The fear that my mother would not be able to, emotionally, mentally or physically handle the knowledge that her building fund was stolen and she doesn't have a home to come to has been more than I can bear. Even if my mother and I don't always see eye to eye, I am an only child who has spent most of her life on the opposite side of the world.
As the family in England grew smaller, and smaller with loved one passing away, until only my mother remained, it made sense that her visits to the United States increased considerably and those visits lasted longer and longer as the visa permits allowed.
My mother is quite a fixture in and around Ruidoso. With her tiny stature, but joyful outgoing personality she epitomizes the typical grand-mother figure, not unlike Dorothy McKeever.
I had begged the courts not to allow the continuances to drag on. As summer turned to winter the fear of being in a metal shed in awful weather, unable to explain the realities to my mother, unable to tell her to come back to the states and stay in the home she bought and paid for, started to sear my heart.
When something of this magnitude separates family members it is simply excruciating for the severity of the damage is not even taken into consideration. It is as though my mother, the person whose money was stolen, an 82 years old British woman who has never commit a crime in her life and would never do anyone wrong. Has worked hard all of her life and has an impeccable character, is nothing more than collateral damage.
Not even worthy of consideration in the American judicial system.
But the continuances went on, from summer to winter, from winter to summer, back through winter again.. endless nail biting terror and torment.
Now in the third year, I had to make serious decisions. Would I allow the British Parliament (MP) the opportunity to defend their citizen from such a financial loss, do I dare ask the MP to do a European search for hidden money, or do I allow my mother to die having never had the opportunity to see her family again.
I heard so much cold hearted comments from acquaintances that had me biting my tongue, "Tell her, she'll have to get used to the idea." "Folks have to die sometime, so what are you worried about?"
I couldn't go through the MP without telling my mother, so I took the initial step to test the water and see what a mutual friend thought about my telling her.
But FIRST I had to break down and tell the friend, whom I had also kept in the dark.
The response arrived like a knife and tore into my heart, and reduced me to tears. In the subject line of the e-mail it simply said:
To answer your first question - yes I had an idea, I am just sorry I didn't hear it from the horses mouth if you will pardon the pun.
Under the circumstances I didn't feel it appropriate to speak to your mum about it as you had not actually said anything to me.
I had a quick glance at the web site.
I need to make something crystal clear to you & I am not for one moment suggesting that you don't know your mum inside out so please don't think that.
She is entirely obsessed with you Denise. She cannot utter a sentence without somehow bringing you into it & getting the photo's out. She will talk for as long as anyone will listen about when you were young, the problems you had with your marriage, you name it - we have heard them all - the same stories - hundreds & hundreds of times.
Every time she sees me she asks if I have heard from you & hangs onto my every word then dwells on everything, gets things out of proportion & what are trivial things to most; will be
Not to mention us having to 'talk & counsel' her & try to reassure her.
We try to help & support her & you know we think a great deal about her. It isn't always easy & I know that it is all down to her age but what I am trying to say is that there is no way you could imagine how she reacts to things now. She has changed so much this past 3 years & we have to be so very careful with her.
Yes, she is still 'marching to the beat' as you once said but it is very different beat now, she is still feisty & hot headed but doesn't have the mental strength she used to have. I am not implying that there is something sinister wrong with her, but she is not the mum 'as was'.
So I leave it in your hands Denise. If you want to tell your mum everything then that is entirely your place to do so. It would be better for her to hear it from you rather than a third party. I would ask that you include some positives so that she can at least glean something favourable from the situation such as some photo's of what you have managed to achieve so far.
Love Jackie xx