make believe location, I pulled out 7 Thanksgiving Day cards I had purchased in the morning. The idea being she could write each nephew, niece and sister to wish them a happy holiday. Something she always did until June.

My aunt poised to write? Poised for sure. Prior to writing, I showed her each card to get her input. She seemed to relax looking at my selection and if she didn’t like them she did not let on. I said I would address the envelopes (I have all the addresses) if she would sign the card with say ‘Love Aunt Tillie’. She got no further with first card ‘love  lov’ and no signature. For over an hour and a half we waded through the seven cards with nary a signature, plenty of illegible scratching and she was not aware of the disconnect. I had her finish all the cards however they turned out. I will flesh out the intent and who it is from. The thought that counts…right? Yes, I think they will grasp the changes.

At the conclusion of the card writing project, the meds had worked a bit. She was mellow. I was told, as I said last night, that it will take close to a week for the new med’s to fully integrate and reduce the agitated and hallucinatory episodes. By the time I was hugging her goodnight, I was the good nephew again….for now. I am still struck by the fact that I was four years off on my dad’s date of death. Did I say go to great lengths to organize those separate but equal financial tasks?


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