Wednesday Dec 29 was a productive day! I phoned to follow up with the lawyer, Barrie Wray, who checked his files and confirmed that he did not have a will belonging to my mother on file. On the one hand, I’m not surprised, on the other I kind of am. I mean, seriously, she was a brilliant, intelligent, organized woman – note the emphasis on WAS. The condition of her house certainly belies that now. So Mr Wray has pointed me in the direction to prepare for a meeting with him next Friday, to which I need to take a letter of opinion from a real estate agent regarding the potential sale value of the property, a list of any bank accounts I am aware of, and a list of any stocks/bonds she had. Yeah, right, like I’m going to be able to get that. All I can really do is tell him what brokers she used and let him try to track it down himself. Good luck with that. Once he has all that, he can go to court for me to apply for administration of the estate, such as it is. He did seem a bit concerned about the fact that I’m adopted, and was rather worried that I don’t have a copy of my adoption order. So Thurs night I printed off an application for a copy of an adoption order from the internet and will drop that in the mail to go out tomorrow. Might as well. He might be able to get it faster, but then again, he might not….and why pay him to get it if I can get it free from the government myself?
Then we headed over to the house to clean some more. I spent most of the day sorting through boxes of papers the others kept bringing me. I checked every single envelope, unfolded every single paper, and shook out folded up newspapers, and pretty much all I found was dead spiders and long dead plant seeds. I got all excited at one point when I found a letter from a different lawyer regarding changes to her last will and testament! Finally, I thought, maybe we’re getting somewhere. I used her phone (YUCK!) and called that lawyer’s office right away – I can’t remember his name, Donald something, I’ll check and enter it here tomorrow – and his receptionist, or whatever they call the nice lady who answers the phone these days, said she’d go through the files and call me back. I gave her both mom’s number and mine, and she called me back there within a half hour. Nothing. No will on file with them. So if she had one, she took it away from them – and did what with it??? Put it in the underwear drawer? Marion went through the underwear drawer but all she found was underwear! Which Brianna found quite – well, maybe entertaining isn’t the right word, but she had a hard time believing those things that went down to one’s knees were considered panties!
It truly is sad just how much stuff is fit only for the garbage. The clothing that is motheaten, or horribly stained. The letters from overseas that she obviously kept for a reason. One thing that is standing out to me is just how little I seemed to impact her life. I found a letter she had written but never sent, in which she mentions going to my house for Christmas dinner and how cute Sean was. I found a couple cards I had made for her that she had kept. I also found a thank you card that hadn’t gotten sent to Betty Wright’s daughter, Brenda, thanking Brenda on my behalf for some pajamas I had received. Presumably I couldn’t even print yet….I well recall my mother making me sit down at the kitchen table to laboriously write out thank you cards for every single gift I received at every gifting occasion.
We also had a visit from Shirley, my real estate agent, who had a look around and promptly agreed that the house is not salvageable, and that the property is only worth the value of the land. I figured as much. She’s going to prepare a letter of opinion stating that.
We gave up at 1:30 and headed into Paris to pick up the boxes my friend Maureen had promised me, then we came home and finished the cheese ball for lunch! Yum! Next we dropped Brianna off to her sleepover at Monica’s, and Marion and I headed back to pack up the china we had decided was worth at least having a bath. Marion had it in mind to finish the dresser she had been working on, so I sorted and packed up the kitchen stuff we had set aside. Some of what Marion thought was redeemable I decided wasn’t worth my effort, so I ended up filling another garbage bag. It was getting dark when we gave up and headed home.
Thursday Dec 30
I took the day off.
Marion left this morning to go to her daughter’s to babysit for New Year’s, but she’ll be back by dinnertime Sat. I decided to spend the day puttering around my own house for a change and try to get laundry done, Christmas gifts put away, some general tidying done, and the boxes of china washed. I didn’t get a whole lot done. I puttered, yes, and got some stuff put away, and some laundry done, and most of the china washed, wrapped in newspaper and packed in boxes. But I was exhausted. It felt like every muscle in my body ached, and I was having trouble focusing on things. I should specify that that was in the afternoon, the morning wasn’t too bad. My friend Jen called to see if I wanted to go out today to pick up our buses instead of Sunday because she’s hoping to spend the weekend at their trailer. She had called the office and staff were in, so if we had problems there’d be backup. Sounded good to me, so I met them at Forbes and we went out to pick up our buses. It seemed strange to be driving again. I know it’s only been two weeks, but so very much has happened in that two weeks that the last day of school seems almost a lifetime ago. But at least now my bus is parked here for Monday and I don’t have to worry about getting out to pick it up. One thing done. And I actually cooked a well balanced meal for my family tonight!
On deck for tomorrow….more puttering to try to finish what I didn’t finish today. I wonder if the kids will remember that we talked about renting a couple Wii games for New Years Eve?