Monday, October 6, 2008

Up Dates...

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. -2 Chronicles 7:14

Last Sunday, I took part in the silent chain for Pro-Life here in our town. I was there to represent our church, but I was also accompanied by two of the ladies from my play group. We wore t-shirts we made together that said, "My Choice Is Life." It meant so much to me that we could as mothers and friends stand together in prayer.

We each have our own stories and reasons we wanted to be represented in the silent chain. I stood there in honor of my children. My friend, Kristie stood to the right of me in honor of all the years she tried desperately to have a child. For all the years of tests, fertility drugs, prayers, heart breaks and tears of disappointment. She stood there in honor of the two children her sister aborted that she would have gladly taken during these same years she struggled and prayed to have a child. And she stood there for the beautiful blessing her daughter now is everyday in her life. What a woman. What a friend. I am proud to know her.

As I stood there, I prayed for a healing for our nation. I prayed for a radical change of heart to take place. I prayed for every unborn child, mother, and family that has been affected by abortion. I prayed for repentance. And I prayed for the body of Christ to reach out and offer the hope and love Christ would offer. Maybe this is one way we can help the healing start. Click here for more details.

It felt good to be there and to silently spend time in prayer.

Later that night we all met up at our church's fire side service. It was great. We sang and played and ate together. We spent time just enjoying each other's company and in fellowship and worship together.

We also had a great ladies bible study on Tuesday night. Unfortunately, I came down with an intestinal flu that same evening and have been resting up ever since. I haven't been that sick in a long time. It was like the stomach virus, but I also had a sore throat, ear ache and the chills. I didn't really run a fever, but I was in sweats and wool socks, and I still couldn't get warm. I didn't have any coughing, sneezing or other head cold symptoms, so I don't think you could say it was the full blown flu, but I was out of commission for a few days. I had to ask my husband to even stay home one day from work. And usually, even when I feel bad, I can still trudge on through and manage. But, this was bad.

So, we cancelled the rest of the week's and weekend's activities, and I stayed in bed. I felt so much better today when I woke up. And we even went to church.

And then...You know how when you're feeling under the weather, everything tends to be magnified emotionally. It is so much easier to get irritated, overwhelmed, or sad and depressed. Well, let's just say the devil took the opportunity to kick me while I'm down.

Warning: you may want to leave on a happy note and skip the rest, because it's about to get ugly! An ugly ranting mess. But, I'm sorry, I need to get it out.

For those of you that have been with me for a while, you may remember this post. Well, fast forward a bit and long story short, I found out my step father changed his will a mere three months after my mother died, cutting me out completely. He sold half of the 15 acres of land he and mama were building a house on to his brother, Gerry. Who coincidentally owned the land in the first place. Yes, that's right. My step father had convinced my mom to spend the rest of what she had left from her and my father's estate, (after selling the house, and paying off all bills and debt they had at the time of his death) to buy 10 acres of land from his brother. He already owned five acres adjoining the land his brother owned. Hmmm... sound fishy to anyone else?

So, even though they had given me a copy of their will- signed and notarized, saying that upon their passing all assets were to be split between his daughter Renee and myself- that now means nothing. But, wait it gets better.
So, Sonny sells what would be my half of the land to his brother, so I can never touch it and he can leave his remaining half to his daughter Renee. He then starts selling off all my and my mother's and fathers things that momma had in storage for me- all the while he is keeping in touch with me by phone and e-mail and assuring me it will all be out there as long as I need it to be. He'll take good care of it he said, because I am family-(yeah, right!)

I couldn't understand why he and momma were even giving me a copy of any will- the very first time I went out to Arizona to visit them. It kinda freaked me out and I told momma so. She assured me that she just wanted to have everything in order- just in case. After losing daddy, she wanted to make sure everything was in a row and taken care of if anything ever happened.

Since she has passed, I've also found out that Sonny tried to convince her that he could teach her how to drink. He knew that she was a recovering alcoholic, but he still drank around her, started keeping it in the house and yes, tried to convince her he could teach her how to drink. Are you serious?! I'm sorry, does anyone else see a pattern here, or is it just me?!

So, after her death, he changes the will and starts selling everything he can and along with his brother, Gerry, even tries to figure out a way to cash the stocks and bonds my mom had left in my father's name. (Some people have no shame and there seems to be no level they won't stoop to.)

So, several months ago when I had my aunt go out there to send me some pictures and things for the baby that's when it all started coming to light. Because it wasn't there. It was all but gone, and I confronted him on it. His response...He didn't know what had happened to it and how dare I talk to him that way. How dare I accuse him. If I was going to be that way, then don't even bother coming out there. He wasn't going to give me anything. I didn't deserve it. Easy to say when it's all gone! Mind you I never got ugly with him or even raised my voice to him. I wanted to. Oh, I wanted to, but I didn't, because I was hoping then that i might actually get some of it back. I didn't know what he had done with it at that time.

After that conversation, I found out he burned my family's home videos, just for spite, had given my wedding dress to his daughter, and all my mom's clothes and jewelry (along with a picture of Jesus at Gethsemane that my parents used to have hanging in their bedroom) to his mistress, Beverly, who he started having an affair with three months before my mama's death. His brother was so kind to enlighten us with that information. Seriously, Beverly! OK- That's OK, if you can look at a picture of Jesus everyday hanging in your home and wear my mama's clothes- and live with your self- you go right ahead.

Well, earlier this month, Sonny passed away himself. And yes, it gets even better. He left his brother, Gerry in charge of his estate. And Gerry, is just as greedy and manipulative and dishonest as his brother. Am I bitter? Just a tad bit!

Hugh and I were down home in the middle of job interviews, following his residency, when they had his funeral. I'm sorry, did I say funeral? Gerry told the county that Sonny didn't have enough money for a funeral or burial, so he'd just donate his brother's remains to science. The county could have his body and take care of it. Does this give you a picture of what I'm dealing with? Hmmm... when Sonny and my momma sat me down and gave me their will, they were both going to be cremated. Which was news to me, since my momma already had a plot with my daddy already paid for. But, she told me that this was what she and Sonny wanted and that she couldn't expect him to be OK with her, as his wife, being buried next to her former husband.

Well, when I talked to Gerry on the phone, he apologized for all the stuff that has gone missing, and how his brother had done me wrong. Yeah right! I know now, he has been in on this from the very beginning. He said that I was welcome to come out and get anything that was left, except my mama's car, because Renee wanted it and he already told her she could have it. Oh, and she brought back my wedding dress. -I guess that was supposed to somehow make it all OK and I should be grateful and let her have the car.

I told Gerry I knew what was going on and I wasn't going to fight him. I didn't want the land or the house or anything to do with anything that had to do with Sonny. I just wanted for sentimental value-what was left of my mom and dad's things. He said well, you can come out here and get what you can, but you're not getting that car. Renee wants it and I gave her my word. I have to look out for her interests as well. -HA! Then he proceeded to offer me Sonny's convertible Mustang, or his boat, or any of the 4 wheelers they had, if I'd like. I told him no, I didn't want any of Sonny's things, I only wanted what had been my parents. Why couldn't Renee take one of his three other vehicles? So, then he proceeded to berate me and call me down and tell me how selfish I was. How could I ask him to take that car away from Renee, when she's on disability and doesn't even have a car.

Does that make it right, what your doing?, I said. Then, he tries to tell me what a good guy he is and how he is trying out of the kindness of his heart to offer me an olive branch, here (by offering me the boat or one of the other cars in it's place.) He was sorry I was so angry and bitter, and that I could not look at all Jesus had blessed me with when- a doctor for a husband and a beautiful family. How could I begrudge Renee, who has nothing? Well, he was looking out for her and besides he knew the will I had from momma and Sonny, but that meant nothing now. Legally and morally, I own it all, he said, and I don't have to give you anything.

Legally- yes, I said, but let's not talk about morals here, and don't you dare try to use Jesus against me. "I know Jesus, so don't even go there with me," I snapped! I had had all I could take, from all of them. -Am I proud of the way I acted? No. But, I am human. And there are a lot of emotions tried up into this big mess.

In the end (or as of today) it went like this. Gerry decided to give Renee his car and keep my mama's car for himself. He also liked the record player that I had given my daddy (as a Christmas present the year before he passed) and decided that he was keeping that as well, but I could have all our old albums. He also sold the land, and told my aunt and uncle to come out and get what was left of the furniture he didn't want today, or else he was giving it away. Sonny left the remainder of the money in his checking/savings account to his mistress, Beverly. But, she can only access it with a copy of his death certificate, which Gerry assures her she'll never get. He is also not giving Renee or any of Sonny's other three children a cent of what he got from the sale of the cars, motorcycle, boat, house or land. So, in the end everyone is happy, or at least Gerry is.

As, angry and as hurt as I am, I am grateful for this. My aunt has been able to secure three boxes of photos for me. I also have my daddy's Bible and his and my mama's wedding rings (all given to me by my momma, before her death.) I also have a watch from each of them and my mama's mink coat- all of which will be handed down to my children someday. So see, the devil's schemes may hurt, but he doesn't win in the end. The Lord still took care of me. And I know He always will! Praise be to the Lord for His loving kindness. His mercy and His love endures forever! -Amen


Christy said...

I am so sorry you had to go through all of that. It is so sad that family-those who are supposed to be a safe haven-can be the ones that hurt us most.

I hope you continue to feel better!

CrazyCarellis said...

Tiffany, I'm so sorry that you had to deal with such a miserable situation.

You are right though, even when it hurts, we are ALWAYS cared for. We are ALWAYS in His hand. Ultimately, we ALWAYS prevail in Christ.

Tiffany said...

Thanks for understanding, y'all. It's hard to share the ugly stuff, but it's also very free-ing at the same time. I'm just so glad it is all over, and I can close the door on this chapter of my life.

Ashley said...

I am so sorry. I'm shocked at how these people have behaved. God will richly reward you for what you've gone through. Hang in there!

Denise said...

Sweetie, I am sorry that you have had to deal with this mess. I love you, and I am praying for you.

luvmy4sons said...

Ugh! What a mess. How awful for you to deal with it. I pray Jesus' grace and mercy be upon this situation...He alone can make all things new! He alone can create beauty for ashes. I am so sorry.

I think it is neat that you got together with the women and prayed and interceded for our nation.

Heidi Ann said...

Good Morning Tiffany, I am just thrilled to have you signing up for my Very Vintage Christmas Swap! I am asking though if you would please fill out an information sheet & e-mail it to me! Just go to my blog ( click the button I have provided. Thank you so much!....I hope to hear from you very soon!....Heidi XO

Kimberly said...

Sweet Tiffany,
I am so sorry about this tremendous mess. I am especially sorry because I know this has all been so hurtful to you. I will be praying for God's healing in your heart. (Okay, and perhaps some conviction for other parties involved!)

Blessings, sweet friend! You are dearly loved by your Father, and I just speak now that no weapon formed against you shall prosper! What the enemy intends for evil, God shall use for good in your life!

Love you,