Monday, May 22, 2006

Catch up

5/22/06 Monday
It is 4:00 already. This has been a rough day. Haven’t done a thing. Just took the new migraine pill that I have avoided because it seemed to trigger a slow down. I’ll watch closely to see if it does this time but I am already slow, running about a 5 on the Bob scale. Cherie called and asked for me to cook dinner. At first she told me there was fish and hamburger in the fridge but I got confused asking if she wanted me to cook both. She understands that when I am slow decisions are hard so she decided on hamburger for me. That helps a lot.

7:49 – Still rough. When I checked my E mail there was a note from Patrick, the lawyer I got in Midland for the estate. It said that there was a hang up because the bank will not release the CD to settle the estate because it is to be split evenly between my brother and I. That would mean that I would need to write Larry a check for $40,000 to pay for his half of the farm. I called Virginia to talk with her about it after I called Patrick. Virginia said that Larry didn’t like that idea and started on his practiced litany of how he was to get 50% of everything and on and on. Virginia said “Somebody is going to have to trust somebody”.

I don’t have a problem with that though I should, after all it was Larry who never bothered to let me know our mother had died for five months while he took what he wanted. Then of course he came up with all kinds of rationalizations to justify his actions. “You were living under a bridge” he said, referring to the period I was homeless. The fact of the matter was that at the time our mother died I was a ward of the court and was housed at the Volunteers of America or the county jail. Larry knew where I was and even wrote to me. The only way I found out Mother had died was during my monthly visit with my probation officer. She told me she had been talking to my brother and he told her I inherited a truck. This caused much turmoil. It was only a year after I had woken from the coma and my brain was still reeling as it sought to come back into balance. Now I am trying to process this statement. “I inherited a truck? Who died?” I asked Lenice, my probation officer. She didn’t know but said she would ask my brother.

A month later I went in for my scheduled report to Lenice. She took one look at me and picking up her phone dialed a number. Putting the phone to her ear I watched as she listened to it. When someone at the other end answered she simply said “Hold on”. Handing me the phone she said “It’s your brother”. Lenice had allowed me to call Larry from her office before but it was always at my request. I asked Larry “Lenice said I inherited a truck. Who died? Was it Minnie Lee?”. Larry was a little perturbed and his first statement was “I’m never going to talk to that woman again” referring to Lenice. Then he told me that Jessica, our mother, had died. The fact that she had been dead for over four months he avoided, just saying that she had been in bad shape and was found dead in her trailer. I am stunned. This is hard to process, especially in the condition I was in. I walked the four miles back to the VOA trying to absorb all of this. I wouldn’t learn the date she died for another eight months or so and presumed it had just happened.

So my brother is nervous? He is worried I might cheat him in some way? One of the things I have learned in the volatile life I have lived is a principle that has served me well and given me much discernment. A thief is always worried about others stealing from him and a liar suspects others of lying to him. People often expect others to have the same faults they do. I know that Larry reads this blog and is always welcome to put his side of things in the comment section.

I looked to see if I had another picture of Larry that looked better than the one above. This is Larry and I with our mother at my first wedding to Cherie twenty six years ago. We both had more hair and less gut then.
So let me state my case while I am venting. When my mother died Larry was the one who went to Houston to take care of things. Minnie Lee, our maternal grandmother had paid Larry $900 to cover his expenses. At first Larry denied ever getting that money but later was forced to concede that he did when Minnie Lee showed her documentation of it. This was all part of the dance he was making around all this.

Larry and his friends cleaned up the considerable mess at mothers trailer and evidently had to scrap the trailer. What he found there we will probably never know the truth on. He showed us the Peruvian artifacts and some prints. My grandfathers coin collection was there along with a silverware set and some costume jewelry. The only other thing of value was two pick up trucks, both of which were purchased by Minnie Lee for her daughter, Jessica.

Larry, in his generosity, said I could have one of the pickups. That was something I was grateful for and could really use. Cherie and I went to St. Louis to pick it up. “Oh! Gee Whiz” Larry said as he told me that the motor was blown in the truck he was going to allow me to have. “It’s not my fault” he tried to tell me when I confronted him. He drove it from Houston and it was fine so who’s fault is it? Regardless it was junk. All I wanted was half the value of the estate, what I am due but all Larry wanted to give me was the trash. The Peruvian artifacts are the fake items sold to unsuspecting tourists and besides that if any were authentic the were illegal to have due to a federal law enacted in 1968. That is worthless. The silverware set Larry had promised to sell but later told me he had given it to dad. The coin collection had been stolen from Minnie Lee by my mother (Her daughter. Looks like this runs in the family) Grandma specifically told me and Cherie that she wanted us to have it.

Below are some E mails between my brother and I. In them you can see him promising to give me $3000 for my share of our mothers estate. Then you can see him changing that to $1500. Fact is he never paid a dime. Now that he is getting nearly $100,000 I will watch with interest if he keeps his word. If he does I will be glad to announce it and apologize for vilifying him. If he doesn’t he shows us all that he is still a liar. I hope he keeps his word. Would love to see him be a man.

Date: Fri, 6 Aug 2004 16:12:50 EDT
Subject: Hi
Hope everything is going ok with you guys, it is pretty hot down here.
I looked up the blue book and the medium price on the truck is $4100, deduct my expenses leaves $3000 divided in two would leave $1500 I would owe you. The silverware is worth about 425, you have the gold coin worth 350, the car jack is easily worth 50, plus the 50 from the truck. You also have the prints and the majority of the jewlery.
let me know what you think

From: Bob Westbrook
Your expenses? You tell me my grandmother is a liar and did not give you the $900 she said. You have the silverware. The Gold coin is part of Rudy’s collection and is not in this affair. You can have the prints and the "majority" of the jewelry. All the victory nickels are missing and so are most of the silver certificates that Rudy and I collected together. I can buy a brand new jack of that size from harbor freight for $50. You can have the Peru stuff also. The truck you trashed and did not deal with until so late you had to give it away. If nothing else you are consistent in taking care of you and not taking care of business. Typical for an alcoholic. Meanwhile I only get $8.50 a month disability and Cherie will lose her job cause Paramount insurance where she works is being bought out by Anthem, a division of Blue Cross. You want an easy out send me $3000. I will be checking with Texas on the truck title if I don't hear from you in 3 weeks.

From: Larry Westbrook
In respnse to your previous e mail, I never said Lee was a liar, I asked her and she said she did give me $900, this covered my plane flight , car rental and some more but this is money she gave to me personally and has nothing to do with this, I don't hear you mention the $1500 she gave you. I am talking about $850 I paid on the trailer, my expenses such as travel and hotel, there are numerous smaller expenses I did not keep track of such as have the oil changed in the trucks and having them cleaned, a new tire and battery on the white truck, inspection and tags, 4 days of cleaning up all Jessie's trash, Neil's expense for coming to Houston and helping me and taking the truck back , Jim's expenses for driving it up to St Louis for me, etc.

The gold coin was not part of Rudy's collection and never was, It ticks me off you accuse me of taking coins out of the collection, it is exactly the way I found it. I am sure you can buy a junkie jack for $50 but that was a good one, and like I said it was worth at least $50. I would like to know how I trashed the truck, I did not drive it more than 300 miles, I had the oil changed immediately and do not quite understand how I made the oil pump quit working. I spent $200 on the computer from Delmar and about that much fixing up Jessie's, I don't hear that mentioned.

I am tired of hearing all this drunk talk, I party with freinds and drink. I don't abuse it, most all my friends and myself are pretty wild but are responsible proffessionals. I don't call Lee when I am drinking, I call her every morning around 6 am. I am not the one with problems in this area. You try to make a big deal out of a few dollares here or there, what about the money I spent on you , I spent $350 on you when you came down here because I wanted you and Cherie to have an enjoyable trip, anything I do somehow gets turned around into something negative. You seem to forget what the situation was like when this happened, I took what was of value and saved it for when your situation improved. Yes the truck helped me out very much and the white truck was a real shame. It only had 64000 miles on it but it was 14 years old.

If you think that $3000 is a fair price then I have no problem with it. I will send you the money as soon as I can. The work conditions are not even close to St Louis, I have had ads out for a month and have had more calls from people looking for a job than needing work done. I have done one small repair job for $400 in for weeks and have been working for a friend as a framer outdoors in 100 degree weather the last few weeks . It is enough to pay my bills. It is the worst part of the season being as hot as it is and with school starting up. I know I will start drumming up some work as I make some contacts and get situated.

Sorry to hear Cherie might lose her job and hope the best for you.


And he doesn’t trust me? This is hard. Larry is the only one in my family that helped me in my time of great need. He did incur some personal expenses in doing that and I am grateful but that doesn’t justify deceiving and stealing from me. I just don’t have it in me to let him walk away with this. Where is a balance that can be applied here? I don’t know but hope to find one and resolve this. Don’t want bad blood here.

I see that I didn’t finish my entry for Sunday. It was a touching day as I spent much of it working with Denise. I helped her get her computer to work right and also started to teach her how to do things on it. This is strange because it was just three years ago I was being taught how to use a computer by the people at the main library. They had pitched in to help me use the library facilities to research who I was. Despite having a large (By my standards) computer network in my telemarketing company I no longer remembered how to perform basic tasks because of the memory loss from the brain injury.

Here is Denise with the actor who played "Squigy" in the Laverne and Shirley television show. He also has MS and was a featured speaker at this fund raiser.
Denise was so happy about the help I was giving her that she cried several times. I showed her how to download music on her computer after I downloaded Media Play from the internet. This blew her away when I showed her how to work it and that she could have the music playing in the background as she worked on her computer. As I watched how hard it was for her to use a keyboard because of the tremors from the MS I determined to look into getting a keyboard with big, easier to hit, keys. They are not cheap, running close to $200. Her computer is pretty old and as slow as I am on my bad days. That’s pretty slow.

We talked and talked. I don’t think Denise has had someone she felt comfortable unloading on around for a while. She might, I don’t know, I just know there was lots pent up inside her. I delved into her situation a little in order to know how to best help her get her own place. She desperately wants to be self sufficient and mostly to live on her own, not with her parents. I talked with her mom a little about that but am not sure what she thinks about that. All I know is my heart is touched deeply by Denise. She has so much to overcome. Denise’s physical condition is at the point where she sometimes stays on her hands and knees in order not to fall down. Her spirit is strong and an inspiration but the weight of her disease and little hope for improvement is a crushing thing that will wear out the staunchest of wills. The old saying comes again to my mind. I used to complain about having no shoes till I met a guy with no feet.

Good night folks. It is nearly 2:00 in the morning. I am wide awake, partly because I had a hard day and spent much of it laying down. Probably should try to sleep so my clock doesn’t get turned around.

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