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Death and the Other Parent

January 9th, 2008 at 08:24 pm

I didn't know it then, but the moment my Pop died, I started a new chapter of my life. It is titled "Death and the Other Parent".

The chapter starts with survivor's benefits. Mom got to keep my Pop's check, but hers stopped. You get to keep the bigger check. Mom's income was cut by almost a 3rd. She now has $1057 per month to live on. Not enough to cover her bills, rent and food.

Then there is the helplessness factor. Mom no longer cooks for herself. She expects my brother to cook for her - which he dutifully does - then she complains non-stop about it.

Somewhere in the middle of all of that - my brother started taking total advantage of Mom. He lives with her or I should say "off her" as he does not contribute to anything. He paid $300 rent each month before Pop died. Mom complains to all of us about this, yet does not want anyone to step in and talk to the brother. After all "he pays $400 per month child support". When I explained that he makes MORE money then me and my MONTHLY EXPENSES are $3700 per month - it didn't seem to phase her at all. I've already been paying $50 per month to the MOM fund which is to cover her funeral, durable medi-cal equipment, gasoline for the doctor's trips, etc. (My other brother keeps this fund. It used to be the Pop fund.) Then last month I gave her $400 to cover her for the remainder of the month. Which, by the way, is something I just couldn't afford to do.

The end of the chapter closes with the question every adult child dreads hearing: "How much are you willing to step in and take control of the other parent's world with or without their blessing?".

There are two last chapters to this book. Neither has been written yet. The titles are: "Bringing Mom Home" and "The Brother Who Finally Grew Up".

I'll let you know how it ends.

6 Responses to “Death and the Other Parent”

  1. Thrifty Ray Says:

    I am sorry you are dealing with all of this. I recently lost my dad and wish I had my brother to help...but he died in an accident almost 20 years ago...so it's just me and my mom. ( I do have hub and kids, but it is not the same as a brother would have been...I hope you and yours can work it out.)

  2. Ima saver Says:

    Sorry to hear of your troubles. I get $538 a month, social security and I have no idea how anyone can live on that. More proof that you need to start saving early.

  3. campfrugal Says:

    I took care of both my father and then my mother when they became ill and then they died three years a part from each other. Very financially strapping. I have three brothers and they didn't help much. I think the reason why is because they just don't know what to do. I learned that if I called and said "Dad needs this or Mom needs this or I need help", they jumped right in. I have also been faced with them saying "I am glad we have you to take care of mom and dad" and my response was "thank you, but I want to be able to live with myself the rest of my life when their gone. I want to look at their headstones and know that I did all I could to make their life comfortable" That statement alone made them step up the plate a little faster. It all worked out in the end and me and my brothers are much closer now than we had ever been. They really respect me for taking a leadership role and making them help take care of their parents also. Stay strong and rely on the Lord.

  4. monkeymama Says:

    I am very sorry. We have been talking about pitching in to help our grandma. Between the 4 grandkids and 2 able daughters we figure it would be a small slice from each.

    I can't imagine anyone refusing to pitch in. But it happens. & could happen here too. But I personally could not imagine NOT helping. Then again if no one else helped, then it is a lot bigger problem that would affect our finances more. Ugh! Must be VERY frustrating.

    It is very different talking about a much older grandmother who doesn't need much and probably doesn't have a long life span left. If we had to care for our parents tomorrow it would be a very large burden to carry. Though I still couldn't imagine saying no. The things we do for our family. ((HUGS))

  5. nance Says:

    Since your brother lives with your mom, and has no rent, and makes more than you do, maybe you should tell him that you have to support yourself and your kids, and you can't help financially any more. If he has to take responsibility, maybe he will. When your mom complains about your brother, she is triangulating, and you need to tell her that she has to talk to him about the problems, because you don't want to be put in the middle. You can help her in other ways, besides financially. Maybe you should put the "Mom fund" in a savings account, that earns interest. Since your brother seems so financially irresponsible can you trust him to manage the fund?
    We are going through some of this with my mother-in-law, who can't seem to manage financially, and has to get money from DH and his brother on a frequent basis. The daughter's don't help at all, which is unusual. I have been responsible for my mother's care and finances for a long time, so I know how difficult it is.

  6. barbara L Says:

    The fund is not with the same brother.

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