This is Jackie, Audrey, me and Lesley only a few months before she died
Lesley and I never had cross words. Only once, when we were late for a hospital appointment, in the car she was nervous and "had a go at me". But, it meant nothing.
We trusted each other and knew that we would not let each other down.
She called Jackie, "ma wee mammy". Audrey called Lesley, "ma big sister". Lesley and Jackie were very close.
It was not until after Lesley had died that I knew the full story of how Jackie would sit with Lesley while she was in the bath during the night. Lesley suffered a lot of pain and having a bath relieved it.
It's very hard to explain how we all lived together, knowing how ill Lesley was and yet live a normal life. There was a true empathy. An understanding that we were all as one.
As I'm writing this I feel that Lesley is looking over my shoulder. She keeps changing the words!
Lesley and I went to a solicitor to both make our wills. She sought his advice. He questioned her about how she felt regarding other members of the family. It was her idea to leave the disposal of her estate to me.
Lesley died at 1.30am on a Tuesday. By the time of the funeral on Friday I had obtained probate and, together with Jackie, decided on the dispersal of Lesley's effects. (Thanks, Lesley. I couldn't think of what to call them!)
We decided to divide everything six ways.Chloe, Mischa, Carl, Kevin, Ken(her husband) and me. Neither Jackie nor Audrey would have a share. When you consider how Jackie had looked after Lesley and how close Lesley was to Audrey it was not too fair. But, we did not want any arguments. And, anyway we were not interested in money.
What I do regret is that I took Lesley's friends to her house and let them have most of the pictures that Lesley painted. Later I may make a gallery of the photos of the paintings that I have.
When Lesley was in hospital she watched television. Most beds had portable televisions that had been donated. She had two TVs and said that they should be given to the hospital. Something I remember she said while in hospital. She begged me, "Dad, don't tell mum I'm in here. I don't want her coming in with her crocodile tears."
On the day of the funeral, Friday, I told Mischa of the decision concerning the disposal of Lesley's assets and the donation of the black & white TVs. I explained that I was going to get Carl a colour TV and pay for a year's licence out of Carl's legacy.
On the Sunday, I had a phone call from Mischa. He raised his voice and gave me a lecture. He had spoken to his mother and he said that she was angry and that I had no right to give Lesley's TVs to the hospital. I can't remember much else of what he said, but it upset me. Jackie took the phone off me and "had a go" at Mischa.
That was it. I can be a very hard person if pushed. I decided not to split the estate as above. I deleted Mischa, Kevin and Chloe and added Jackie and Audrey. I sent Mischa, Kevin and Chloe a cheque for one penny. I am certain that Lesley agrees.
I had better explain why I deleted Kevin.
During the last months of her illness Lesley did not like to be in her house on her own. "I don't want to die alone." She said. She mainly lived with us.
Kevin was going to America. He arranged to see Lesley one evening at her house. He knew that it would be the last time he saw her. Lesley stayed at her house waiting. He phoned me and said that he would not see her as it was late and he had to be up early in the morning to catch his flight. So, he missed the last opportunity to see his sister.
The specialist looking after Lesley told me that she had about two months to live. I called Kevin to see him and explained the position. I asked him not to tell Carl as he was not well and would not be able to cope with the situation. Also, not to tell his mother as I knew what the reaction would be. Kevin told Carl. The message got garbled to Chloe in that it was two weeks. Lesley got to know what had been said. I had one hell of a job persuading Lesley that all was OK. But she now knew that she did not have long to live.
Kevin has a site selling his Windows based simulation of current flow in circuits on ....... I have deleted the reference. I found it too distasteful. He has a link to a porno site) (and Disney???)