Send me strength, please

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by TerryJ2, Feb 23, 2011.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I've looked over my cousin's accounts, received a rent renewal form in the mail (for May, for her NYC apt) and decided to lower the boom and tell my 82-yr-old cousin, P, that I am not renewing the lease. I have printed out airfare examples so we can fly to NY in the next wk or 2 and give it all one last look and a goodbye kiss.

    The renter living there now has not pd anything for 5 mo's. She pd for 2 mo's and that's it. Clean, nice, but can't keep a job and suffers from anxiety. Not my problem.

    P is going to flip.

    She cannot make decisions. Never has, never will.

    It's been over a yr since she's been in VA, and five yrs since her husband died. She cannot afford to live in NY and hire people to come into the apt.

    She is going to be devastated, because she's going to PT on her own and her walking is much better. She thinks it's all about the walking.
    But she has short term memory loss and a bit of dementia.
    I will tell her about the short term memory loss but not the dementia. She doesn't need to plummet to the depths of depression by knowing how out of it she was last yr, fabricating a story about a man in a white hat pushing her down and breaking her tailbone, when there was no such person.

    I am hoping I can be compassionate and sympathetic, but firm. She is throwing good money after bad (or is it the other way around) and has now cut into inheritances. I need to convince her that giving people money after you are dead is not necessary. Use it while you live. It was always a dream of hers, but she's never been an economist. Plus, I'm sick of her trying to buy friendships with money. That is so wrong.

    Lots more but you get the idea.

    I am dreading this but it is necessary.

    P.S. Can a moderator make sure these paragraphs have breaks? Sorry, but my computer is still wiggy. Thanks in advance!!
  2. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    (((hugs))) Terry

    It's common in such circumstances for the elderly to believe it's all about the walking. mother in law did it, I've seen so many elderly patients do it.

    We finally had to be firm with mother in law that she was not going back home period. It helped that we had fam doctor back us up as he told her he wouldn't release her from the nursing home if she attempted to return home. She even tried to tell us then she'd just leave, which of course we called her on.........because physically that was impossible and we all knew it, including her. That was enough to get her to see reason. Hard but necessary. Assisted living only lasted a couple of months until the next severe fall and we had to do it again over her staying in the nursing home. sigh But still I think doing assisted living first was a huge help in stepping her down out of independence.

    Independence is a very tough thing for people to give up.

    Will hold good thoughts and keep you in my prayers you're able to convince her. Would she be open for assisted living?? There are some awfully nice places around. mother in law's was a really nice one.......heck told husband when the time goes no one will have to push me into it. lmao

  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    It is hard to have to be the voice of reason to someone who managed her own affairs for years. I am sorry you have to. I hope it goes well. If it doesn't, stay firm. You know you have her best interests at heart even if she gets upset with you!
  4. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    If it is rent controlled, you might want to consider just getting a new tenant in there.
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I feel for you. Hugs.
  6. Star*

    Star* call 911

    I do NOT envy you your task nor the days ahead.

    Wiggy computer, flight to NY, 82 year old aunt, wishy anxiety ridden tennant....and the court battle that's going to ensue to get her out of there. Yeah - NOT FUN.

    STRENGTH IN SPADES baby girl.....
  7. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Wishing you good luck, Terry. I dread having a similar conversation with my mother if/when that time comes. Sending many hugs and lots of strength.
  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Ughh. I feel for you. I can see her point in a way but agree with you. I agree that she should enjoy herself in her current life and spend what money she needs/wants to in order to do that- it shouldn't be a matter of not doing these things because of trying to leave an inheritance. However, when poor decisions are being made, money is being wasted, money is being spent to keep a place that probably she'll never see or live in again....well....that's just different. How you go about telling her- I have no idea. That depends so much on personality, mental frame of mind/ability, etc...

    Good luck!
  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Whew! What a day.

    First, to clarify, she IS living in Assisted Living. I moved her there, to her own "apartment," after her stay at rehab when I first brought her to VA. She had "graduated." :)

    P took it amazingly well today. She cried, she protested, she negotiated, she went through every phase of grieving within the span of an hour. I was very impressed. The entire time, she apologized for crying and for all the work I had gone through for her. Say what?
    I wouldn't be that aware and thankful if I were in her shoes. In fact, I would have thrown my shoes!

    Luckily, when she got to the anger stage, she didn't take it out on me. She took it out on the cat, LOL! His name is Nipper. You know how animals pick up on human emotions? This cat is only 1 yr old, but he's lively and smart, and he was so wound up, he was literally pinging off the walls, trying to bite the bank statements and walk on the printouts (I'd brought a folder of papers to show P the rent in both places, NY and VA, plus the savings and investment accts, etc. to back up my case). I swear, this cat somehow knew that these papers had something to do with-her crying and the tension in the air. He was meowing so loudly--he's always been talkative--but he was annoying. Finally, she yelled, "Nipper, shut UP!" It was all I could do not to burst out laughing. But she was royally ticked and stressed out ... and I know the cat will forgive her. ;)

    It was so sad. She looked so vulnerable. (P, not the cat.) All her dreams dashed. She said she felt "cheap," living in one room for the rest of her life. And with all that she'd been through and worked for, "I feel like I've been raped."

    Arg. Stab me while you're at it, P. (She knows whereof she speaks. She was raped when she was 18.)

    The really hard part was calling the renter ... who is not really a renter. P even told me to call her. Of course P did not want to leave next wk (and I didn't really expect to, so did not make reservations, but I knew that the Orbitz printout would be enough validation so she'd know I meant business) but with a May 1 deadline looming, P knows we have to go soon. And she would be uncomfortable having the renter there.

    So I called C, told her I'd talked to P about finances and about her living situation, and that we were coming up, and I was giving her a 30-day notice. Boy, did she light off! Like a firecracker! I know only a little bit about psychology, but I do know that anger masks fear, and boy, this lady is scared to death. She has no job, a dog, and nowhere to go. Even P knows, from talking to her on the phone, that she has emotional issues, but C is digging herself in deeper every day.
    I have spoken with-her about once every 2 wks or every wk, and back around Thanksgiving, told her she needed to move out in Jan, but she threw such a fit, and P wasn't ready to say goodbye anyway, that I gave it up.

    This time, I'm moving forward.

    C said she's been looking for a job every day, the market is horrid, etc., and frankly, that's what she always says. I believe she's looking for a job. But she's not producing. She said, "I simply cannot be out of here in 30 days. It's impossible."
    I said, "Well, today is the 22nd. That's more like 40 days."
    "That's not enough."

    I said that P wanted to say goodbye to her apt by herself, and that she needed time to collect her things.

    That sent C off on another tirade about how she has taken care of the place the way P would want it, and she has shipped things to us, and blah blah. I told her that I really appreciated all the work she had done.

    I started to get ticked at that point, and said, "So you would deny this woman her last goodbye, by herself?"

    I thought that C was being a defeatist and told her so. She said, "I'm not being a defeatist. I'm being realistic. I simply cannot be out in 30 days. Besides, in NY, you have to give 60 days notice."

    "But we don't have a contract and you've never signed anything. And you're not paying rent."

    She was quiet after that.

    (Sheesh. Not only is she getting a free ride, but she's getting it from an elderly woman who almost died in the place until I came and got her. Makes me want to spit tacks.) I let her vent, and finally told her I'd give her a couple of days and I'd call her back. She said fine and her tone of voice was a combination of fear and anger.

    I feel sorry for her. I really do. But when I called P to tell her, just in case C called to beg, P said, "I feel sorry for her. NY is an impossible place to find a job. But I have to think of myself."

    "Absolutely. And I talked to you today to tell you what's going on financially, so that you can do this in a reasonable amount of time, and not be left in a situation like C in is now."

    "C didn't plan ahead."


    You GO, P!!!!!

    And the best news is (drumroll ...) easy child called 10 min ago and said that her spring break is March 12-22 and she would give up her other plans to go with-us to NY and go through everything with-P. WOO HOO!!!!

    I wanted to do this an entire yr ago but this is working out much better. P is in much better shape and I really want her to take part in this part of her life, if that makes any sense. I do not want to go behind her back.

    I told several of the nurses at the Assisted Living Center and they were wonderful and sympathetic and said they'd check on her and not to worry. This is what they go through all the time. They said that within a very short amt of time, P would even quit talking about it and adjust. (Ironically, adjust all over again. She adjusted when I first moved her in, but now she has to adjust to this being her "forever" home."

    Thanks for reading all this!!! I really appreciate it.
  10. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Well it sounds like it has a decent chance of working out good- especially the best that could rationally be hoped for, for P. The renter- what can you do? She never bought the place or even signed an agreement and hasn't been paying anything??? I think you have been as lenient as - more than lenient- as anyone could hope for.
  11. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    Wow - (((hugs)))!!!!! You are an awesome family member!!
  12. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    *hugs* I hope she takes it sensibly.
  13. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Terry...Since she hasnt been paying rent, I would go ahead and start the eviction process just in case she wants to prolong things by being a pain in the neck. I have no idea about the 30 vs 60 days in NY. I know from watching People's Court that on Manhattan that tenants dont even have to give 30 days but I dont know about landlords and I dont know where P's apartment is located because all you say is NY. And I am not sure if Manhattan refers to all the Burroughs too. Sticky. Im sure you could look up landlord tenant law but I would start the eviction anyway because she hasnt been paying rent and I think up there they have a separate place that does that other than small claims. Yes I watch too much court
  14. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    It sounds like things went pretty well. P has someone really special there in you to help her out so much. She's very lucky to have you.
  15. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thank you all.
    I am going to call the bldg owner because 1) I do not want rumors to fly; 2) a yr ago, he offered to help us pack and move, or sell things, 3) he does this all the time; 4) he has been more than patient, knowing that P was not living there for a yr; 5) he'll know what to do. :)

    P.S. The apt will be gutted and redone with-new plumbing, new electrical, new walls, new floors, new windows and sold as a condo. I know it's worth almost $2 million so this guy has probably been thinking about this apt every night b4 he goes to sleep, lol! He will probably buy us out. There are about 5 apts left that have not yet been converted. And yes, it is in Manhattan. Location, location, location. I would buy it if I could but any spare change goes into easy child and difficult child's education. C'est la vie.:whoopdedoo:
  16. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Are you sure you don't want to contact a real estate person or at the least someone who buys and flips? I'm thinking if it's worth $2 - and you split it with someone who flipped it - you might pay for difficult child's college too. Just thinking out loud......whoopedo indeed
  17. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I know, I've had that suggested by the tenant who lives there. But I seriously cannot take on one more thing in my life right now. I told husband about that scenario and he just about flipped that I was considering a flip!!!

  18. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Sending much strength, and many hugs.