Today's Quote

“If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Dwelling in the Past

I have to admit I have a deep dark secret. My secret is that sometimes I am human and bitterness towards events of the past sometimes rears its ugly head. I guess I should explain. My Dad passed away in 1995. After his death my sister and I discovered that my stepmother had forged my Dad's signature on beneficiary change paperwork for his life insurance and his pension account. Apparently that is common and accepted practice so she got everything but the funeral bill which she kindly left to me. But that is not where the bitterness comes in believe it or not. My Dad was to inherit my grandfather's farm, or what was left of it. My uncle had forged my grandfather's signature on some loan paperwork mortgaging 500 acres to finance his construction business. He didn't pay the loan and the bank that allowed this called my grandfather and gave him 30 days to come up with a half million dollars to save the land. The land was foreclosed on. Since my Dad was the one paying the taxes to keep the farm and since my uncle had stolen more than half of it my grandfather decided that my Dad should get what was left, 100 acres the house and the barns. In the event that my Dad died before my grandfather (which he did) then my sister and I were to inherit the farm. When Dad died I moved to the farm and paid my grandparents bills and physically took care of them until my grandfather died. My grandmother was a hateful old woman and I bore a lot of abuse at her hand during those two years. My uncle was out of the picture, until my grandfather died. Then I found out that while my grandfather was suffering from Alzheimers my grandmother and a crooked attorney had him sign a new will leaving everything left to my uncle. When grandaddy died my uncle magically showed up to claim what was his and I was thrown off the farm and told never to come back. I was not even allowed to collect my belongings that I had brought with me. Things such as my Bible that my other grandmother had given me on the day of my birth (yes it has my name and hers in it) and my wedding gifts that I was using to cook their meals. Many other things as well. Basically I was allowed my clothes and my toiletries. The kicker is that my uncle is not even my grandfather's legitimate child. I don't know if Grandaddy ever knew that or not, but several of us in the family know. You can't not know as he looks just like his biological father and his other sons. He looks like nobody in our family...not even a remote resemblance. So I just found out that my uncle sold the farm to a cousin for a whole lot of money. At least it is in the family you say. The place looks awful, the barns are falling down or have already. The house isn't far behind them and all the equipment is gone. I could have used many of those tools, some of which were mine (I bought)to begin with. That land has been in my grandfather's family for 200 years. It was the last bit of land that we held before the Civil War. I have ancestors buried on that land. My great grandfather built that house with his bare hands for his new bride (the plantation house had fallen down). He built all those barns and planted every single one of the 40 pecan trees. He worked it as a dairy and then my grandaddy moved from the dairy to beef cows. My grandfather planted all the muscadine vines and worked that land. He sacrificed so much and so did my Dad to keep that land for us grandchildren and our children. So many times both of them could have sold it and lived very well, but they didn't because like my Grandfather told me when I was young...we were connected to that land and it flowed through our veins like blood. That land allowed my family to survive and thrive when others were starving during the depression. During that time it also fed a lot of people outside the family many times for nothing but a thank you in return. That farm was always home. It's where I learned so many of life's lessons and where I learned so much about the things that I do now. I always wanted to farm and my grandfather knew that I would be the only one who would. Anyway, now finding out that my grandmother's nephew (not a blood descendant of my grandfather) now owns that land and all it was to my uncle was quick money to be had makes my blood boil. All the bitterness and hate that I have worked so hard to put aside just comes right back to the surface. Yes, I said hate and I don't use that word lightly. But I hate my uncle and I hate my grandmother for the lying manipulating cheating thieving hateful woman that she was. No piece of land has ever meant so much to me as that one. I guess because of the history, and I am directly tied to that history. My grandfather would be heartbroken and so would my Dad. It was always his dream to retire back home on the farm and have a herd of Herefords that he could watch graze in the pasture while he drank his coffee on the porch. He never got to do that. My granddaddy wanted his descendants to love that land and work it as had been done for generations and now it sits there falling apart. So here I sit dwelling in the past, a place I don't need to be because what is done is done. I can't change it. I am not the only one who has lost the family farm, there are a million stories just like mine. I do try to let the bitterness and hate go, but right now knowing that it is truly gone and no longer in the family I feel as if I have lost it all over again. The grief is unbelievable. But, I must put on my big girl boots and put the past where it belongs and let it go. I will although it is never gone for good. For the past 14 years it rears its ugly head every now and then. And then I bury it again. I don't know if I will ever truly be able to let it all go...that land is part of me, it runs through my veins like is my blood. Blessings, Kat


kckmom3 said...

I would have a hard time not being bitter about this if it were me! God bless you!!

Kelle said...

First of all HUGS. You certainly have the right to be bitter, but I've found that bitterness only hurts you and it's like a disease it will eat you up alive, so... please forgive all of it( for you, not them) and look at all the blessings God brings to your life now. Let it change you, for the better, never repeat their horrible mistakes. Again, so sorry for the pain you've had to live through, but it's like the fire that refines the gold :o)
Blessings and HUGS my friend,