Progress Pics

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Brothers and Uncles and Probate, oh my!

Yesterday was the probate hearing regarding my uncle and I am so glad it's over. I have been anxious for days over this!

DH took the day off from work to give me moral support, as with my family you never know what you might be walking into. In my family, I am the "black sheep" because I am not a drug addict or a criminal. I warned DH that if I felt outnumbered or attacked in any way that I would go outside and wait. My family is not able to push his buttons, so he agreed to remain inside and find out what's going on no matter what.

First of all, only my younger brother who is my uncle's guardian and the executor of my mom's estate was there. His wife, my older brother, and the rest of the bitches and lunatics were not there. Thank heavens!

Also, there was an attorney present who seemed to be representing my uncle's interests. This made baby bro have to act civilized as everything was taking place in front of this woman and it seemed he didn't want to act like an asshole in front of her-- so that saved the day from being as hideous as it could have been.

The story I got during the hearing is that a few months ago, my uncle fell and broke his hip. While he was in the hospital for that, they discovered that he needed a quintuple by-pass AND that he had an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm.

He had back-to-back surgeries, one for the quintuple by-pass and another to remove the aneurysm. Between the broken hip and the surgeries, he was bedridden for weeks and developed bed sores. To make a long story short, they now believe that one of the sores on his feet, which developed gangrene, will not heal and they may have to amputate the foot and maybe even part of the leg. This is the reason my brother wanted the probate to give permission to move my uncle to a nursing home, which the judge granted.

I actually got to see my uncle yesterday by visiting him in the nursing home where is is staying presently. Today he is going to the hospital to determine what will happen with the foot/leg. If he is in there too long, the nursing home won't hold his bed and he would end up someplace else once released from the hospital.

Although my brother was cordial in front of that attorney, if I call to find out where my uncle has been moved (should he actually be moved), I do not know if he would return my call to tell me, but that is not something I want to dwell on at this point.

I inquired after my older brother and you're not going to believe this one! He has had hepatitis C for decades and previously would not agree to treatment with interferon. This past year he developed liver cancer and was put on the list for a transplant. He has a rare blood type and no one held a lot of hope that he'd end up with a liver.

This is someone who has been a heavy smoker, active alcoholic and drug user since his teens. He had to agree to give everything up in order to be on the list for a liver. Within a month, they had a liver for him and he had transplant surgery.

According to my younger bro, the minute the older bro had the new liver he started smoking pot again. He claimed the anti-rejection drugs they gave him made him shaky and that the pot was the only thing that helped. Shortly after that, he resumed smoking cigarettes. He is not drinking again (yet) or doing any drugs again (yet) but I am betting that given time, he will.

This is a guy with an explosive temper and a lot of violent tendencies. In addition to the violence and addictions he is one of the most self-centered people I've ever seen. It's all about his own needs and his own convenience. He has harmed MANY people on many levels over the years-- and yet, he has always seemed immune to karma.

He should have served several prison sentences but always managed to get off with probation. Time and time again, he has done evil and yet everything always seemed to go his way. No matter what happens, he always seemed to land on his feet.

And here we go again. After a lifetime of self-abuse and excess, not to mention harming others, he needed a liver and got one right away, while decent people on the list won't get one and will die. Go figure!?

In any case, that's' the dysfunctional family news.

Here's my uncle-- I brought my camera with me yesterday in case I was able to see him. Here's a classic example that THIN doesn't mean healthy. He is 5'10" which for a man in our family is like being a dwarf. He never weighed more than 180-190 pounds and is obviously far less than that now. Because of the retardation, he never worked. He never got any exercise either. None. Nada. Zipadeedoodah!

But he covered everything he ate in bacon or sausage grease, ate tons of fat and sugar. Overall, his diet has always been terrible. He is thin-- but had quintuple by-pass created by his diet! Also, with the muscle atrophy from age, there's no strength in him, since he never used his body, there was no muscle to spare.

Being fat sucks, to be sure! But if it makes us aware of what we eat and how we care for ourselves it (ironically) could be what saves us in the end. I eat MUCH healthier than most of my thin friends. If I were naturally thin like my uncle, I would probably still be hosing a large pizza and a quart of beer for lunch every other day. I probably wouldn't exercise. It is the fat that started me on a healthier lifestyle and I doubt that I would have arrived here without that as a motivator.

Anyway, after probate court and visiting my uncle we came back home and decided to throw ourselves into some serious yard work. Something I'll post more about another time is the fact that we had read how lawns can be bad for the environment, so a few years ago we dug up our lawn and planted a 3-season, perennial wildlife garden. Since our house sits on a corner lot, this is some garden.

Where the side yard is I created a circular path. Perennial flowers, herbs, shrubs, and vegtables grow on either side of the path. Statues of angels, fairies, and other creatures peek out from among the plants. Tables, chairs and benches are tucked into the scene here and there.

I researched plants beloved by butterflies, bees, birds and hummingbirds and planted them in abundance. There is also a small pond and numerous bird feeders.

There's a stone retaining wall on that side of the property, so the plants on that side of the circle are the type to cascade over the wall. If I do say so myself, this creation of ours is spectacular. It is such a spectacle in the summer when everything is in bloom that people actually stop their cars to look and gawk.

Anyway, we went out there to bag up leaves and weeds, and we stayed out there until after dark! We worked for hours! I have climbing roses all over that needed to be trimmed, so I did that too. With both of us working like fiends we literally bagged up 30 of those large paper landscaping bags. Woooo-- I am sore! I will post pics of my garden one of these days.

We also dragged the Halloween decorations out of the attic and put them around the property with some pumpkins. This weekend, we hope to have time to make some ghouls to sit around on lawn furniture in front of the house. When we do this I will take pics and post them here.

Anyway, I have a busy day today and must get to it! Be good to you today!


  1. I'm so glad your hearing turned out better than anticipated. Good to have that behind you now.

    Your yard sounds like something I would absolutely love and would spend hours upon hours in. Can't wait to see the pictures.
    Looking forward to it.

  2. "and yet, he has always seemed immune to karma."

    I have family members like you describe, and it is beyond me why karma never bites them on the butt which they so deserve.

    Would love to see a photo of your masterpiece! Sounds gorgeous.

  3. Your yard sounds beautiful. And I totally want to reach through the computer and give your uncle a hug. In many ways, he reminds me of how my husband's beloved grandfather looked right before he passed away.

    Keep up your hard work, girl. I know it's a tough time, but we are here for you. :)

  4. Glad to see the hearing wasn't as bad as you were anticipating, and that you got to see your uncle as well. Sorry to hear he's been in such poor health, though.

    As Earl says, Karma is a funny thing... I truly believe that people do (eventually) get what's coming to them, even if it doesn't seem that way while they're 'misbehaving' (putting it mildly!) Unfortunately, all families seem to have their fair share of nutjobs, weirdos and bad eggs, but yours appears to be worse than most... Just count yourself lucky that you've got fab kids, a great hubbie a FANTASTIC garden (I'm so jealous!) and a very healthy lifestyle! Not to mention friends and everything else!

    Bye for now

    Patsy x

  5. Ha! Karma will get them eventually. It HAS to, ffs.

    I am the black sheep of my family, too. They are all alcoholic, wifebeating, unhappy, drug addicts... but I'M the black sheep. *shakes head*

    I hope you can continue to see your uncle. And I hope you can continue to see past your family's ridiculousness about who you are.

    They are not a reflection of you. Remember that.


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