Sunday, May 5, 2013

A long week

For 15 years I have done my Mom and Dad's accounting and managing three apartment buildings. My sister had my parents house to sell and manage but I have felt for years that I had more to do. But, I also like to control everything so I felt okay being in charge of the money and I am a people person so dealing with tenants was easy for me. My sister doesn't like confrontation so our assigned duties were okay but in recent years, I have become weary. My sister and her husband have made suggestions and I have felt like they were not as satisfied with my management as they could be and would do everything differently. I befriend the tenants and am sympathetic to their needs. My sister, not so much. She sees it more as a business and isn't into the personal touch like me. Finally, the thoughts of getting out started to percolate. I would love to sell the buildings, they are not in favor of it so the logical transition would be for them to manage all of them and my mom's finances as well. I feel my life is taking another direction and since I am by myself and have no backup, I decided it was time to let them do it all. That is when the trouble started. They started mentioning their plans for management and it goes totally against my basic instincts. They are for no interactions with the tenants and if it causes vacancies, so be it. They want to make more money and I am sure it is possible but changes are needed. I have always felt a building full at a lower price was better than constant move in and move outs as rents are raised yearly. They have three daughters who rent and because their rents are always raised each year that is the way they want to go. We have been fighting for weeks as I see a different side of my sister which I totally don't identify with or understand. We both came from the same parents but our sensibilities are so different. Our lifestyles totally different and personalities as well. She is extremely private and I am totally the opposite. She can be in a class and not talk to anyone and I will talk to everyone. I love peoples' stories, she could care less, unless they are her few close friends. I make friends by asking questions and making the effort to know them. She finds people who share too much to hard to be around. I realize I love my life and even though we are so different, she is family and I want it work better as sisters. Also, my sister and I have never been social friends and ours is totally a family relationship. We talk frequently because of my Mom but if she were not alive, there really wouldn't be reasons to talk in my mind. I am close to her daughters but that is a separate relationship and they live out of Los Angeles. They are grown and on their own so as they move to get their masters and permanent jobs, we connect through email or texting. It all culminated in a major reorganization last night, so much that when they came to pick up boxes of crap that I have stored for my parents and the buildings, even Jacked remarked when he came to the living room, "that was awkward Grammie." He picked up on the feud without knowing a thing. My sister and I were cordial but right now I am ready to walk away from everything. They won't buy me out and they won't sell so I am between a rock and a hard place. My dad fought with his own brother when I was small and we ended up being cut off from that side of the family. It worked for us as my dad's parents and sister sided with my dad so really his brother was cut off from everyone in his family. It bothered my dad for his whole life that his brother cheated, in a business they shared, they my dad financed for the brother to even become a partner years before and that it was so egregious to my dad that they never amends made. My sister and I were taught to never let this happen and as the last few weeks have unfolded, I go to a place where I see this happening in real time to us. I don't want, on many levels, this to happen to my sister and myself. But how does one save themselves when values clash and vision differ? Also, not wanting to involve any other family members. When I woke up this morning, I wrote my sister that I am calm now and will just let them do it their way and if it doesn't work, we will work on some other options. I even told Jack I was feeling great this morning and was no longer upset with my sister. He was pleased and only mentioned it to his mom when we came home which was not so great as she tends to support my sister more than me. But that is founded on the fact that I am the mother-in-law and my sister is just a fun Aunt to her and the family. Right now we are in a moratorium. I will give them time to manage and I will take the time to travel and do what I love best, relaxing and doing my own things. And hope that when the dust,grime and all my clean cabinets and drawers are filled with better projects for, we will be better friends and sisters again. Some of the above has been written and thought about in degrees the last few months. Also, mortality has been a big issue for me with my Mom becoming more and more disabled and my recent good friend finding cancer at 42. I am saddened all the time lately by these issues and they have tempered my usually happy engaged self. As night becomes day, things always look better and I feel now that my house is rid of the apartment business and all the check books except my own, my life will travel a better course. Most of these feelings I have kept inside telling bits and pieces in my blog and to a few women friends who I use to vent and now to my facebook family who have shared their stories of sadness, family, tragedy and joy with me. Thanks for giving me an avenue to just be me and speak my mind.

6 comments:

  1. Oh Madge I'm so sorry that the transition hasn't been a smooth one. I hope that in the days ahead you and your sister will come to a place where you can both flourish and continue to be close...whatever that is/was for the two of you. It's indeed sad when relationships deteriorate over $$$$.

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  2. Today has been a day of detente. Hopefully, they will manage well and all will be back to normal. Meanwhile I am relieved to be finished.

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  3. Sending hugs your way, Madge. It sounds incredibly stressful and difficult, and I hope you all find your way through it eventually.

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  4. thanks Barb. It is already better now that I am finished with that part of my life. My sister will be great at it and I will sit back and relax and let it go. That was the hard part. I wanted to let go but sometimes my control gets in my way:).

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  5. Oh, I would be glad to handle the money for you and your sister. Ha. well now that you have some time to relax maybe you would consider creek restoration with me and the Putah Creek council.
    Donald

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  6. Donald, thanks for the offers but my sister is handling it all now. Out of my hands. And Putah Creek is too far for me to volunteer.

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