Of course my younger brother is still upset that he will have to "buy" family memories from my father's estate, so my older brother organized this meeting with the the attorney and the three of us, just so my little brother could hear from the attorney's lips what he already knew. My time was wasted as well. I didn't need to be there, except that my older brother kept insisting that we all needed to be there.
So we all go. And listen to the attorney tell us what we already knew. And then my older brother is all over with see, see, see! Except that he didn't use the term "see." But it was all over his face, you know.
So I butt in and say that little brother has never doubted the legality of the way older brother has chosen to liquidate the estate, he just feels that older brother is only determined to get as much "free money" (older brother's words straight from his mouth) from the estate that he can. And; since there are only three things he even wants from the estate, then the only way to be fair is to have everything appraised, sold, yada yads yada.
Still twiddling my thumbs at the meeting.
Comes time to produce our lists of what we'd like to have from the estate.
Older brother is reading my list, scoffing, shaking his head, etc., at various items.
Is there something wrong with my list?
Well, of course there is! Because I listed the painting I wanted. Remember this one:
And so older brother says he is TAKING that picture. Seriously, he's all I want it and I'm taking it.
And I start crying. In front of the attorney, God, and everybody.
And he's all like, why are you getting so upset — I told you three months ago that I was taking this painting.
"Ah, no you didn't", my little brother says and I'm crying and shaking my head, and saying "No you didn't."
And he says he did.
And I say, "No. You. Didn't. You told me that you wanted it, too, and I started to cry and you told me not to cry, don't get upset, we'll deal with that later.
And he says he doesn't remember it that way.
Little brother says, "but that is what you said."
"Well I don't remember it that way. I want it. I'm the executor, and I have the final say in the estate. It says so in the will," older brother says, and states like words to the attorney.
And the attorney tells him how he will have to work it out because "she" wants it, too.
Except that the damage is done.
My older brother lost all my respect and faith in his handling the estate fairly.
And so my brother says he will just have the painting appraised.
And I say, "I will give up everything, all of my share for it (the painting.)
And he scoffs. "You are not gonna want to give away (X amount of dollars) over this one painting.
You see, I knew there was a chance that I could lose items from my list if anyone else wanted them, and I was prepared for that possible disappointment. I was totally floored by his just taking it with out any discussion, drawn straw, or flipped coin.
I think my little brother was even more shocked than me.
The attorney suggests we share the painting. I take it for a while, then older brother takes it for a while. Except nothing matters anymore.
My older brother was just going to take what he wanted. He did that — and then made lite of my wanting this painting more than anything else.
Because he just doesn't get what is wrong with what just happened.
He wasn't going to be fair. At all.
And then later, back at Dad's house, he admits that he was wrong in thinking he had the last word in how the estate is handled. He misunderstood the legalese of the will. He thought he could just take whatever he wanted and that he had the final say, until the attorney told him that morning that he doesn't have the final say in who gets what, only that his responsibility as executor is to over see the the equal disbursement of the estate.
But he doesn't apologize. He is still going to have the painting appraised and what if it turns out the painting is worth $240,000.00 — wouldn't I want it sold for a share of that that $240,000.00. (Not that he believes it is worth that much money, only if it were possible.)
I tell him it wouldn't matter, because I don't have that kind of money to buy the painting.
"You would rather have this painting than $80,000.00?"
He's scoffing again.
He just doesn't get it. Everything is about the money to him in the long run. My little brother is absolutely right.
I wanted to believe that my brother was all about being fair, but I was wrong.
I will buy this painting from the estate. I want it this badly and more than ever now. Because my older brother was just going to take it from me and any hope of getting a commonly wanted item from the estate if it was something he wanted, too.
And do you want to know how solid I am with this unfairness?
My brother wanted two, possible three things besides the painting — until he saw my list.
Yup. Because I listed a few things that were Mom's I'd really like to have. And his list had nothing of Mom's.
But now I've listed something of Mom's that he does want.
Have it appraised, dear older brother, go ahead. Because I will buy the things of such emotional value that I really want and can afford. The money is nice and I could use it to the betterment of myself and my family. It is a life changing amount of money.
The money means nothing if something of my parents that I deeply want is just sold to the highest bidder. Not while I have the funds to buy it.
Thank you, Daddy. Thank you so much for leaving me the cash to buy the things I want from our family history. Here I thought you chose older brother as executor because he was the oldest. Now I understand why you scrimped and saved those last six years of your life to leave us and cash and things. You knew.
I hope and pray there is an afterlife beyond your physical body and that you are happy and at peace.
Because I will buy any memory I want. Take it from me, go head. I'll pay double, triple, until the money runs out.
My older brother may end up with more cash in his pockets, but he's already lost any respect from me.
Take away, older brother.
You are lost to me.