Sighhhh….

On Thursday, I got a call from some vehicle finance company asking for my mother. Figuring it was just one of those cold-callers for the new scam of selling useless finance and insurance for cars to people gullible enough to want something for nothing (which this is the opposite of… nothing for a lot) , I said “No thanks!” and hung up.

They called immediately back and said that, in fact, someone had put us down as a reference to finance their car loan. This “someone” is the same “someone” for whom we have (well, my mother, anyway) been getting calls from a bank (major Canadian financial institution) because they have skipped out on repaying a loan and the bank wants to know where they are.

As this “person” is the wife of my brother who is part of the reason why my mother is in the financial situation that she is in, and neither one has never taken ANY responsibility for their own part in their own life-situation; and since moving from their last address not bothered either to call my mother but once and not given us a forwarding address, I haven’t been able to give them information they don’t already know. Nor, I might point out, has either one of them bothered to ASK before putting my mother down as a reference.

AND, as my 85 year-old mother little needs being harassed by a bank that she may or may not have actually given her consent to be a reference for and certainly is not in the state of compis mentis to GIVE informed opinion on the relative financial and personal responsibility of my brother and/or his wife, I have, on behalf of my mother asked them to stop calling. They assure me they will…. and then we get another call. Next time I will tell them that they can talk to my lawyer….

So, I “cheerfully” said… “Noooo… That won’t happen…” when they woman at the other end of the line suggested my mother might give a reference.

I then emailed my sister to bitch about this.

In the midst of this email bitchfest, the phone rings.

It’s my brother.

I’m thinking. “Oh, this going to be good… He’s either calling to tell me they might be calling about a reference or he’s heard that I wouldn’t give one”.

“I need to give you a heads-up….”

“S is in the hospital…”. (“S” being his wife)

Apparently, she had her gallbladder removed almost two weeks ago and seemed to be on the mend when she started having abdominal pains, was vomiting blood, and otherwise obviously becoming less and less well. “They are running tests…” Don’t know what the problem is…” It’s serious…”

Great. Now, I feel guilty… My sister feels guilty (no love lost on either side of this triangle of siblings and sister-in-law). We just lost my lovely sister-in-law, Alice, two weeks ago to cancer. This is obviously a very serious situation.

Of course, I have no real reason to feel badly about scuttling the car loan. My brother and his wife may feel hard done by and may well write me off over this but my mother’s best interests are now my best interests. My brother doesn’t call, has not one shred of understanding that his mother has dementia and that stress from what he and my niece (my other sister’s daughter) put her through financially could well have contributed to her mental state and/or could well have killed her had I not been there to help “fix” things.

“S” gets crabby with my mother (on the rare occasion in the last two years we have seen them) for asking the same questions, is appalled by our living conditions which are messy but nothing to be “appalled ” over) but not appalled enough to ask if she can help me) and takes every opportunity to make snide comments clearly intended to point out her seeming superiority to everyone else in the family. Oddly enough, no one else in the family has lost their house because the wife has refused to make any payments towards the mortgage, or is constantly in a state of debt while taking jobs for three months and getting fired or quitting in a snit because “someone doesn’t like them”.

Somehow, the rest of us, as financially strapped as we are, manage to keep full-time jobs and don’t think that the world owes them a living.

Nor, have any of us “borrowed” money from an ageing parent even as someone is begging them  not to and that, unless they stop, that parent will be out on the street with nothing to show for a career and a home and dedication to a family… and whinged “But I’ll be out on the street” without a concern about the parent.

So, why should I feel guilty?

I don’t.  I fell badly that “S” is in hospital (we went to visit her, that evening) and hope that it all works out for her. But as far as being “felling guilty” goes. I have nothing to feel guilty about.

They are in their 40s. It is time to start acting like they are in their 40s.

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