I waited until after 9pm thinking that Nicole would be off, but as soon as I pulled up to the drive-thru I knew it was her on the speaker. Crap! I placed my order and pulled up to the window and I could see her peeking out the window to see if it was me. She opened the window and looked at me. I could tell that she was really nervous. I said "Hello Nicole" and she said "Hello" and I said "How are you?" and she said "Fine". I handed her my credit card and she closed the window. While she waited for my order she was busy ringing up other customers. I'm glad she wasn't involved in preparing the food because I would never have eaten it for fear of consuming spit or dirt... that doesn't mean I didn't examine my food before eating it!
When my order was ready she handed it to me and I said "Thank you" and she said "You're welcome" and I was gone. Before she came back to the window I thought seriously about reaching out to her by saying that I am always available and am just a phone call away, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it because the hurt I have encountered from Nicole and Kayla outweighs my kindness and open and forgiving heart. I know deep down she is not a bad kid, and I truly think that Nicole, Mercedez and Devin are just victims. Kayla, on the other hand, is a bad seed and total product of her environment. Deep down I feel that Kayle is not a nice or kind person at all.
I wish it wasn't like this. I wish I had a relationship with my nieces and nephew but that means that I would have to have contact with my sister and really, I could live the rest of my life without talking to her again. I managed to do that nicely for the six years after Dad passed away, but being the executor of the estate I have no choice but to talk to Janine. I made a promise to my Uncle that I would handle things fairly and I have kept that promise, but I will be so happy when all of this is over and I can erase her from my life permanently.
My feelings on this were solidified recently when my sister pulled her latest stunt. When Robin and I met, I was staying over her house and let my other sister Traci and her girlfriend Tonya stay at Mom's. They were supposed to be paying 1/2 of all the utilities, but this never happened so I finally had to kick them out. Another factor in that decision is that they said they were bringing over two cats and a dog but actually brought a dog and EIGHT cats that tore up the furniture, chewed through cords and made me miserable. They had to go! For two months there was no one living in the house and Robin and I would come by every couple of days to get the mail and check on things.
At one point, Janine called me and told me some sob story about how she had to move and her new place didn't allow dogs and asked if she could keep her dogs in Mom's back yard. I really didn't want to say yes, but I did. For over a month she had her big dumb dog and her little dog in the yard and would occasionally come check on them. It was very hot outside and I really felt sorry for the pets. I kept asking her when she was going to find a home for them and she gave me a different story every time I asked. I personally emailed rescue organizations and no one could take another unwanted pet. I hated to even do that since I think it's absolutely irresponsible to just dispose of your pet because it's inconvenient for you. Janine wasn't being very proactive so I gave her a deadline. I also gave her an extension and then I was through. I told her we were going out of town and upon our return I wanted the dogs gone. I guess she found a home for them. I never asked.
In the meantime, I was working with the mortgage company trying to get the house out of foreclosure. I applied for their assistance program and was initially turned down. After many sleepless nights, phone calls, faxes and stressful moments, I re-applied and was accepted but we had to put money down to get the house out of foreclosure before they would set up a payment arrangement for us. Robin managed to borrow the money and we made the initial payment and then they took the other payments that we were behind and added them to the monthly payments. Our new monthly payment is now actually larger than the actual mortgage payment because of this. Regardless, we made it happen.
When I talked to Traci about all of this she said that her memories were with Mom and Dad and not tied to the house so she could not care less what happened (until we sell it, I'm sure!) Janine said that she would like to move in because she had to move anyway. I told her that I didn't know if that could legally happen since the house was still in probate and Mom, at one time, had her legally evicted by the magistrates office because she refused to leave. What Janine didn't think of is that she couldn't just move in. The house was in foreclosure and payments were behind. The mortgage company would not allow someone to simply move in and start paying. This just confirmed how ignorant she was to what was happening. She's so wrapped up in her own little world that she is oblivious to reality.
After dealing with the MAJOR stress of getting the house out of foreclosure we moved in with the intent of fixing it up so we could actually sell it later for a profit. We have already done several things and are slowly making progress. I really think my parents would be proud that we saved the house and are fixing it up.
About two weeks ago I received a text message from Janine that said "Are you home? I need to talk to you, something serious has happened." I knew I should have ignored it but I sent her a text telling her I was home. She called me and started rambling about how her best friend was in jail and she had to bail her out because everyone thought Janine set her up. She said the only money she had was her bill and rent money but this meant she would not be able to pay her rent so she and the kids needed to move in with us.
I asked why her friend was in jail and why they thought Janine set her up. Janine said several times "I can't go into that right now, it's complicated!" I said "How can I help someone who won't even be honest with me?" Again, she stated it was complicated. She then went on to say that she knew that I didn't care for Kayla and Nicole and they could stay at a friends house so it would be just her, Mercedez and Devin. I told her I didn't have the space and she said "You have the spare bedrooms and the (unfinished!) room over the garage!" I told her that the spare rooms are still filled with Mom's things, including the room over the garage. I told her there is no way I could do that and reminded her of when Mom allowed her and the kids to move in and they stayed for eight months until Mom had her evicted.
Janine went on to say that she talked to the probate judge who looked at Mom's Will and said she had a right to be in the house since she was named 1/3 beneficiary. I told her that this was common knowledge even before Mom passed away and then I asked "Where have you been while we were attempting to save the house?" and she said "I didn't have any money" and I said "Neither did we! We had to BORROW it!" and then I said she hasn't done shit to help with ANYTHING since Mom died. She hasn't even raked a fucking leaf in the yard. All she has done is ask for things! I have been more than kind to her, even giving her Mom's ring that was left to me!!
I was so furious that she just expected to waltz in the house after not doing a damn thing to save it. She has never done a responsible thing in her life! All three of us kids have screwed up here and there and Mom and Dad have bailed us ALL out, but she is now 43 and needs to wake up! Her meal tickets are dead and she has absolutely estranged herself from all relatives. She has no one.
All I can think about it how poorly she and the kids treated Mom. When I was in Ohio, Mom would call me and complain about both Janine and Traci and how they would never come by or call her. Traci had a cell phone for a year and made me promise to not give Mom the number because she annoyed her. Janine and the kids were horrible to my Mom. Her kids totally disrespected her and Janine would bitch her out whenever my Mom would discipline one of them. Twice my sister kicked my Mom out of the car and made her walk home from long distances. This is a woman who could barely walk across the house without stumbling!
I told Janine I just could not disrupt my life to accommodate her. Robin works nights and I work days and it would not work out! She said "so, you are not going to help me?" and I said "no" and she said (again!) "I have a right to be in the house!" and I said "Well, go get an attorney and do what you've got to do!" and she hung up. I haven't talked to her since then.
A couple of days later I went to probate to turn in some forms and ask for an extension since I had to hunt down Janine to get her to sign the "Receipt and Release" form, which states she has no claim against the estate after receiving her name on the deed as 1/3 owner. I needed to get Janine's address for the Register of Deeds and it took several phone calls and text messages to just get that! When I asked for the extension, the probate clerk looked at the form and said "Ohhhh. I'm gonna give you 6 months!" I said "You know my sister, don't you?" and she said "Yeah" - it's pretty bad that even probate is aware of what a snatch she is!
Wow. I didn't mean for this blog to be all about this. Makes me think of the Anna Nalick song "Breathe"...
"If I get it all down on paper, it's no longer inside of me,
Threatening the life it belongs to"
I don't really talk about it a lot, except with Robin. I have had people say "come on, it's family... you have to like them!" and I really don't agree with that theory. Janine has been nothing but a thorn in my side all of my life and like I mentioned before, I will be so glad when probate and eventual sale of the house is over so I don't have to think about her again.
I'm not sure what will happen with the house, but right now I have to go with what my heart tells me. My parent's always lived in Navy housing and this was the first home they ever owned and they were proud of it. My Dad loved his yard and it was once one of the nicest in the neighborhood. I would love for it to be that way again. I just want to do the right thing... the thing my parents would appreciate and be proud of.