Tuesday, September 24, 2013
My mother passed away 9 months ago after just about a year of being very ill. COPD from many years of smoking, although she had quit some twenty something years ago. Liver disease from many years of abusing alcohol. A quasi-rare genetic condition that also took my Aunts life some years back also factored in. Side note: My brother and I are also afflicted with this disorder.
My older brother moved into my mothers apartment in the two family house my mother and I co-owned, about a week or so before she passed, while she was still in the hospital. He and his girlfriend lost basically everything they owned in Superstorm Sandy. They rented a small cottage in a small beach down on the shore and it was essentially swept away in the storm. They were left homeless.
He is my only sibling and we are not very close. It would require something more along the lines of a mini-novel as opposed to a single blog post to fully describe the dynamics of our relationship. Lets just say dysfunctial would be a huge understatement.
My mother and I jointly owned the house. I sold it over the spring after her passing. I am the executor of the estate. My brother was entitled to only 25% of the proceeds of the sale. Some years back he was diagnosed with diabetes. He was diagnosed only after an infection in his big toe was so bad, he had to have it amputated along with a portion of his foot. Prior to the infection, he had worked in a government job, with full insurance and benefits. He was offered a job working with a family member in securities on some level. Higher salary-No benefits. He was given a cash stipend in which he was to procure a private health plan or COBRA his existing plan. My brother opted instead to use said stipend to procure cocaine instead. When the commodity market was still here, cocaine was the most commonly traded commodity, so I've heard.
Fast forward six months after he started his new position, sans benefits, and the first of his toes was amputated and he was given the diabetes diagnosis. My brother still opted to deny the graveness of a diabetes diagnosis and continued to drink and rarely managed his diet. The amputation left a hole on the bottom of his foot which has yet to fully heal some 8 or 9 years later. He was unable to return to work and has been collecting disability ever since. He has had a total of 4 toes removed from one foot and just last year he lost a toe on his "good" foot. He has finally accepted he is an insulin dependent diabetic and now, NOW, all of these years later seems to be holding his own. Long story short, he has accrued one hundred thousand dollars or so of debt from before he was put on medicaid and his portion of the inheritance from the sale of the house was seized by the hospital lawyers.
Good times I tell you, good times...