Bully, as a noun: “A blustering, browbeating person, especially one habitually cruel to others who are weaker.”
You know who you are. You knew deep down that what you did through the years was wrong, but you did it anyway. You enjoyed it. You took power and control and that’s the way you liked it. To everyone else you put on a good show, but whenever I looked into your eyes I was looking into your wicked soul. To your real family and friends you were generous, loving and kind, but your wickedness did not delude your husband’s biological family, we knew better.
Bully, as a transitive verb: “To affect by means of force or coercion. Act aggressively towards.”
You saw a shattered, vulnerable family, saw an opportunity for control and authority and took it. You isolated and drove a wedge between two brothers. You caused a lifetime of estrangement within his entire family. We were his only brother, his daughters, his grand-daughters and his great-grandsons.
Bully, as an intransitive verb: “To use browbeating language or behavior on.”
Your conniving and taunting, your constant put downs gave you the ultimate high. Doing the right thing was never an option, it was always about you. You denied a dying man his last wishes because you felt threatened and outnumbered with all of us there. Only you mattered. Only your family was important. We were just pawns for your mockery and bullying, pieces of trash left out for garbage. Games of sister against sister, daughter against father were played and for what? Your husband treated your sons like his real family, yet you could not and would not reciprocate with yourbeloved husband’s children.
Synonyms: intimidate, browbeat, heckle, ride roughshod over, push around.
I am sure that you feel that you are above reproach, but you are not. Do you feel good that the man you claimed to love led a life full of hidden secrets and regret? Are you proud that you broke the strongest bonds in life: bonds of blood and love and family? Your sense of entitlement justified your actions, but at what cost? It wasn’t one life that was affected, but many others.
Yes, you know who you are. Even now it doesn’t matter since in the end you got what you wanted. But I still had the last word and that is something that you can never take away from me. I held you accountable for the terrible things you did and said and finally, no matter how much you tried, you could not shut me up. I knew then what you were and I knew through the years, but I never gave up and in the end I was still there. There was nothing you could say or do to stop me.
THE BEGINNING OF THE END
My father’s health was beginning to decline, I knew in my heart he did not have much longer to live. I am a Registered Respiratory Therapist with years of critical care and ER experience. After many years of working in critical care, your skills in assessing patients are fine tuned. When the patient is your father, it takes on a whole different meaning, all on its own. Suddenly it’s personal, real personal and when I look back on that fateful day that he died, I was able to maintain composure while my heart was breaking. The fact that I was able to contain my rage amazes me to this day. In all my years of working with families in their times of grief, in all my years of working traumas, terminal extubations and sharing the last moments with families as their loved ones passed on, the unimaginable and unthinkable happened to me. For 38 years of my life I was at the mercy of a bully who took bullying to a whole new level.
SOMETHING IS VERY WRONG – JAN 2012
I get up from my favorite area on my back porch and walk into the house looking around, a sense of foreboding surrounding me. I had just placed a call to Gabriel, a special someone who had taken me under his wing in regards to my situation with my father in Palm Beach, but no answer. I inwardly sigh. Oh well, I suppose I should get ready to head over to Mikki and Ron’s house. I smile to myself, thankful that I have Mikki. I have only lived in this neighborhood for a year, but she has become such a close friend. As my father’s health rapidly declined these past few months, Mikki has been my proverbial and literal shoulder to cry on and vent to.
Bringing my laptop and my bird, Gus, into the house I walk into the bathroom to freshen up real quick. I look at myself in the small mirror and wonder who that woman is looking back at me. She looks like me with her long, curly, dark blonde hair, tan skin and moderate cheekbones but looks so different too. My mix of gray and hazel eyes are tired, and filled with pain and I can see more lines etched around my mouth and eyes. Laugh lines and sorrow lines.
“Who are you?” I say to my reflection. No one answers back and I shrug and grab my purse to head across the street.
As I head across the street I glance up at the sky. The sky is a bit overcast and it’s a warm day for January, but then isn’t it always warm in Florida? The sky matches my mood, I think to myself. I heave a sigh and try to lift my spirits, telling myself that I need to get out and mingle with people who enjoy my company.
But, as always, my thoughts drift to the past few months. The pains of seeing my father’s health take a downward turn for the worse and being shunned by my stepmother, Marilyn, and not being allowed to see my dad. I think back to when two of my daughters, Raven and Sasha, and I snuck down to see my father despite the threatening phone call I received from her. My sister and I discussed and then argued about her unreasonable demands and so our conversation ended on bad terms. Despite Marilyn’s unreasonable demands, I decided to go anyway. She was not going to bully me no more! I knew her routine and it was time for me to change the rules of a game gone bad. Stop it Nadine, get a hold of yourself, I shout inwardly. I had had enough, I reached my breaking point and so I knew I had to act quickly. I had nothing to lose so I put my game plan into place.
“Nadine! I’m so glad you decided to come over for dinner,” Mikki says to me as I walk in. “Dinner is just about ready. Would you like a glass of wine?”
“You’ve just about read my thoughts there Mikki.” We laugh together as she uncorks a bottle. I sit down and ask where Ron, her husband, is.
“Right here. Sorry, I lost track of time out back.” Ron smiles at me and takes the wine glass Mikki offers him.
“Cheers!” We all say in unison and I take a sip. “That smells great Mikki, anything you want me to do?” Mikki shakes her head and just points to the dining table. “Sit Nadine, I’ve got it.” Dinner is served and we all dig in.
“How are your daughters Nadine?” asks Ron.
“Oh they’re great! Misty is still settling into married life even though it’s been five months. Raven is going her own way, calling me here and there. She’s taking everything Marilyn says to heart though,” my tone turning sad as I say the last sentence. “Cheryl is good too, taking care of the kids. She seems a lot happier now that she may finally be staying in one place for longer than a couple years with the boys and Matt.”
“That’s great,” Mikki says. “How is Sasha? I thought I saw her car here this past weekend.”
“Sasha seems alright. She’s back at school, the semester just started last week. She likes to come home every weekend since the university is only an hour away. I don’t know though, we don’t talk much during the week what with me working and she busy with classes.” I smile though, so proud of my baby for going to college. I’m proud of all my children, they have turned out to be stunning, intelligent women and I would not change them for the world. “Mikki, this dinner is amazing. Thank you for inviting me.”
“Well thank you! It was my pleasure; I know you needed a distraction.” Mikki smiles widely at me, showing me again how much she cares for me. Just then my cell phone rings. I answer it.
“Nadine? It’s Gabriel.” My heart starts racing when I hear his somber tone.
“Oh, Thank you for calling back. I was wondering if you happen to have heard anything about my father. My sister had promised me she would keep me informed but I haven’t gotten any phone calls. The last I heard was that he had been discharged to a rehab facility.”
“Uhh hold on. Let me call you back.” He hangs up, leaving me more nervous and anxious then before. Five agonizingly long minutes go by before my phone goes off again. It’s him.
“Nadine, your father was admitted back into the hospital and is in the CCU. You need to get down here as fast as possible.” I hung up the phone and placed it on the table, my heart starts to race and my greatest fears realized. My heart drops and I am lost in my own ominous thoughts, I knew the end was near.
Nadine, are you still there? “Yes, sorry. Thank you so much Gabriel, I’ll drive down first thing in the morning.” I hang up, my whole being shaken and numb. I force myself not to cry in front of Mikki and Ron.
“You’re not going there alone Nadine. You are in no condition to drive,” Mikki murmurs quietly while she grasps my hand.
“Thank you.” I whisper.
I decide to go home soon after and attempt to go to sleep, but it does not come easily. The hours pass by and finally it’s morning. It’s a normal day to everyone but me. This could be the day I say goodbye to my father forever.
When I’m ready to leave, I head over to Mikki’s and we get in my car to go. The sky is overcast and there’s a chill in the air. How appropriate, I think to myself. Sighing, I turn to Mikki, “Shall we?”
The drive across the state is long and tedious. My good friend drives and we keep conversation to a minimum. I have no idea what I am going to find, but I know it will not be good. I thank the heavens that I was sent a guardian angel who is giving me the chance to say goodbye. As the miles tick on, my mind wanders. Why was Dad discharged to a rehab facility? The last I saw him he was not in the condition to be sent to one, but I am not the one in charge of that. It was New Year’s Day, only twelve days ago, and I knew then that he was dying. So why a rehab facility?
Glancing over to my friend, I am so grateful for her empathy and kindness. Over the past several months I have poured my heart out to her about my more than dysfunctional family and the ups and downs I have been through. “Thank you so much Mikki. I don’t know what I would do if I were by myself right now.”
“No one should be by themselves at a time like this Nadine. I am just glad that someone care enough to call you.”
“Me too. I just don’t understand why no one else called me. Greta, my sister, promised me that she would keep me informed but it has been a week and a half. I have called and called, but no one has answered.” We fall silent as we both ponder what is waiting for us on the other side of the state.
My nerves are on end as we pull into the hospital parking lot and check in at the front desk. Mikki and I are told we have to get our pictures taken first and then we can go to the critical care unit. The nurse leads us to the unit and leaves us to find my father’s room. I walk in and immediately am dumbfounded. My father is lying on the hospital bed unresponsive and on a ventilator.
I look over and see Marilyn at the bedside. Her eyes widen and her mouth drops open. She is obviously shocked to see me here. I hear a sound and look over to the right, seeing a set of legs behind a curtain. Wondering who would be sitting behind a curtain, I lift it aside and stare straight into my sister, Greta’s eyes. The air in the room stills and I am rooted to the ground unable to say or do anything. I know Mikki is standing in the background saying nothing. What could she say? I say to myself.
Marilyn speaks to me, her voice cold and flat. “Greta and I will not be leaving his side. If you care to, you can come in periodically to see your father.” Thunderstruck, I stare at her, my anger and resentment flaring up. I pushed the rage deep inside and walked over to my father.
I looked at the shell of a man who was my father. Having worked in a hospital for many years, I was well aware of what is going on in the critical care unit. Nothing could prepare me for what I saw. He isn’t just a patient, he is my father and no one bothered to pick up a phone and call me. His body is shutting down yet he is on a ventilator with fluids running and a unit of blood. I gently lift his eyelids and notice his pupils are blown. His extremities are filled with fluid, turning blue. There is barely any circulation and his urine output is low. His ventilator is on a pressure control mode telling me that it is unlikely that he will ever breathe on his own. My heart constricts as I admit this to myself.. His monitor shows his vital signs are tanking slowly and that his oxygen intake is poor. Pulling strength out of nowhere, I pick up his hand and hold it. “Dad, squeeze my hand,” I say, repeating it several times. No response. I glance at Mikki as she stands by watching and waiting. I see that Greta has left the room. I gently let go of his hand and leave the CCU.
Mikki follows me out of the room as I go to confront my sister. “How long have you been here?” I ask her point blank.
“I flew down the day before yesterday. Marilyn called me,” Greta replied as she calmly regarded me. I stared into her hazel eyes, so like mine yet so dissimilar.
“How could you have not called me and told me daddy was dying? How could you?” My voice cracked as I said the last sentence and tears filled my eyes. I stared at her, begging with my eyes to tell me why she had no called. “Why didn’t you call me?” I repeat, over and over again..
Finally she answers, “Marilyn is Dad’s caregiver. There was nothing I could do.”
“You couldn’t pick up a phone? You have been here for two days, only a phone call away and you could not even pick up your phone?” At this point I’m pleading with her. I repeat myself again. “Why didn’t you call me?”
“If it weren’t for you and your fucking children, things would not be the way they are right now Nadine.” She narrowed her eyes at me and I could see that they were as flat and cold as Marilyn’s. Her voice, eerily enough, paralleled that of the woman who sat in the room close by.
An overwhelming sense of rejection washed over me as I stood there shocked and speechless. In all my years of seeing patients live out their last days and hours with their family surrounding them, I was living the unimaginable. My own flesh and blood, my sister, my best friend was denying me the right to say goodbye to my father. I felt like my entire world was crashing around me. Mikki was speechless; I couldn’t even begin to fathom what she was thinking as she heard our angry words and my desperate pleading.
Turning around, I walk back into my father’s hospital room. As I walked up to my father’s bed, I glared at Marilyn daring her to stop me. I leaned over to my father’s ear, “Dad, its Nadine. I’m here to tell you that I love you and forgive you. It’s okay to let go and go to the light.” “The angels are waiting for you, go to the light.” I repeated it again and looked directly at him. As I stood up, I saw that his right eye drifted towards me and made eye contact. The ventilator started to alarm, I look off to my left and noticed that the set rate on the ventilator was 15 and briefly shot up to 31. It was brief and then returned to the set rate. My heart lifted at the sight and helped calm me down. I knew that he heard me!
I stop right outside the doorway and turn to Marilyn. “You are an evil, cruel and vindictive woman. God damn you!” Mikki joins me out in the hall and we leave. I walk away from my stepmother, the woman who brought constant turmoil and sadness to my life and those around me. I walk away from my father, a man whose cowardice allowed him to be controlled by the one woman who should have loved and honored him. And finally I walk away from my sister, the one person I thought I could trust with my life but who turned out to be just as selfish and hurtful as Marilyn. I walk away and don’t look back.
The Early Years
When I was young, we lived in an Irish Catholic neighborhood in Queens, NY. We were the only Jews on the block and the kids never played with me. The neighbors were cruel and would mock me by saying I killed Jesus. I would run home crying to my mother and she would hug me tight, telling me it was ok, they were ignorant and didn’t know any better. After it became unbearable, we moved up to Rockland County where there few houses in the development and deer ran free in the yard. My sister and I would explore the field and chase butterflies during the day and fireflies at night. Houses started to be built and the neighborhood grew. New families moved in and most of them were not Jewish.
Prejudice reared its ugly head again and so my first encounter with bullying began. A German family moved in and one of the girls would taunt me relentlessly. We would walk through a small wooded area to go to school and so one day as I was walking home from school, the girl grabbed my books from me and tossed them in a stream. There was a 2 x4 placed across the stream so our feet would not get wet. She removed the plank of wood and tossed it aside. I got very angry, grabbed the plank of wood and hit her with it. Her mother came down to our house and started to scream at my mother. My mother yelled at her for allowing her child to do that to me and that I was defending myself. I remember that day well. My mother made arrangements for me to leave school 15 minutes early so I could avoid being taunted. We sat down one day and had a long talk. My mother told me to always stand up for myself. She told me how much she loved me and that I should never allow anyone to bully me like that.
“It’s going to rain. Mommy doesn’t like us to get wet Nadine,” said my younger sister as she looked up at me with big, round eyes full of worry. She had already cried today and yesterday and the day before that and I did not want to add anything else to her sorrow.
“Don’t worry Greta. Mommy won’t get wet because she’s covered. She’ll never have to worry about being—“I stop myself just in time before I say the last two words: wet again. It is bad enough that we are burying our mother today, to say it out loud would be torture. Greta, at twelve, understands death since our grandmother died two years ago, but she is still having a hard time coping with the fact that now our mommy is gone. I myself am having a difficult time dealing with it. I was inconsolable since the day I knew she was dying.
“Nadine, Greta it’s time to get into the limo.” I look up at my father and see his grief stricken face. He is dressed in a somber gray suit that normally would make him look very dapper and handsome, but today he just looks haggard. His normally tall, wiry frame is weighed down by grief and lack of sleep and his deep set eyes are duller and darker than normal. He holds his hand out to me and I grab it, almost clinging to it for dear life.
As I climb into the back of the limo, I think about the last time I saw my mother healthy and alive. She had just gotten back from the trip that would eventually claim her life and I was thrilled to see my mom again.
“Mommy! You’re back!” I throw myself into her arms, hugging her tightly. She hugs me back just as tightly and then pulled my sister into a hug as well. “Mom you won’t believe what’s happened!”
“What, darling? Don’t tell me you’ve grown up in the few weeks I’ve been gone.” She smiles at me, her smile wide and beautiful and tucks a stray hair behind my ear. My mother is so beautiful with her thick, sable hair and sparkling brown eyes. I hope I can be just as pretty when I’m older, I think to myself.
“I met a boy at the skating rink and he asked me on a date,” I spit out quickly. Her eyebrows raise and at first I was afraid that she would be mad until her mouth opened into an ear-splitting grin.
My throat constricts as I think about that day and how she lectured me about boys and promised me she would be there to help me with all of my boy problems. “Except now she’ll never be and I am all alone,” I whisper to myself so as not to be heard by my sister and father. I look out the window and prop my chin on my hand, watching the buildings and people whiz by in a blur. Everything is gray and dull to me now, an endless and empty abyss. Mommy was the only one who I could talk to and would understand me. Greta is too young and my dad is never around. At least you still have grandpa, my subconscious reminds me. I relax a bit when I realize that is true and glance at my grandfather. Normally his face is always plastered with a smile and his twinkling eyes are full of mischief, but today his mouth is in a grim line and his eyes bear the anguish of losing his only daughter.
I close my eyes as we pass through the gates to the cemetery. Still unable to accept that she is gone, I try to block everything out. The limo pulls to a stop and my dad gets out first with Greta behind him.
“Nadine, Come on sweetheart, it’s time to say goodbye.” Grandpa holds his hand out to me and I take it, feeling a bit more reassured. His hand grips mine in an iron hold and I know that it is not just to hold me up, but to hold him up as well. I glance at the sky and see that it has darkened. How appropriate, I think to myself and my mouth compresses as I fight back an overwhelming urge to just scream at the top of my lungs. The only thing keeping me back is that I know I have to stay strong for my dad and little sister.
Following my father and sister, I hold my grandfather’s hand and let reality slowly wash over me. No more shopping trips. No more trips into New York City to go to the theatre or wander around looking into the expensive shops. No more reassuring hugs, kisses on the forehead, or special trips to the beauty parlor to get our hair and nails done. No more anything. Again my throat constricts and I feel a dull ache in my chest.
We shuffle to the gravesite and I almost collapse at the sight of the newly dug grave. A perfect rectangle, just large enough to fit my mother’s casket. Glancing at my father and grandfather, I see that reality has come crashing down on them just as it has on me. Greta is clinging to my dad for dear life and tears are already running down her face. I look away, unable to bear the grief on everyone else’s faces. I soon realize that looking at the hole in the earth where my mother is supposed to be laid in for eternal rest does not soothe my aching heart either. Why oh why did she go on that trip with grandpa? Why couldn’t they go to Europe or Canada instead of Africa where she would not have been bitten by a disease ridden bug?! My inner self wails inconsolably and I feel the hysteria beginning to bubble up to the surface.
Managing to push it aside briefly, I suffer through the quick service and watch as the pallbearers bring my mother’s casket to the grave. As they lower her into the ground forever I scream in my head, “No!” but realize I screamed it out loud. My father and grandfather rush to me as I sink to my knees on the ground and finally I let the tears come out, spilling over my cheeks like Niagara Falls.
The Spiral Down
I walked around the house, “Nadine, people are here to give you condolences.” I was numb but mumbled “thank you” along with the hugs and tears as people came and paid their respects. Things had quieted down after a few days and I found myself alone in the house. It was evening and I sat by the record player listening to music. Something caught my eye! I looked up and froze; my mother was coming down the staircase in her pink bathrobe and slippers! She looked at me and then disappeared. “Tony, Tony, and get down here” I screamed into the phone!” “I just saw my mother!” He ran down to my house and stayed with me that night. I couldn’t tell my grandfather, who was sleeping in his bed down the hall. He would have looked at me like I was nuts!
Grandpa was never the same after that. All he did was mope and shuffle around the house. He cooked for us and I helped him clean, but when my friends came over he would cheer up instantly and the funny grandpa I knew was back, if only for a few minutes. He had a heart attack one afternoon and I remember Tony and I got him into a car and drove to the hospital. He stayed a few days and then was released. Another time, coming out of my room I could overhear him on the phone. He was calling and talking to different people. “Grandpa, who are you talking to?” He took a deep breath and sighed, “I was talking to Selma, and it’s been awhile.” He spent a good part of the day on the phone and when he was done he went back into his room to watch TV. One fateful day he was again complaining of chest pain so I called the ambulance, by the time they got him to the ER he passed away. All I had left was my sister, who was gone most of the time and my father, who was always working and rarely home.
I had Tony for support, he was my boyfriend. When we were together, we were wild, young and free. The times I spent with him I was able to forget my troubles and just get caught up with Tony and his crazy antics. When I was home, I would walk around and think of the past and how it used to be. When my father came home or took a day off, we would go in the back and play baseball. “OK Nadine, here it goes,” he yelled and then pitched a mean ball. I would whack it into the neighbors yard and we would both be laughing so hard. Sometimes my sister would go and fetch the ball and so of course she batted too! I remembered all the delicious holiday dinners and family dinners we had in our formal dining room. Our dog Pretzel, a little poodle pulled the tablecloth and the turkey fell to the floor along with the rest of the meal but we ate it anyway!
I spent a lot of time in my room, listening to music, surrounded by familiar things that brought me comfort. On a snowy cold night during a blizzard I climbed in my bed and tried to go to sleep. I was sleeping but yet I was awake. That night my mother came to me. She kissed my forehead, tucked me in and then went to the head of my bed and stood for a short while just looking at me. She was hazy but I knew it was her. I sat up in bed and then she faded slowly away. I was frozen, not knowing what to think but I saw and felt her loving touch one last time. Several months later she came to me in a dream. I was in a park at night and I was alone. She appeared to me and started to walk towards me. “Mom, are you ok? Why are you here?” She replied, “I came to check on you and see if you are ok.” I started to cry uncontrollably and said, “Mom, I want to go with you, I don’t want to be here anymore.” She looked at me somberly and said, “It’s not your time yet” and then she slowly started to walk away and then disappear. I was never the same after those encounters. The sheltered girl that I once was now an angry rebellious teenager!
I did what I wanted. I just didn’t care anymore. I fought with my sister a lot and one day things came to a head. “Greta, where is my ruby ring?” “It’s mine” she screamed as I looked around frantically for it. “It’s mine, I am wearing it and you can’t have it.” “No, no it’s mine! Mommy gave it to me so give it back, give it back” I grabbed her and then my father walked in unexpectedly and pulled me off her. He began to hit me, I didn’t get my ring back and I ran out of the house. I called my best friend Sharon, told her what happened and we decided to run away together. We hitchhiked to Florida, and were eventually caught and returned home. My relationship with my father was precarious but we eventually made our peace. He was working so much that I was left to my own with my boyfriend Tony, who spent most of his time with me. When I wasn’t with him I visited my best friend Barbara and her family. They showered me with love and affection and to this day we remain in contact.
WHEN DAD MARRIED BAD
“Nadine, Greta, there’s something I have to tell you”, he said one day when we were all at home. He sat us down and told us he met a nice woman at a Jewish singles dance. “Her name is Marilyn and she has 2 sons around your age,” he said. He took us to meet her and we all went out for dinner. Inside I am thinking, “I don’t like her, she’s cold and not too interested in anything about me and my sister.” Her sons didn’t appear to be very friendly towards me either. For my father’s sake I tried to accept them but my instincts told me otherwise. My heart sunk the day my father told me they were going to get married. I just couldn’t and wouldn’t ever feel like belonged when they we around and now I realized that things just would never be the same again. When I went to their wedding, it was clear I was not happy about it but I had no choice. The beginning of the end came for me when they moved from a 2 bedroom apartment in the Bronx to a 5 bedroom, 4 bath house on an acre of land with a built in pool. She became the queen and she knew it!
For 3 years I was a wild, free spirited teenager. I kept the house clean and pretty much did whatever I wanted but that stopped. I started going out more and staying away. Gone were possessions that were my mother’s! She kept the very expensive crystal and antiques but never asked me if I may have wanted anything to keep. She was a neat freak and if anything was out of place she would go into a rage. If my father wasn’t around, she would be very nasty towards me and I rebelled. I can only remember a few times where we actually had a civil conversation but she was just too controlling for me. My father was struggling with his business and was not home a lot. When he was, she would act differently towards me but I had already figured out what she was about. She didn’t like the fact that I challenged her authority; after all, she wasn’t my mother. My father would sit me down and say, “Nadine, we all have to get along. Why can’t you do as she says as it makes things easier?” “Dad, when you are not around, it’s different. She favors her sons, they can do anything!” but it fell on deaf ears. He either looked the other way or chose to ignore it. He took the path of least resistance and that led to the beginning of my end.
“Seymour, it’s me or her!” she screamed as soon as my father walked through the front door. I was doing laundry and when I went downstairs to put my clothes in the dryer, I found them still dirty and tossed into the basket dripping. I looked in the washer, took her clothes out and put mine back in and she exploded on me. “What do you want me to do?” asked my father and she screamed. “I want her out of here, I’ve had enough!” My father looked at me and told me to pack my clothes, I was speechless! She was throwing me out of my house over a load of wash. I threw my clothes in a bag and my father took me to a rundown rooming house in Nyack and rented me a room. I was out! Tossed like garbage!
TRYING TO SURVIVE
I had a local job at an insurance company but eventually I went to work in NYC. I barely had enough to survive on but I managed. My sister had to sneak a call to me and I asked her to let me in the house to get the rest of my belongings. She did that when they were at work so I got the rest of my belongings as well as my records so I could try to settle into my new home. The next morning I woke up and then as I walked out the front door my car was gone. I called the police and reported it stolen. I had a 1967 Ford Falcon that I bought from the social security money I received when my mother died. I soon found out that she had her sons come and took it in the middle of the night. If I wanted it back I would have to return a winter coat that she gave me as well as other things. When I came to the house that night to return those items and get my car, I took a can of spagettios from the pantry. I was hungry and wanted something to eat. Her son Jeff saw me and told her. I had to return it and when I went back home I told my landlady and she made me something to eat. My father seemed remorseful but talking to him was a waste of time, he wouldn’t or couldn’t budge.
I stayed away and attempted to rebuild my life as best as I could. I worked, went out with my friends on the weekends and stayed away from the only people I should have called family, but they weren’t anymore. I was sentenced for life to banishment and alienation from the only parent and sister I had. There were never any attempts to try to fix things or get her to relent. I spent my first Thanksgiving and Christmas alone by myself. I walked in the middle of Rte 59, hoping a car would hit me so I would not be miserable anymore but no one was one the road that night, they were with their families.
“Nadine, let’s go dancing, we will have fun and meet some guys” said Susie. She was one of my best friends and liked to go out. We went to a local disco and I met Dave there. He looked alot older and was very nice so I let him buy me a drink. Later that night we drove down to the Jersey Shore and made out by the beach. Whenever he wasn’t working, we were together and when I met his family they accepted me and included me in holiday dinners. Dave and I were married within a year and now I had a family! I saw my sister sporadically but ceased contact with my father and his wife. We were no longer in each other’s world. I now had a new family with a husband, step-children and a brand new lease in life or so I thought. I started to waitress and bought myself a Corvette. Eventually his family bought a big house in Montvale so I had a nice home and a new car. Life was good for awhile but his parents had issues which spilled over into our marriage. Although his family treated me well, I still yearned for the single life and had problems becoming pregnant. This did not bode well for our marriage.
I was unhappy, felt boxed in and eventually I knew that the marriage was over. I was young and yearned for freedom, he worked hard and drank hard and when things got physical I knew in my heart that the marriage was over. I saw my sister more in those days because she had her own car and was able to see me when she could. She saw how bad things were and must have told my father. He contacted me and we started to talk from time to time.
He called me up one day “Nadine, my business is going broke and I need you to sign some paperwork for me. I need to have the house in my name so I can get a loan and build up my business.” It was a cold wintry day on Jan 15th, 1975 when I made that fateful decision. I jumped at the chance to do anything to have my father back so I went with him to an attorney and signed some paperwork, no questions asked. He gave me some money and told me when things got better he would take care of me. Ironically, he did to some extent but at a great cost. His wife was not there when we did this, to this day I believe that if she had come, I would not have signed them. Greta asked me the following year sometime, “Did you sign some papers that daddy asked you to?” “Yes, I had to why do you ask?” “I just signed some papers too and daddy told me you signed them.” She had just turned 19 and they were pressuring her to do sign over her share. Like me, it was no questions asked. We were both told we would be taken care of later.
I moved out of my husband’s home and into an apartment which I shared with a friend. We partied a lot and I knew I was going nowhere fast. I worked and barely had enough to survive. I got very sick that year and was hospitalized. My father came to see me in the hospital as well as my sister. She never came once. When I was released and went home, I had lost my job, my roommate went back home and I couldn’t afford the rent on my own. I ended up moving in with a man whom I became friends with and my father was angry. I was living with a man and had no job and no future. I had no money at the time so he gave me $375.00 to pay my bills. He picked me up one day and tells me, “Nadine, I’m not happy with the way things are going with you. You have no job, no future, you are still legally married and yet you are living with another man.” “Daddy, why can’t I come home and try to go to school? Then I can take care of myself?” “Marilyn doesn’t want you in the house.” “It would be better for you to go into the air force where they will train you and take care of you.” I had no choice, it was either that or on the street. The night before I left for basic training my friends and I went out and partied to the wee hours. I packed just what they told me to and left everything else I owned at that point at the house in a crawlspace, forgotten, like me.
A FAMILY MEMBER NO MORE
The next day he picks me up and takes me to the airport. I’m on my way to Texas for basic training. After a couple of weeks in, we were allowed to receive letters so I wrote one home and he replies back:
Feb 3, 1978 –“ I understand you called person to person collect, why?” He tells me Marilyn is doing my taxes and my sister is signing them. In his own writing he states” I don’t think you ought to come home just for 2-3 days. It was the end of basic training and beginning of tech school. It is not worth spending so much money for such a short stay.” He then writes, “You ought to write Marilyn a letter and ask her some questions and write her anyway. Even though she wrote you a letter awhile ago which you probably don’t agree with everything she wrote but still you should have answered anyway. So please write her for my sake. He tells me to cool it on the collect calls and to attempt to pay Marilyn back money she feels I owe her. It was the 375.00 that my father gave me when I was down and out.
He writes and tells me about her family stuff, that he is very busy and that I should keep up the good work. I was in basic training
She writes me a letter while I am in basic training:
Mar 17th, 1978 basic training – Maybe you missed your calling and should have been a boy. As a girl I expect you to be a lady. You should have enlisted 4 yrs ago; you need the discipline that service life affords you. You never had it at home. You may think I am a hard person. I also have taken many knocks in life and eventually stood up on my own two feet and became my own person and nobody but nobody will knock me down or step on me again.” (She did not like the way I dressed and accused me of prostituting myself.) My father had given me 375.00 and I used it for living expenses prior to leaving for basic. She wanted it back. I was so used to being poor and broke, I had no support system. I had to beg!! Most of the letter was reaming me out for not being what she wanted me to be and the last paragraph she was all excited about their upcoming trip to Europe
This is the only letter I received from her while I was in basic training and tech school. Because she had severed what little relationship I had with my father and sister, they essentially kept in touch with me via phone or mail. I received several short notes from my father who told me about their trip to Europe. He stated that he was tired of seeing churches and castles. He told me how expensive gas was in Spain and was happy to hear that I survived basic training.
In April of 1978 I went straight from basic to tech school. I had a ten day leave and she refused to allow me to come home. I begged and pleaded with him but it fell on deaf ears. I flew to Chanute and got settled before my schooling started. I did not write or call them. I played a lot of pool and hung out with some new friends. I met Gary at that time and we fell instantly in love. We were both in the same class and became inseparable. Those were one of the best times of my life. I was in love!
April 23, 1978 – I’m at Chanute AFB – He writes, “We haven’t gotten any letters or call from you as we presume you are at Chanute Field but I’m writing anyway. He got my postcard from basic where it tells you what’s going on and he says it is kind of pathetic. He is happy that it is now over for me there. He then asks me if there is a future for me as a woman in jet mechanics.
I wrote back to him telling him I was going to be stationed out in California. I told him I met someone and that we were in love. I studied hard and did well. When I was assigned my duty station I had a 2 week leave coming. I asked him if I could come home on leave and his response:
May 10th, 1978 – He writes to tell me he is sending out my stuff via Greyhound. He writes, “The way things look now, I don’t think it will be wise for you to come home now when you finish school in June. It hurts me to tell you this but Marilyn is still not ready to accept you in the house for a 2 week period. If you want to come to NY on your leave, I’ll be glad to pick you up at the airport and drive you anywhere else. He was upset with me for telling him when I came home I would be staying at one place while I had planned to stay somewhere else. I had no choice; my father couldn’t let me come home. He goes on to write, “I’m crying while writing this letter to you as I have feelings and emotions just like you have or anyone else does and it hurts me in my heart to have to tell you not to come home to our house. I had to convince and prove myself that maybe I was changing for the better. He keeps begging me to see their side of the coin. He writes, Believe me, I’m not a religious man I still pray to God that someday things will work out and then there will be love and understanding and happiness for you and for all of us. He writes, I know that we haven’t been that close these past 5 years but believe me it left a void in my life and I’m sure you realize that at the time it was your fault. I don’t mean to bring up a constant reminder so now as far as I am concerned, its water under the bridge and over the dam.” More idle chit chat, another sentence where he states he is anxiously awaiting my reply. He ends it telling me my bag is on its way out with everything I asked for plus some “goodies”.
I don’t remember what I wrote back but I’m sure I must have made a good case for myself. His next letter states:
May 26, 1978 – He writes me, “We received your last letter and I read it carefully and it made real common sense. Marilyn and I have decided that you deserve a chance and would very much like to have you come home and be with us and G and H. He stated that they felt I had matured enough and that things will be ok. He briefly chit chats with me about possible coming to California and then he writes, “I’m sorry I made you feel so down in the dumps from my last letter but that I had to tell you how we felt. I sure hope this letter makes up for it and finds you in better spirits as you read on. “He then goes on telling me my Aunt Marie died and that he was talking to his brother. His wife is going to a cousins wedding and he states that him and my sister are going into the city to spend time with my Uncle. He writes “After all he’s alone and has no one except us and I feel it’s my rightful place to be with him in these moments of grief.
I left tech school and went back home for the first time in almost 5 years. Gary and I kept in touch after school was over. He was the first and only man I ever fell in love with. He was married and I was heartbroken but we each had to do what we had to do. I told him I didn’t want to break up his marriage but if he should ever get divorced he would know where to find me. He went home to his family and I went home to mine. When I arrived home, I was uncomfortable and I felt unwanted. The blatant favoritism she showed was apparent but I somehow managed to keep my mouth shut and behave until it was time to leave again. I walked on eggshells the entire time I was there. I boarded a plane heading out to California to my permanent duty station. I brought a trunk and a suitcase filled with as much of my meager possessions as I could. I knew I would never go back again, I didn’t belong, I never did and I never would!
I became accustomed to dorm life and made friends easily. When I was in tech school, Gary and I roamed around Chicago a lot. He bought me a pack of Tarot cards at a small shop on a whim and I became very popular. I must have done many readings because everyone kept coming back for advice and more readings. Military life was grueling to a degree and I didn’t much care for the authoritarian atmosphere but I thrived and immersed myself as best as I could. I wrote home sporadically but for the most part, I kept my distance.
July 26, 1978 – He sent me the receipts for the doctor bills I paid as well as my 1978 NYS Income tax form. He writes in the letter that he is proud of me for behaving at home and then goes into my other medical bills which Marilyn paid and wants to be paid back. He then asks me to try and collect a bill owed to him and offers me 25.00 for my efforts. He also asks me to write more often.
Aug 20th, 1978 – He is telling m e all about a big show he is doing in Las Vegas and wants me to come out there for a visit or even to work, but he’s not so sure of the accommodations. He tells me he will let me know but it’s a big show and he felt I would be an asset. He also tells me he will send a care package to me when it gets cooler.
When I was a little girl I remember going to daddy’s shop in the city. He had a little store called Spring Valley Floral where he sold flowers and arrangements. I did odd jobs for him and when he started to grow his business I helped him do shows at the New York Coliseum. He taught me to flock Christmas trees and make arrangements. It would have been like old times and so I was hopeful.
Living in California, I discovered the beauty and the wildness of the Pacific coastline so on weekends off, some friends and I would hit the road and camp for the weekend. I had made some friends off base so I got to know the area well. I kept busy with my job as a jet mechanic and partying it up on weekends. I began to let the past go and just press on. I kept in touch with my sister and would talk to her every now and again. I had a new life and they were only a small part of it. My car broke down and I asked my sister if I could borrow $400.00 to get it fixed. As soon as he found out, letters started to reappear.
Aug 29th, 1978 – Chit chat letter asking me to clear up some old debts (eventually I did) lecturing me on financial responsibility. . He that Marilyn hung a small picture of me with other family photos in foyer wall as you come upstairs. He writes, “Looks great” regards and love – Dad. My sister lent me 400.00 to get my car fixed, he knew, she didn’t
Sept 17th, 1978 – He tells me the Las Vegas show is bigger than he thought and that there was no room or place for me there. He tells me how busy his schedule is and hopes I understand. He congratulates me on my first stripe and reminds me to continue paying my sister back.
This letter dashed any hopes I ever had of being a part of his world. There it was, looming over my head, the thoughts of not belonging, not being wanted, and tossed again to the side. Why even bother anymore, I ask myself. It’s never going to change and I may as well just forget them and move on with my life. I ceased contact and stopped writing. What was the point? I’d pay my sister off and then just move on with my life. I had no family, just me!
Oct 15th, 1978 – He is in Chicago on a business trip. He starts out” Im surprised or should I say concerned or worried wondering why you haven’t written home to either Greta or me these past 3-4 weeks. He asks how I am feeling, tells me about his show in Chicago and then goes on to chastise me about the money my sister lent me. He then writes. “You know we all love you and feel a great sense of attachment and closeness as after all you’re still flesh and blood and I feel that you’ve done the proper thing by joining the AF. He asks me if I have received any divorce papers from ex-husband #1.
Oct 26, 1978 – More lectures on how I spend monies lent. He states that I take advantage by not disclosing what I do with my money. He ends this letter by telling me he is sending me I love NY stickers and to think about his advice.
I was beginning to resent his intrusion into my life. I was struggling on a military salary and yet he felt I should be living frugally and not enjoy life. I finally broke down and wrote him a letter telling him I was moving off base. I did not like my roommate much and that I was going to share a townhouse with another girl I was friends with. One of my co workers told me about dream sheets. I filled them out every week picking places that were overseas. I decided the best thing for me was to go as far away as I could but until then, I wanted to live off base. I picked Iceland, the Seychelles, Guam, Hawaii but ended up at Travis AFB in northern California. Hanukah was coming up so I sent a card to him only. I just didn’t care anymore.
Nov 15th, 1978 – More lectures about me paying off my sister, He was angry I sent him a Hanukah card and it was not addressed to family. He sent the stickers for my car and tells me “beware of West Coast lover boys!” LOL Tells me he is going to Marilyn’s brother for Thanksgiving and asks me to call. I don’t remember if I did or not but I probably didn’t. He underlines if you called. He ends the letter by asking me to write more frequently instead of once a month.
Dec 3, 1978 – I remember vaguely writing to him about not liking my roommate on base and that I was not too happy at the time. I didn’t know what direction to take in life so he writes and tells me that things don’t always work out like I would want them. He also writes, “For Pete’s sake, don’t ask to go to Iceland. You’ll freeze your ass off there.” More chit chat about money and that mine was limited. I had started to distance myself since his offer for me to work with the family was rescinded, I knew I was banished) He sent me some $$ for the holidays in this letter. He then writes, “Why don’t you address you next letter to Marilyn?” He states that’s she’s helped me a lot and that they are all proud of me for doing the right thing. He gives me kudos telling me it was no easy decision to make the move and dedicate myself fully which he thought was admirable. He tells me how proud of me he is, no chastising this time around and ends the letter, “Happiness and love and financial success will come when you least expect it and all in good time with Gods will and blessing. Just keep the faith!
But I didn’t, I lost faith that my father would ever stand up for me and just accept me for who I was. I spent what little I made but it was just money, I didn’t care. I didn’t have to answer to him, just the military and so there were days when I had no money for gas, food or other expenses. I had not written for several weeks but I couldn’t put it off much longer. I was horrible at managing money but I also was not taking care of myself. I would go without eating and so while at work I passed out. I was barely eating but I always had time to party. When I finally wrote him again, I told him what was going on, no holds barred and he then writes me back.
JAN 19TH, 1979 – My father writes, “Gee, I feel bad when yu tell me about passing out on the job because of not eating at least 2 meals a day. I know that the cost for everything is high and I can’t do things every day knowing that you have to struggle to make ends meet and especially deny yourself food until your ration check comes through. Ill send you the $100.00 money order and please use it wisely and pay it back, send it to Greta for me as Marilyn doesn’t know I’m doing this for your sake.” A few sentences later he writes, “I guess I am a softie at heart and can hardly refuse you and I know you realize it but it’s because you are my daughter and I love you very much and I am proud of you and what you are doing and only want you to be successful in life and be happy
I was quite the partier and made a lot of friends in town. I tried to think of being in the military as a job so my friends were the locals. I was on my way to a party and I got lost. I saw this handsome blond haired guy standing on the corner and asked him for directions. Ironically, he was going to that same party. He hopped in the car and the rest is history. We ended up becoming close friends, exploring canyons, hanging out and then eventually moving in together and getting married. Previously I had been served with divorce papers and so I was free at last. We were married in traffic court in Dec 1979. His mother was our witness and the people who were in traffic court were our wedding party! When we moved in together I wanted my things that I left in the crawlspace years ago. I wrote and asked.
March 11, 1979 – He tells me about what it costs to move my stuff out to Cali and then tells me I should be getting my divorce papers soon. He also mentions that since I just moved off base and in with my 2nd soon to be husband that I should not jump into marriage again so quickly. He is glad my car is running fine and that he hopes Cary gets a job soon. He then writes, “Nadine, please bear in mind that if you do have the money to send for all your things and it comes about and for some unforeseen reason things don’t work out, you will be stuck with all the furnishings which you want to dispose of or put in storage. I hope it would never happen for your sake and God knows you deserve all the happiness and love which you’ve not known these past 3-4 years (health most important) as well.” It was nice to write to Marilyn’s but she didn’t get to read my letter until she came home with me tonight. It would be great for you two to cultivate a nice close relationship now that you’ve settled in your ways and know pretty much where you are going.” Greta and her get along fine and there’s a real closeness there, of course. I can’t expect the same because you’re not under the same roof but with the effort it can be cultivated.
She writes: March 14th, 1979 – I requested a copy of my birth certificate. I needed it for a passport as I was thinking of being stationed as far away as I could. I was tired of being alone and I wanted my own family. She was trying to tell me not to get married. She wrote that they bought a condo in Fl. She appeared to be concerned about me getting remarried so soon….she keeps telling me to, “ get my head together.”
My sister wrote and told me she was going to come out to California with a friend for a visit. Cary and I were surviving but life was good, I had someone to love and be loved back. I had my own family now.
She writes: April 20th, 1979 – Chanute AFB – Miracle of miracles, short sweet note about their trip to Europe, how she never wanted to see another church or castle again. Now she wants to save and go to Orient and doesn’t want to cook a holiday meal. I think it was the only nice letter I ever received from her.
April 20th, 1979 – My sister is coming out to see me soon and he thanks me for letting them stay in my apartment. He then writes, “If yu have a few most favorite tapes and records you want, ill try and pack a small carton for Greta to take out (but not too large and bulky). OK Nadine? He then writes that he’s been taking a break but he is not used to inactivity. He goes into a small lecture about where I should take my sister when she visits and then he writes, “How are you managing with your money? Are you able to save anything at all, even $10-25 a month would add up and any extras would be useful in the future when unexpected expenses arise or you want to go on leave and enjoy a well deserved rest. He wants me to go to school, tells me I am smart He also sends “our best wishes are with you 100% all the way! He tells me about the various affairs they are attending for her family and sends regards to Cary and wants a picture of both of us.
May 1, 1979 – My sister was coming out to see me in California; I received a letter from Marilyn. She writes, “Nadine, I think it is too much of you to ask your sister to schlep records and tapes as well as jewelry and papers. She claims my stuff was 250 pounds and too heavy. She tells me to save my money if I want my belongings. That’s the only way you’re going to get them. No one (underlined) is going to bring or send them to you. She claims my jewelry was junk and my back statements and tarot cards were there. She lectures me about not driving my sisters rental car and then gaily changes the subject to their condo in FL .
May 17th, 1979 – short note about a trip to New Orleans and how she was going on a diet. This was the only letter I received from here that did not contain any derogatory remarks and comments.
May 13, 1979 – (Mothers Day) they are in New Orleans and I had written a long letter to my father. He writes that Marilyn has brought it down. He tells me he drove by Chanute AFB and that he saw a C5A at O hare. Evidently my car died and I was riding a motorcycle. He did not like it one bit. He then tells me how hard my sister was working in college. He complains that gas is going up. He asks how I am feeling and wishes me lots of luck. He talks about a big upcoming show and tells me he is going to the cemetery to pay his respects. His show in New Orleans was a success and he talks about all the gourmet restaurants they ate at. He pretty much gives me a rundown on all their show activity and then writes, “Really Nadine, you can’t expect Greta to bring much of my stuff.” He just wants to give me good advice and encourages me to go to school. He gives me advice about my sister’s upcoming visit and continues to lecture me to save money. He talks about the amount of rain they have been having and tells me Howie finally sold his cosworth vega.
June 23rd, 1979 – My sister is back from her trip and had a good time. He asks me how I was doing since I got into my motorcycle accident. He is concerned that I am on days and light duty for 90 days. He is also concerned that my sister told him I wasn’t doing anything productive and that I should get out of the armed forces on disability. He is concerned because the guy who hit me head on had no insurance and I was trying to sue for damages. He wants me to get my car fixed and n0t ride a motorcycle anymore and offers Howies help (never happened). Evidently my sister told him the refrigerator was empty and he was concerned. My sister told him I took her out on the base and she was impressed.
July 23rd, 1979 – He was in the hospital with cardiac issues and I had written a letter to him which my sister brought to him. He was having issues with fluid around his heart and was being discharged. He is watching his diet and says that his age is catching up with him. He then writes, “You want to hear a 10,000 to one shot coincidence; last night a Dr Korn calls him from Lenox Hill Hospital and says that Paul (brother) had pains and walked to the ER. They found a hernia and emergently operated at 0100. When I spoke with my uncle he had a lot to say. My uncle had told me that when him and his wife got together with my father and his wife the subject of their mothers support came up. His wife stated to them it would be nice if they helped out financially in supporting her in her old age. Marilyn shot daggers at my aunt and essentially after that the 2 brothers became estranged.) My sister, who was dating her step-brother called him and he told them he wanted no visitors. He writes, “I don’t understand why, he’s a real loner sometimes. He sent me his address and asked me to write but I don’t remember if I did or not. I had some hearing issues and he asks if I’ve been addressing them. He then writes, “Have you been back to the doctor for a check-up? Please tell me the truth. All I want is for you to be healthy and happy more than anything else in this world, lord knows you deserve it and after all the hardships and grief you’ve had in your short life.” Tells me to have appositive attitude no matter how difficult things are. I was hit by a car driving my motorcycle and was trying to collect damages, he’s a bit discouraging. He tells me to stop devoting valuable time to a cause which is futile. He ends the letter with asking me to write more frequently and sends his regards
August 1, 1979 – Just dropping me a short note. He writes, “Please “don’t” (underlined mention anything in yur next letter about me sending you the $50 money order as a birthday gift. Marilyn doesn’t know about it and I felt you deserve it but just say thanks for the card and ill know you mean for both.” He chastises me for not sending my sister a BD card and then tells me I have only one sister in this lifetime and she loves you and she looks up to you. He then asks about Cary and implores me to use the money wisely. He then tells me I should look for a second job to make more money. He then writes, “I know you could use the extra “bread” and as long as it’s honest and those extras would help out every month to tide yourself in this high expense economy.” He wants me to be successful and he knows it’s not easy for me. He also writes, “I don’t mean to sound like a broken record but I think you understand what I mean. He wants me to keep him posted on current events and asks about our new puppy.
Aug 18, 1979 – I was being sexually harassed at work because I was a woman doing a man’s job. The men I worked with were constantly harassing me about it. He writes, “Well I am writing you today after our phone conversation last night. I hope we cleared the air between us and you understand my feelings as well as Marilyn’s also towards you. You know I love you very much as my daughter as you are my flesh and blood as well as Greta. I know you’re headstrong and strong willed and say things the way they are.” He goes on to say that even though I did not like my roommate and working with the guys was bad, I should have stayed on base and saved money as well as paid back whatever monies they “lent me”. He then writes, “I know you want someone to care for you and have companionship and a good relationship also. But it takes awhile and a little sacrifice and partial restraint. Wouldn’t have hurt that much after all you just ended one stormy marriage and shouldn’t be so anxious to tie yourself down but concentrate on your career. He tells me I am partially at fault for a drunk driver hitting me on my motorcycle because I was living off base. He again lectures me about money and savings for a secure future.”GET AHEAD OF THE GAME’. He suggests I take a course in money management and tells me I am young enough to do plenty of things. He ends the letter by asking me to write soon and to tell him what I did on my birthday.
Sept 25th, 1979 – I took a 2 week leave and called him. He writes, “When you called last night I would think you could say hello to Marilyn and ask how she was instead of just saying “hello” I want to speak to my father. Please don’t be so abrupt as you can hurt a person’s feelings unconsciously without really knowing it sometimes. Please, for my sake, give her a chance as she’s a good woman and when you look back after the way you treated, she helped you 100% in your most trying times. Give her a chance and she can be one of your best friends because when it comes down to the nitty gritty, she’s got all heart. He tells me she gets along with Greta but that there are differences in small things but that the house was harmonious. He wants me to write to her and not be afraid to pour out my feelings and come around to his way of thinking. He writes, “Enough heartache hardship and bitter times these past 14 years. Life is too sh0ort to hold grudges and not have some feelings and compassion for someone who I love and care for very much and makes me happy. After all, who else do we have?” I can assume from the rest of the letter that I told him Cary and I were getting married and he asked me to wait until they come to Vegas and then go to Reno where we can get married and celebrate together. He tells me to keep my temper in check at work and then writes, “I’m working on the $400 for you to get your things so it won’t be until the end of Oct. Until I accumulate it all so be a little patient awhile longer.OK?”
Oct 14th, 1979 – He enclosed a $400 dollar money order for me to cash and resend back to him to pay for the bulk of my shipping. I had sent him a photo of me, my best friend and my 2 dogs. He liked it and told me how wild my hair looks. Asks me to control it….lol. He then states he wants me to wait until they get out there so they could be with me when we got married. He asks me if I wanted any of my mother’s landscape pictures. General chit chat about the weather and what he is watching on TV. He also sends me an article about a shortage of pool plasterers in Cali for Cary.
Nov 7, 1979 – He tells me he is going up into the attic and crawlspace to get my things ready to be shipped. He lets me know the details and asks me to let him know if everything arrived ok. He then tells me they are going to FLA for a show and then they are going to fly to Sacramento and would I pick them up at the airport. He plans his visit and tells me they will stay at a motel. He tells me about his upcoming shows and that Howie and his girlfriend are meeting up with them for the show. He also brags about his Star sales girl coming in from Chicago as it’s a very busy show. I guess from reading the letter I had wanted to drive to Las Vegas rather than them coming to me but he was not into that. He then tells me to pay any difference to the movers and to let him know. I guess I didn’t wait for them to be at my “courthouse wedding” so he congratulates me and then goes on telling me how busy they are at the show and that they will fly into San Francisco. He ends the letter by telling me he hopes I am happy and wishes me the best of luck.
Nov 29th, 1979 – This was written to me by her, “You may not feel it is really a gift because you have NOTHING TANGIBLE for it but you have to realize we never gave it to you before. It was a loan that should have been paid back and even if it was $5.00 a week or even $1.00 a week but you never made an attempt at anything.” She goes to great lengths to tell me she got married young and raised her sons and it wasn’t easy. She never wanted to be dependent on anyone or as she wrote, “He holds nothing over your head.” I quote in her words, “I may seem very cold and hard to you at times but I have made a resolution to never (underlined) let any of my children do the stupid things I did.” That included me and my sister. She stated that she never looked at my fathers finances and that he was in debt but that she made a good salary and was able to meet the mortgage. She was pissed at me for taking the summer off when I got out of high school. She then wrote, “Nadine, you have to be the woman behind the man. I forced his break with Jerry (my mothers brother) and in less than a year they had little debt and that the business was going on a money making basis.” This was because she is a good businesswoman and able to manage money. My thought on this is if she was making such good money, why was she living in a 2 bedroom apartment in Co-op City? Her letter ends on a positive note that they will be in Las Vegas and want to fly to California for a day.
Dec 12, 1979 – He writes to me and tells me that he is glad I got my things. He tells me how hectic it’s been and now the plans to come see us are in early June. They can only fly in for one day and if my car isn’t running well we should take the bus down so we can visit together, it seems they just don’t have the time to come up to us. He tells me that this show is really big and since service is their business it wouldn’t look right if they weren’t there. He talks about the weather and the show, asks me if I am enjoying my things. He tells me my sister is busy with school and a PS…Here’s a little something extra for the holidays. It’s from me so don’t mention it as its so much money. I don’t remember how much but I would venture to guess it was more than his usual and unexpected.
I have 2 letters, no dates but they were very derogatory. They were probably written around 1980. After struggling and fighting to survive I was tired of being the black sheep and having my face rubbed in it. I knew I made slot of mistakes but it was so clear and apparent that no matter what I did, I would always be the outsider. When I flew home for a visit, I was uncomfortable, her sons did what they wanted and worked for my father and I felt like I no longer belonged there. She berates me for not making the bed but writes in this letter that “I have just accepted the fact that Howie is a pig and close his door so I don’t have to see”. Because I was older and a housewife, alittle more was expected of me. I don’t ever want to hear another word about Howie and Jeff being my own, there are certain things expected of girls and other of boys. Shes goes on to state, “You’ve got it in your head that the whole world is against you. You seem to have have a very guilty conscience about something. Perhaps you are sorry you divorced us all seven years ago. You could have straightened out and not made everybody’s life so miserable and then maybe you wouldn’t be having misgivings. Nobody made you go out on your own as you put it. You caused the whole thing yourself.” I know you have very little and feel jealous but you chose your life. She states she gives gifts when she wants to. I remember she sent shirts that did not fit well but she expected a weak “thanks”. She states that she doesn’t believe in giving money for gifts. Then she writes, enough scolding, she was sending out a stretchy for the baby and she is asking me what I needed. Aka crib, sheets…etc….i bought my own at garage sales….i had had enough.
The last letter I got from here was something about owing my sister some money I borrowed when she came out. I was living hand to mouth and was unable to pay. She accuses me of spending it on something I shouldn’t have, I really cant remember. She accuses me of thinking only about myself and then tells me I lost the only real friend I ever had, my sister. This was over 50.00. I paid her back when I got my tax check. She then writes, “well Nadine, you lived by yourself for 3 years it looks like you’re bucking to do so for the rest of your life-keep it up! I hope you don’t run into any more problems because there is no one here in West Nyack to bail you out. You’ve milked the last penny out of us. If this seems severe or hard its your fault and your fault only. You have to learn to live with people and not use them as you’ve done all your life. We don’t know what sweater you are talking about and we’re not going up to the attic for anything so don’t think up any more things. You owe your sister an apology
Jan 22, 1980 – He writes me telling me he’s been on the go for they flew to Cali to see us. They were with us for an afternoon. He liked Cary and wrote, yes, we liked Cary and think he’s a fine boy, just quiet and refined. He’ll tone you down alright, it might take some time but we think he will be good for you eventually. He tells me he has been slowing down and that Howie, (her son) has been working hard and will eventually take over the business and give them a monthly income. He wishes us the best of luck, lectures me about money and asks about my working conditions. He tells me to write to my Uncle Paul and sends me his address. He knows his brother is struggling, like I am and he is concerned for him. He ends the letter telling me regards from Greta, Howie and Jeff with a ps…woof woof from the dog. Ironically thru all the years, at least 30, 1980-2009 I spoke with Howie once, and never with Jeff. We never had any type of relationship nor did I ever attend weddings, family events and so forth. I stopped writing for awhile. I was at a point where I was tired of the persistent criticism of my life and finances. I became pregnant with my first daughter and put off telling them. I was having a difficult pregnancy and did not need or want the added stress.
March 24, 1980 – I had called him to tell him I was pregnant with his first grandchild. I had problems or so I thought when I was married to Dave so he was wondering how it could have happened. He assumed that Mother Nature corrected herself..lol. He asks many questions as to how we will manage with a baby in regards to health insurance, money and work. He also states that if I knew I could become pregnant I would have waited awhile. He then tells me he has been reading articles about the abuse of women in the armed forces. He wanted me to be aware of this as well as doing any strenuous work while pregnant. He writes, “You may not or should not be doing such heavy and strenuous work, that way it is less chance of losing the baby with a miscarriage, God Forbid!” He then goes on telling me about the rain and flooding at the house. He also writes about all the various functions and get together they is doing with her family along with the amount of traveling. He tells me the obnoxious neighbors who lived across the street finally moved and he was glad. He briefly goes into what’s going on in the neighborhood and then ends the letter asking to hear from me soon and answer all his inquiries.
April 9, 1980 – My mother’s birthday!!!!! He writes that he is happy to read my volume (long letter) and is glad that I am being positive. He also writes, “The name you selected for the baby if it’s a girl is very nice. Marilyn and I are very pleased with your preference. I wanted to name her Misty Dawn but he insisted that I put my mothers and grandmothers name in there as with Jewish custom. We named her Misty Marianna. He tells me the house flooded again and again stresses saving money to me. He asks about my doctor visits. He then writes, “I didn’t ask anyone to mention the fact about an abortion. But I sincerely apologize for even mentioning it, please forgive me.” He likes the idea of natural childbirth and Cary being with me. It didn’t happen, I had a difficult pregnancy with pre eclampsia and she was a preemie. He wants to make it out there in January. He then writes, “It’s nice to know that you’ve lost some weight because now with the baby you’ll be gaining enough. I guess there’s nothing like nursing a baby the natural way, glad God endowed you that way. HA! HA!” He hopes the nursery is coming along and he will call me when they get to Las Vegas. He hopes that I am happy and that good things in life will come eventually.
May 14, 1980 – He asks how I am feeling and tells me how busy they are. He also tells me how busy work has been and that they had to get some chemical treatment around the house to prevent flooding. He then tells me about an article written in US World News report that says that the military families are living in poverty and are eligible for food stamps. He then writes, “You are eligible for food stamps to supplement your living expenses as you are considered “poverty” bracket. Now, don’t be embarrassed or uptight and I don’t to insult or belittle you both but economically you could use the help. You are entitled to it as we pay enough taxes towards that allotment. I know you don’t relish charity but you’ve got to be practical in this day and age!!!” He wants me to look into it. He is worried that Cary is having a hard time finding work and that I am the sole income here. It seems to really concern him and I do remember Cary trying. Again he only wants me to have the good things in life and establish myself financially. He asks me if I wrote to his brother and then tells me he is going to Florida to close up their apt and going on to do shows. He tells me they will be home for Greta’s birthday and he can’t believe she is 22. He ends the letter telling me to take care of myself and best regards from everyone (yeah right)!
June 20th, 1980 – He apologizes for taking so long to write me back and how he is getting ready for his biggest show of the year. He thanked me for the Fathers day card and then writes, “it will feel funny being a grandfather and Marilyn being a grandmother.” He talks about the weather and states that this show is 25% bigger than last year. He is sorry to hear that Cary has a hard time finding work and again lectures me about money and the ability to pay my bills. He tells me not to be discouraged and not to give up. He insists that I be persistent and never discouraged. He tells me Marilyn is knitting me a lovely sweater for the baby. He tells me he informs her parents about my pregnancy and that they wished me well but of course I was never in contact with them for 7 years and so they considered me to be a stranger. He tells me that there is no potential for them to be great grandparents. He writes, “Take it from me, all of Marilyn’s family are great and treat me with the utmost respect and true love. Something we never experienced with your mother’s family. “
That is not true; my father worked long hours and was gone so much in my early childhood. My mother’s family was close and we were treated well. Birthdays and holidays were cherished events and I have fond memories of my early childhood. My grandparents, who were both Doctors, took us on many trips to Europe and the Caribbean every year. I took ballet classes as a child, went to the theatre, and there were always lots of hugs and stories told. We went to the World’s Fair, Adventurers Inn and observed our Jewish faith as a family. I do remember many arguments between my parents because my father worked so much and was not around for these events. One of my achievements where we were all together was when I had my Bos Mitzvah. We were all together as a family and they were so proud of me.
July 6, 1980 – He’s home for the summer and doing projects around the house, he claims it keeps him young and in shape. He tells me that our neighbors in the back, Charlie and Lydia have taken in their daughter and her family since her SIL got laid off in Indiana. Lydia was my mother’s best friend. He tells me their house is crowded with all of them living there. He then asks me how i am feeling and tells me he is sending me $260.00 for a plane ticket home. He then goes into what they are doing with her family socially. He asks about Cary and the job situation. He mentions feeling weird about being a grandfather and wants to know exactly when the due date is. He asks about the weather and tells me to take care of myself.
Sept 16, 1980 – I flew to NY in August so no letter written that month. He writes and tells me it’s been awhile since I left and hopes I had a good flight. He talks about my sister almost being done with college and that business wise things are slow. He asks about my due date and my baby shower. He ends the letter by saying, golly Nadine; I don’t have anything more to write about so ill end this with love and regards. The a PS..He hoped I had a good visit and he was sorry that Jeff and I didn’t get along. He then adds that at least I got along with Howie and one out of 2 isn’t bad. Then PPS. I guess when I stayed there I didn’t make the bed. My sister complained to him about it and tells me she is neat and orderly so that was why Marilyn made a thing of it. As far as Howies room you’re right but we’ve asked him so many times to straighten up we’ve kind of given up on him in that. (talk about favoritism) He then writes that Howie cleans up when he can’t stand it. He also told me he tried talking to Jeff about letting bygones be bygones but obviously they weren’t. He apologized to me because I told him I felt like 2 cents while I was there. He then tells me he showed my letter to Greta and told me she feels bad in some ways and was wrapped up with her schoolwork. She told him that was how it was. He then writes, “You sure are right sisters in name and in blood, but so entirely different. It’s also a parallel between Jeff and Howie also being entirely different. Someday I hope everyone will learn a little more love and get to understand each other’s feelings with much more compassion and communicate as it should be in this world. With many of us these problems of coping and living take time and I only hope and prays that eventually it would blossom into the proper perspective that an ideal family should be.” He then adds that he and Marilyn will let me know about a stroller. He is glad that my pregnancy is going well.
Oct 12, 1980 – He writes to Cary and I and praises me for telling it the way it is and it is so true. What I wrote, I do not remember but I am sure it had something to do with the way I was treated while I was there. He was glad that Cary’s new job was going well. He tells me when the time comes to let them know what I need for the baby. He asks about my job, tells me about the weather there and that work is picking up and getting busy. Its fall and the leaves are changing and he ends the letter.
Nov 4th, 1980 – My first of 4 daughters is born. She was born ten years to the same day my mother passed away. I call him from the hospital and inform him of her birth and he mentions that to me. I think we were both speechless.
Nov 28th, 1980 – He received my letter and pictures of the baby. He talks about the weather and that they bought a building for their business and are building a greenhouse. He tells me someone I went to school with is now working for him as they are busy. He writes, “Marilyn (grandma) leaves next Sunday for Florida and that they bought a newer and bigger apt in Florida.” He hopes someday we can visit them there. He then tells me he will do his darndest to visit with us in Feb when they do their show in Vegas. He also writes, “We’re opening up a bank account in the baby’s name here, can you get us her social security number?”( Ironically he did this for all 4 girls but when they asked for their money she told them she cashed out all their bonds and went on a cruise with it. ) He then tells me he is going to Fl in December. He asks me if I had a good holiday and then asks me if I had a nice time at his Sister in Laws house while I was there. I barely remember this. He sends his love and regards. He ends the letter with grandpa and grandma and a P.S. Makes us feel so old, Yuk!!!
Note: I felt like I was around strangers when I was there. I knew I didn’t belong and felt like the poor relation. I didn’t even know her nephews names! It was the last time I went to any of their “family functions” Much of our communication via letter was sporadic at this point. My father called me almost every week and sent an occasional letter.
Sept 29, 1981 – The letter is addressed to Me, Cary and Misty. He apologizes for not writing as he has been very busy. He writes, “We got those pictures of Misty you sent and they are real nice. Marilyn put them in our photo album that we have of the family.” He talks about the weather and we had moved into a bigger house so he hoped all was going well. He asks about Misty and then states he was wondering who she looked more like. He was asking for stats and if she was a good baby. He tells me Marilyn bought some things for the baby and hopes they fit. He then goes on about what he and his family are doing about a trip they had planned but had to cancel. They were going to the Orient. He rebooks another trip there and tells me not to buy a camera since they were going to buy one for me in Hong Kong. It’s Rosh Hashanah and the whole family is getting together for a big celebration. He wishes we were there and then states, maybe next year.
Labor Day – approx 1981 – He is glad that Cary and I got on our feet and financially we are stable at the present. I was out of the service and we decided to live in Cali and not move back to NY. He writes, “It’s your decision to stay in Calif. It’s ok by us, this way we’ll always have a nice place to visit. (he came one time). He asks me to consider going to school and asks about our dogs and car situation. He suggests a pick-up with a camper shell. I had asked him to please send the rest of my things but I am guessing that this time he wanted me to really pay him for it. He writes, “You’re right that me paying in advance won’t break me but Marilyn and I feel that in 1.5 yrs you should have made an effort to repay past debt.” Considering how broke we were, how could we? Then he writes, “The only other way I think I can swing this for you (but strictly between you and I) is that in a month or so I can send you 400.00 then in the next letter you can send it back to me with a 400.00 money order from the post office requesting to send all your things to you. Then also promise to pay so much a month of the 375.00 you owe us and consider the 400.00 a gift from me to you because I love you and want to see a happy and productive person. That would be our little secret!! When you answer me in your next letter, just simply say I agree with all your suggestions and ill know you willing to do things my way this time.” He writes that he does miss me and that life is too short to quarrel and he asks for my love ad respect towards Marilyn as well as himself. It will help him make his marriage a happy one as he hopes mine is. “Capish??? He tells me he is going into the city to the Buddhist temple to reconnect with his own sister and ends the letter with a request to write to my uncle.
Oct 21, 1981 – He addresses the letter to Cary, Misty and I. He asks how we are doing and is glad Misty has a yard to play in. He asks if Cary’s parents see us often and then writes, “I know if I lived nearby, I’d get to know my grandchild.” He asks about our medical coverage and then goes on to tell me that Jerry, my mother’s brother has disappeared. He then tells me the last time he spoke with him that Jerry told him he still owes him money, as usual. He tells me that my cousin Robbie disappeared and that Jerry has called and harassed him on the phone. He writes, “He’s jealous as he probably knows how well I have done since we split up.” He told me my aunt Faye passed away and that he hasn’t heard from him again. He asks if I received the package sent out for Misty and then asks us what we want for our 1st year anniversary. He is glad we are doing ok and that we should save some money. Because if I don’t, the years slip by before you know it. He now signs his letters Dad and Marilyn.
August of 1983 – Things were not going well for us out in Cali. I could not find work, my second daughter was born in 1982 and Cary was the sole earner. We got involved with a bad crowd of people and after getting into trouble, we decided to leave the state and start over in NY. Cary flew to NY, stayed with them and worked. My father sent me about 1500.00 so I could move my household items by U-Haul across the country. It took me 5 days to drive with 2 toddlers and a girlfriend to help. When I arrived in NY after driving all day, she would not let me in the house, I drove there and then Cary, the girls and I along with my father drove the truck to our apartment. Our apartment was in a bad part of Spring Valley. It was not a good place to raise a family but it was my only option. During that time, we barely had contact and he phoned me periodically. It was so apparent to me that I would never be welcome in their world, all the years of being gone and then coming back depressed me. At his insistence, I went to one affair at her son’s house. Her son Howie, insulted me by telling me what a pussy my father is and after that I never went to another of their family function again. Both her sons and their families lived in nice homes and lacked for nothing. They worked for him and he treated them better than he treated me. I was not aware yet of the fraudulent actions that were done to me but the division and favoritism angered me. It was so apparent that my life sentence of alienation was still enforced and so once again I started to pull away and remain distant.
I worked 2 jobs, Cary worked, and we got by. Little by little Cary and I became distant and our marriage was sinking. One of my neighbors and I had stereo wars and then one day we met in the parking lot. We became friends and then lovers. The girls and I moved in with him and then I became pregnant with my 3rd child. He is an Italian with strong family values and he took us in when Cary and I split. I didn’t even call them and let them know, I just didn’t care. Cary and I divorced; I married #3 just 2 days before our 1st daughter is born. Alex and I named her Cheryl Anne. She was welcomed into a large and loving family who treated my girls as if they were their own. No one was favored, my girls were happy to have real grandparents who loved them and showered them with more affection than they ever received before. I was content and busy with my 3 daughters and life was good, very good.
At this time, I was not speaking to my father at all. I severed the relationship as it made me sick to have my face rubbed in so much shit and so blatantly. After explaining my family dynamics to my third husband he was appalled! He comes from a large and loving Italian family we decided it would be best to sever our ties to them. I was tired of being the black sheep, tired of seeing them live lavishly while my children and I struggled. We were now a part of a real family, we were loved, we belonged and we were happy. I saw my sister from time to time but had very little if any contact with them from 1984 – 1987. I did not call them when I remarried, I did not call them when my third child was born…I didn’t call them for anything. I was done!!!!!!
Jan 3rd, 1986 –When I saw my sister, we would sometimes talk about the estrangement and the reasons why I wanted nothing to do with them. Evidently he bought presents for my oldest 2 daughters but nothing for my third child. I’m sure that my sister had told them I had another daughter but it didn’t matter to me. When I visited my sister in her new apartment I noticed how nicely it was furnished and she gave me a package to bring home from them. When I brought them home, my husband immediately sent them back to my father. We knew he knew about Cheryl but my husband was very angry that there was no gift for her. My husband at one time stated to me, “ How do you explain to a child when they ask why one set of grandparents (his) sees them all the time, involves them in family affairs, buys them gifts, shows concern for their religious and academic upbringings, calls them when they are sick, and the other set doesn’t? My husband had written a letter to my father telling him how he felt. We received 2 letters, one from him, one from the wife.
Jan 3, 1986 – letter from my father to my husband, Alex
He writes, “I received your letter along with the package of the returned gifts for Raven and Misty. I’m sorry to hear the way you feel about many things but its quite understandable to your point of view.” “Lord knows Marilyn and I have always tried to help Nadine and Cary (when they were married) and whatever advise possible even for her first marriage. There were times even before she was married we helped to put her in 2 apts, Marilyn even got her first job!” Note: that is not true. “Believe me Alex, I’ve tried every which way I know to appease, love, makeup, discuss, comfort, and help Nadine to bring things to a normal plane of relationship with Marilyn but she’s too strong willed and stubborn to give in and compromise for her children’s sake, her husband as well. Sure we gave her all the financial help she ever needed when the going got rough. I know money isn’t everything but it sure softened the hard knocks and difficult situations. I’ve tried to understand her point of view but I guess I’ll never be a winner.” “You better believe it hurts both of us “real down deep” having a daughter, lovely grandchildren and a new husband that really is concerned and cares let alone denying ourselves to the joy of being and seeing frequently growing up.” Nadine just never accepted Marilyn as my wife, it always seems to me in many cards and letters it was always just “dad” and phone calls, let me speak to my father. After all, I made the choice for her to be my wife and be part of my life just as you did and I accept that but evidently she doesn’t grasp that on many occasions.” He goes on to state that he had come over and wanted to see the children. He also states that he had called several times and that his calls were never returned. He also stated that the large party given for her granddaughter was paid for by her parents, not them. He wrote that he tried to sit down and discuss what he termed “baseless” differences so we could become a real family. I do remember telling him how I felt about the favoritism, how I knew that his wife and him defrauded me and that I wanted nothing to do with her nor did I want my children around her. He also wrote he bore no malice to our mixed marriage as her 2 sons married out of their religion. He writes, “ I never thought that this day and age that I’d have a daughter married; have a new baby not knowing her sex, date of birth and name. It’s a crying shame that should pry on both of your consciences! How sad a situation for Marilyn and I to be subjected to because of pettiness and jealousy or just plain stupidity by either Nadine or possibly you also, Alex not realizing the hurt you have caused.” He wrote that they objected to us living together while I was in the midst of a divorce and that he considered it shameful. He also wrote, “One day you ought to sit down and have Nadine tell you the truth that brought these very unpleasant feelings about. “
My comment, I did and it is all listed in the deposition that I submitted to the family court. He writes, “She may not like Marilyn but she sure knew her phone number in times of desperation and need.” My comment: I never called her, I hated what she had done to me and most of my communication was with him or my sister. As I read and write this I know it is contradictory to everything I have experienced since the day she came into my life. I always wondered how my father could have written this letter without her prompting him. He then writes that he is glad we got married although he was not notified and wishes us happiness for the New Year.
Marilyn’s letter to my husband, no date
She writes, “Alex, First you seem to think that this all stems from the fact that you and Nadine were living together. Alex, go back 13 years when you weren’t around and your wife will never tell you about. She was a 17 year old troubled girl as she is now a 30 year old troubled woman who was remanded by the court to see a psychiatrist, but unfortunately when she was 18 she could no longer be forced to go for help.” “Shall I tell you the reasons all this came about or do you think she will tell you the truth? I told the girls I could never take the place of their mother-I could either be a good friend or a bad enemy. The choice was theirs. Nadine’s mind was made up before I even came into the picture. She wouldn’t have accepted anybody. Ask Nadine how she made our wedding a wonderful event. She (underlined) made her choice. When Misty was born I don’t think Nadine ever bought any clothes for her. I was always buying and sending packages.” “We have never forgotten the girl’s birthdays. From the day they were born we have bought bonds for them twice a year. “
My comment – As for the court issue, after my mother died I was in grief counseling for quite a long time. I have court documents along with proof that my father lost his temper and beat me so bad I had to go to the hospital. He was ordered to go for therapy but he never did. When she moved in our home, she made it very clear that this was her house and we were going to do things her way. There were never any meaningful talks between us and she had no idea what my life was like before she came into it. Al she knew was what my father or perhaps others had told her. I had no parental guidance for 3 years, I did what I wanted and did not like her way of taking control over my life. As for her statement regarding buying clothes for my newborn daughter, I had a shower and was given plenty of items. I do remember my father forcing me to go to their wedding. My uncle, his brother wasn’t there and it was all her family. I showed my husband the court documents regarding my issues; I was 15 when my mother died! We went down to the courthouse and copied the real estate transactions that were done.
She goes on to write, “ You know Alex, I feel about Nadine exactly as she feels about me but every time she remembered my phone # and used me (and believe me I turned my cheek many times). I did what I could to a point. She didn’t deserve as much as she got.” “Yes, she may be quite jealous of Jeff and Howie and even her sister but the boys always treated Seymour with a great deal of love and respect and feel more towards him than they do of their father. We did nothing more for the boys than we did and will still do for Greta.” “But believe me the saying you quote about a leopard never changing their stripes refers to your wife and no one else. There isn’t a person that doesn’t love Seymour and it’s a pity your wife will never allow you to really know him.” “Does Nadine think that she hasn’t been constantly hurting her father for the past 13 years? I have bent over backwards for Seymour but I won’t ever be “used” by Nadine again and I will not allow my husband to get sick over this. She ignored father’s day. (She talks about cards) Believe me, he’s been more of a father to her than she’s been a daughter to him. She’s given him nothing but heartache and headaches since she’s been young.” She writes that he owes my father an apology because he doesn’t know a quarter of the whole story. She ends the letter by writing, “Your wife has lied her way through her whole life and will probably continue to do so as long as it suits her purpose. As for me, I only feel sorry for the children. I have no use for Nadine since she’s treated her father the way she has. He’s a good and beautiful person and doesn’t deserve a thorn in his side like Nadine.
Both letters portrayed me as a desperate disturbed woman. It was very derogatory. While my father’s letter was sad, hers was vicious and cruel. She portrayed me as a money grubber and never took responsibility for her own actions. Her letter was especially vicious She accused me of using her for her money. By that time I was aware of what they did to us with the house, my sister did research on it and I have all the notes and documents. She accuses me of being jealous of my sister and her sons and then tells me she’s done nothing more for them than she did for me and my sister. She goes into a litany about what a good man my father is and how everybody loves him. Yes, that much was true but little did she know that he had been helping me behind her back for many years and if she did, I shudder to think of what she would have said or done.
May 14th, 1987 – I received a letter from their lawyer telling me he has been retained by my father to preserve his “right” to see his grandchildren. They offered me the option of arbitration with our former Rabbi, who declined. According to my sister, he wanted no part of it because he considered it too dirty! That is what my father told her when she asked him.
May 20th, 1987 – I wrote a rebuttal to the lawyer stating that my husband and I met with my father and mutually agreed that there would be no contact. We wanted him to be a real grandparent, not one who drops in and out of our children’s lives. I also was aware of the favoritism shown to the older 2, and the exclusion of my third daughter when he visited. I also suggested to the attorney that my father should talk to the Rabbi about my feelings and the injustices done to me.
June 22nd, 1987 – I receive a copy of a letter from my father’s attorney to the Rabbi asking for help. . Ironically it was the same lawyer whose office I went to when I signed away my inheritance.
Oct 22, 1987 – I receive a writ of habeas corpus from the court in Rockland
Nov 13, 1987 – We go to court and I have prepared a rebuttal to his allegations.
Nov 17th, 1987 = His attorney sends my attorney a proposal set up for visitation which we found to be unacceptable. The court orders a forensic evaluation.
Dec, 1987 – I was petitioned by the court in Rockland County to respond to an affidavit for grandparental rights by my father. I responded to the allegations in court. He was ordered to pay my attorney fees and the writ of habeas corpus was dismissed. We did settle on a visitation schedule which was mutually agreeable as long as it was at our house and took into the consideration the rights of all parents concerned.
July & Aug 1988 = More drama in regards to visitation and favoritism. My husband and I stood firm! My father said one thing and did another. He blamed his bout of shingles on visiting while one of my daughters had the chicken pox. His visits were irregular and short. I made it clear that I did not want my kids around her nor did I want anything to do with her. My attorney responded that shingles was a latent virus and surfaced if he had chicken pox as a child.
Jan 12, 1989 – My father called me demanding to take my kids. He threatened and harassed me. In the past he had suggested we go for family counseling. I suggested it and he did not want to do that. I hung up on him and changed my phone number.
Feb3, 1989 – I get a letter from his attorney acknowledging we moved to NJ and that the visitation schedule is still in force. We are then threatened with legal action if we don’t let him see them or take them out. I ignored it.
March 9, 1989 – If I don’t respond within 10 days they will commence with a legal action
June 1, 1989 – I received a veiled threatening letter from an attorney in NJ that tells me he retains another lawyer and that if I did not allow visitation, there would be a lawsuit.
My husband kept quite a detailed journal of those years as well as all letters and documentation. From 1984 until 1989 he detailed any and all communication with him in regards to our daughters. We never got together for holidays or any celebrations. We had our own lives and they had theirs. They moved to Florida permanently around 1989 and contact was just about severed. My ex husband is a force to be reckoned with and with him on my side I wasn’t worried anymore. Eventually my sister arranged for him and I to meet and so we did. We met at a diner and talked for quite some time. I told him how I felt and he literally begged and pleaded with me to recon ciliate. I told him I knew what he had done with the house and he said little. He promised me he would make it up to me but I could tell he was not very comfortable with the idea of us trying making peace with his wife. I do remember being blunt and I had very little contact with her. He requested that I think about things and try to make peace for his sake. I relent but I never ever felt like I was accepted, I was tolerated as well as my kids.
In 1990 I had issues with my 3rd husband and we separated. I was homeless for 5 months and at the insistence of my sister, I finally told my father. My 3rd child was with her father and I had the other 2. He wanted to help me out and his wife was adamant about not wanting him to help me. They knew that I had no home and that we were sleeping on the floor at a friend’s house. My sister intervened and my father relented, he rented a condo in New Jersey for us temporarily and 3 months later I was on my way with my oldest 2 to Florida to start a new life. My father must have really begged her because he gave me about 3000 dollars to get settled in Florida. I flew down, rented a car and stayed with a girl who I had known since childhood. In one week I got a job, rented a house, got the utilities on and then got a Fl drivers license. When I returned to Fl it was a one way journey with my stuff being delivered by a van. I had to leave my third child behind but it wasn’t for much longer. Soon my husband and I reconciled and we were a family again.
I rented a small 2 bedroom /1 bath house before we arrived in Florida near the Gulf. I have always loved the Gulf and so we enjoyed the beaches all the time. All the girls got settled in and we were a family. I had saved some of the money he had given me and only used it when I was desperate. We talked on the phone a lot and I saw them maybe 3 or 4 times a year. They would come over, spend a night at a hotel and then leave. When I told them about my husband and I trying again, they were angry and so contact was very limited. It took a long time before they begrudgingly accepted him again but it was ok with me. With every visit she would cause some ruckus or drama over something insignificant so I tried to control myself as much as I could. My father and my husband seemed to get along but she would always find fault about something so when they left I was always relieved. On the side, however…my father would sneak me a small wad of cash and tell me to use it for food or bills. I couldn’t say no, he went out of his way to sneak it to me. On birthdays, when they remembered, there would be a small check and a slip of paper stating that a savings bond was put aside for them for college or whatever. I managed to save one as when the girls saw it, they would toss it as they knew and expected that a small gift would accompany the card. Rarely if ever! Ironically my 3rd daughter graduated high school and wanted to go to college. She called Marilyn up asking for her to cash the bonds in for tuition and she was told, “I cashed them in and we went on a cruise with the money.” Cheryl was upset and from that day on, she too knew that like me, she was an outcast. She called me up crying about it and we got her financial aid and I tried to help her as much as possible.
2 years later we bought a fixer upper home to establish roots and so for the first time in 38 years, I was a proud first time homeowner. I was working, going to school to get my degree as well as trying to raise my girls. Our fourth daughter was born while we were living in the old house and we needed more space. It wasn’t easy, my husband had a hard time trying to find work but I was working full time and going to school so we never had to use a sitter. His parents moved down also, so we had a good sense of family being close. Eventually our marriage began to deteriorate and I filed for divorce. I had custody of the first, second and fourth, he took the third to live with him. There were many difficulties ahead but during those times I had graduated with an AS degree in Respiratory Care and was self supporting earning a good salary. There were a lot of struggles but I was able to maintain.
My contact between them was limited as well as visits. I started going over to see them when they moved to Boynton Beach but I was rarely included in family events or holiday plans. They came over and stayed at a motel while visiting us but relations were cordial between me and her. My father always snuck we a small wad of cash before they left but she always had something to complain about. Never a visit would go by without calamity from her.
Two incidents stick out in my mind when I think about those visits. First, my oldest was a handful! I worked nights and slept during the day. She always had a lot of parties at my house and she did not graduate high school, she dropped out. They insisted that they buy her a new car before she graduated, against my better judgment. I told them not too but they went ahead with it. 3 weeks later she was drinking and she totaled the car. It was a nightmare! I never heard the end of it and I was told by her that would be the last time they ever did anything for anyone! The 2nd time was when Raven graduated high school. She was doing poorly but managed to turn herself around and be acknowledged for that. They came over and my sister flew down for her graduation. We were all going to go out to dinner and celebrate but my ex and his families were wanted there and Raven wanted her boyfriend to come with us. We got into a huge fight because she kept yelling she did not want to pay for everybody. I told her that it was Ravens day and she said no, it’s my day as I am paying for it. I had some money saved up for the event and offered to pay myself but she wouldn’t hear of it. My sister then started to yell at her and told her, “You were always a fucking bitch!” I just shrunk into the wall. Her and my father walked out and so we all went out to dinner together. When we went to the graduation, it was without them. The next morning my father called me and I went out to breakfast with them. All I kept hearing was how they were insulted and hurt after all they had done. I placated them as best as I could but it fell on deaf ears. They never stopped by to say goodbye to the kids, they just left. Raven did not get a card nor a gift but I more than made up for that. I took her with me to El Salvador in 1999. We brought down several boxes of clothes to donate to the poor. Our hosts, some friends of mine whom we stayed with had made an odd request. They asked me to bring down condoms. I had my daughter and all her friends go to the Health Department and they brought back hundreds of them. I brought them down with me and gave them to my host. He owned a farm and needed them so that his workers had some form of birth control. I had been on some medical missions down there and made some friends. We had a great 10 days and toured the country. She had a great experience and saw things that too this day she still talks about!
The third was one of the worst incidents. It was 2002. My other daughter Cheryl was graduating high school. That morning Raven was complaining of severe eye pain. It was so bad I took her to the doctor who told me she had Herpes in her eye. They called an emergency script to the hospital pharmacy where I worked so I drove to Tampa to get it. She kept yelling at me about why now and that it was going to be too much for me to do. I ignored her and spent $170.00 on meds for Raven as she could have lost her sight. I could not believe that she would raise such a fuss about something so serious. I was appalled and so once again I started to slowly disengage from them. I was so tired of the whole situation and the meaning of family and being loved and treated as equals was lost…again…many years later….only this time it spilled into my children’s lives!
I would drive over once or twice a year to see them and we talked on the phone sporadically. Very rarely did I bring my children and when I did, we had to sidestep and walk on eggshells around her. There would be hell to pay if beds were left unmade or comments on how we dressed. Their house was very nice with expensive furniture, paintings and statues. One day I looked around and I saw my mother’s beloved Lallique vase along with her antiques displayed in her cabinet. I was with my mother when she brought that vase along with a crystal duck, the Persian carpet (sold by her). When my mother was alive, all of us as a family would make a day of it and go to the auctions in Middletown, NY. My mother loved the auctions and bought carnival glass along with other pretty glass. I was able to get some of the stuff because Marilyn didn’t want them or they were put in the trash. I salvaged them when she wasn’t looking. I was told later on by my sister when she went to Howies home she saw that one or 2 of those items were displayed in their cabinet. My sister also told me when her brother and his wife moved to Florida, she noticed some of our mothers things displayed in their home and was quickly ushered away. She told me that Sandy had a look of guilt on her face when she realized my sister knew those items belonged to our mother.
Then the letters with money orders hidden from her were sent to me on a regular basis. I never asked for money from him, I just worked overtime. Overtime was plentiful. I became involved with humanitarian medical missions in 1998. After years of feeling worthless and unwanted, I found my calling! I volunteered my medical services to the poor in El Salvador. I also joined another group and went to Palestine during 9/11/2201 and 2002.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE
Previously, in the late 1990’s I had gone on several medical missions down to El Salvador. Those trips, as well as many others were some of the best times of my life. I donated my time, paid my own way and gave with all my heart to the poor and needy. On July 19, 2002, the government off El Salvador nominated our group for a Nobel Peace Prize so I was very proud and humbled to be included in that nomination. I was also a member of another team whose specialty was Cardiothoracic Surgery on kids. We prepped and went on one of the most unique trips ever, to the Gaza Strip, Palestine. We also had team members from the UK, Canada and New Zealand.
My first trip to the Middle East was sobering. We arrived at Ben Gurion August 31, 2001 and went to Ramallah for a week and then on to Gaza. I do remember when I called telling them what I was doing and she exploded on me, called me a traitor for helping the enemy. She told me I was going to heal kids and that when they got older they would turn around and shoot me in the back for being a Jew. When you work in the medical field, like a Doctor promises to do no harm…we do too! A kid is a kid, period! When 9/11 happened I was working in the post-op recovery area. All electricity and water as well as outside communication was cut by the Israelis. We worked on generator power. When we arrived back at our apt, we saw the WTC go up in smoke via Al Jazeera. There was a girl from New Zealand with us who had a satellite phone. She called our program director in the US to let them know we were ok. When electricity was restored, we went to the internet café and I had many emails from my daughters and close friends and colleagues waiting to hear if I was alive and well. I still have all those hard copies and ironically none of them came from my father or his wife and family.
On Sept 12th 2001, a day after 911 she emails me this, “this organization should have paid your transportation from home (they paid my airfare). Go to them for a ticket back to Tampa. You act as though the airport is around the corner. It is over 100 miles round trip. Put the ticket on your credit card and get it back from them. (I couldn’t, no one was allowed to leave or come to Gaza). If you couldn’t afford this trip you shouldn’t have gone. I can’t believe they did not pay for your food in Palestine (they did but it was in a form of a tip). You told your father that you had $200.00 of your own money-why did you have to use the $100.00 I gave you also? Maybe you should use earplugs and go back with these other people and “bite the bullet”. After what happened here yesterday, we can’t believe you went to work for those people.” I also received an email from my sister where she writes, “try to get some lotion for Marilyn. She’s annoyed you didn’t get for her”. I had more important things to worry about, like my kids and the fact that I had no idea when I would be back in the US. I sent a letter to Misty, my oldest with my return ticket info in case of delays etc…in getting out of there. I also sent an email to my father, “Dad, please, please pick me up at the airport (Miami), I cannot ride back with that girl I drove down with so I will need a ride home. Dad, even if I come to your house and one of the girls picks me up there….i am begging you please. Love and miss you all, the Palestinians have been wonderful to us as a group and me as a person and are grateful for our help. God bless you all. I love you very much…..Nadine. They didn’t, I did ride home with that girl and was home safely the night I returned to the US. I was on the first plane allowed into US airspace after 911. Miami INT’L was a ghost town. 2 customs agent and a few cops to welcome us back. I kissed the ground!!!!!
I do remember calling them and telling them I was home safe. She was yelling in the background that I was a bad Jew and only helped people who would one day shoot me in the back. I went back again the next year for 2 weeks against their wishes but it was my life, my decision, and my choice. My kids were apprehensive but they were proud of me and that’s all I cared about. My co workers thought I was nuts but then again I thought so too! After years of feeling neglected, unwanted and being a black sheep, I now had acceptance, respect and sense of well being knowing I could make a difference in someone’s life. I got to console mothers whose children were very sick and be part of a team. I felt accepted and respected for helping people who were so less fortunate than me. I’ve gone on many other trips but primarily to El Salvador. I was loved and needed there so off I went, every year to do what I knew was the right thing for the poorest of the poor and it gave me great satisfaction to help others who were less fortunate than I! The more I gave of myself, the more I was able to heal myself on the inside.
MORE MONEY ORDERS COME MY WAY
June 18, 1995 – He writes, “Hi Nadine, Just a little something to help you out from my winnings from Reno and Tahoe. Of course it’s between us only!” He tells me to put it towards renewing my car registration.” He says talk to you soon and just hint that you received a check.
Oct 31, 1995 – he writes, “Enclosed is a little something to defray your expenses and wish you luck on your tests. (I was taking my Florida CRT boards) I know you’ll put it to good use and try to start to accumulate some money”. He tells me I have to restrain myself with money but in the future I will be thanking him for giving me this advice. He again wishes me good luck on my test. Yes I passed!
March 4, 1996 – He writes,
“Enclosed is a check for your National Boards Exam. (RRT). I know it will help you financially. Of course this is just between us as usual as I’ve done in the past”. He talks about me and the kids going over and staying for a day or 2. He is looking forward to us spending his birthday with him and going out to dinner. He also writes, “Love from Marilyn, and I looking forward to seeing “you all”.
May 21, 1996 – He writes, “here is a little something to help your expenses when you go to Orlando and take your boards” he is glad work is going well and asks if I am still working at that other facility. He tells me Marilyn told him I was back on days and hoped I could spend more time with the girls. They are going on a trip and he will talk to me before they leave.
THE TIDES TURN – GRETAS FALL FROM GRACE
May 1996 – letter from Marilyn to my sister
My sister and her husband went down to see them for a few days. Needless to say a good time was not had by all. She writes, “You use the word “respect” very loosely. It works both ways. Both you and Ira had very little “respect” for our home. The bed was not made once; the spread was rolled in a ball on the floor behind the chair. When the both of you drank all the water and ate whatever was in the house, not once did you offer to go to the market and replace it. I went 3 times in the 5 days you were here. You were on vacation; I ran a “hotel”. I had a game in my house on Monday and bought 2 melons early so they could ripen. After you ate the first one you were asked by your father to leave the second one. Lo and behold when I went to prepare it, it was gone. Yes, after so many years and feeling towards you as a daughter I felt I have a right to tell you what you look like. I know what you can be and just because your husband doesn’t seem to care, I do. It’s not an easy thing to live with and not easy to find clothes. You should also care. The pounds easily creep up but don’t come off as easy. Believe me, I know. We only have your best interest at heart. We have had a lot of company this winter, Greta, and not one person acted as the two of you did. In fact, I enjoyed all my company because they didn’t act like company. I know that Ira has a lot of quirks but he has to learn to bend. He may have been spoiled all his life but everything can’t be his way. This wasn’t meant to be a derogatory letter but I had to tell you how I feel. M
I was in their good graces, my sister wasn’t. I wrote her a rambling letter where I chastised her for shunning them since they did so much for her because she placated them. I also stated that I was direct in my feelings and I got nothing and yup I deserved it. I also acknowledged that we both got screwed financially but I let it go. At least I thought I had but I went on to tell her you can’t change people and that we need to tolerate them. It was apparent that my sister and her husband were disliked by Marilyn/Seymour and this was the reason why there was estrangement. I had issues with him as well so when I saw her it was without her husband. I also chastised her for not coming to FL when my father had open heart surgery because the relationship she had with Marilyn was trashed. I keep telling her to let go and be more tolerant. I also wrote that if her husband wanted no part of us it was ok, she still had a sister, father and stepmother. I quote from my letter to her, “Before writing him off cuz if you decide not to keep in touch I guarantee you will wish you had in the future after he is gone”.
February 1997 – My sister had not spoken with them for 3 years. She felt it was time to forgive and forget.
Dear Dad & Marilyn:
Hello, hope all is well with the both of you. Anyway, I’m trying to understand why you are not calling me. I don’t understand your logic. I am willing to make peace but I don’t understand what else you want from me.
First of all, apologies work both ways. We all did things that were unacceptable to each other. I also don’t understand the fact that this is unacceptable. It’s also hard for me to understand why a father would not want to talk to his daughter. A father’s relationship with his daughter should not depend on someone else. I would never listen to my husband if he said don’t talk to your father, sister, etc. I would also never discourage Ira from speaking to Lisa because that is his daughter although I happen to have a good relationship with and her and am very proud of her. There just seems to be something wrong with the demands you are trying to put on me and it’s hard for me to believe Dad that you do not want to speak /see me.
Marilyn is your wife, not my mother. Marilyn is my stepmother-friend and I can try and give her as much respect as possible. But, it’s OK if we don’t agree on everything. I just don’t have to take insults from you/her or anyone. I think I gave her the ultimate respect when you both walked me down the aisle to give me away at my wedding. I think that it’s ok that we both don’t have to agree on everything. I respect the fact that she is your wife, but I’m not sure that she respects the fact that you have a daughter at this point in time. I’m sure that her sons have done certain things but she goes by different standards for them.
Anyway, I think overall that we all did the best we could as a family for many years. Even when I did not agree on certain things, I didn’t say anything to keep the peace, but I am also a person with feelings and a tolerance level. I won’t be treated badly by anyone no matter who you are…I feel that when we were in Florida and Marilyn found out that Jeff was getting divorced, Marilyn took it hard which is understandable, but she took this out on Ira and myself. If you didn’t want us to stay with you we would have been happy to stay in a motel just as the both of you do when you go to Nadine’s. Instead we felt very uncomfortable.
There were other things I questioned which you knew nothing about and again, there were some uncomfortable conversations. I am not a gold digger. My husband and I are very successful and we have planned out future very well. I just asked simple questions which neither of you could seem to explain.
I don’t want to create WW111; all I want is some kind of civilized relationship so when the good things happen in life we can share them.
I hope you’re both feeling well. My new job is going very well. I am working on some interesting cases and trying to bring the law firm up to the computerization stage with large cases. It was a good move from M&M and I don’t miss NY.
I have told you that I’ll be in Florida Feb 13-17 and will be busy with Nadine and the kids but would certainly find the time to see you both if you were available. If not, I hope that we will be able to see each other in the future in good spirits. You are both my parents and I have always appreciated whatever you have done for me. You also gave me the most beautiful wedding anyone could ask for and I will always remember that. So, let’s spend some more quality time together and overlook the last few years of uneasiness.
I would prefer that you call. Life is too short and we could go on as if nothing ever happened. If not, then you know how I feel.
Love always, G I L
GRETA UNRAVELS THE DECEPTION
In 1975 – I signed over my share of our family home. I was given $1000.00. Al Greenblatt did the transaction. I was 20. In 1996 at the age of 19, she did the same but was not given money. Neither times was his wife present. She was a paralegal at the time and noted that we did not have a lawyer present to protect our rights. The transaction occurred in the office of Marine Midland Bank in Nanuet. In her own writing, my sister chronicled the events surrounding us being defrauded intentionally by my father and his wife.
She checked NY law books regarding fraud. By inheritance rights, 1/3 was mine, 1/3 was hers and 1/3 was my fathers. The house was in Marion Sentnors name when it was originally purchased so if Seymour Sentnor’s business had any problems the house could not be taken away. She had records from the family court regarding psychological issues I had arising out of my mother’s untimely demise. She mentions my mother’s best friend and notes, Mrs. Lydia May. She knows Marilyn. She may have to be subpoenaed. She admitted that Marilyn Sentnor, “wants everything for herself and her sons only”! She mentions therapy sessions that she attended for a 3 year period. She also refers to a court fight between my father and I regarding grandparental visitation. She notes that Jeff’s ex wife had told me they were given $50,000.00 to buy their house in Rockland. Ironically, as I was piecing this together, I found my grandfathers will. When he died, he bequeathed his share of the house to my mother’s brother Jerry. It makes me wonder what was done to “force Jerry out” when she wrote me that letter on Nov 29th, 1979.
Next she begins her chronicle in March 1995 – While Ira and I were in Fl, I remember my father speaking about a trust. I also remember him calling me up on the phone and asking me to return the “document” to him. He now says he “does not recall this document”
Nov 1996 – Thanksgiving weekend – Sy said, “they‘ll be in Florida. I called Howies house and he is there. Said they were taking care of business.
Dec 1996 – Sent a card to Ma/Sy Lets make peace and told them I would be in Fl Feb 13-17 1997 Let’s get together. Sy called me Sun Feb. 9, 1997
March 14, 1996 – I talked to my attorney. He said I should ask for a copy of this trust. I said “no way” knowing my stepmother. I will speak to my father again. I have sent the document certified return receipt mail.
May 10, 1996 – she writes, “I saw my father SS. We had dinner. I told him about the document I signed and said that my sister N did not receive a copy of this document. “Mr. S said that he had NO knowledge of this document and would discuss it with his wife M. I hadn’t seen my father in over a year. See letter from my stepmother Sunday May 19th, 1996. Seymour called me and said that Matthew Purowitz, (her brother) trustee and Marilyn Sentnor (stepmother) do not recall the document. I told my father that he should be aware of all transactions involving his estate. He wants me to send him a copy, ASAP! I will only if its sent via certified return receipt mail. Sent 5/15/96.
Jan 18, 1996 – SS called me and told me that per the IRS Law, I should have gotten copies for 1994 & 1995. He told me would send it. I will be receiving a copy July 1996 per S. I asked why Nadine didn’t get a copy. They said she probably forgot. He told me Marilyn handles this. I said to S, “You should know your business” I said he should send her a copy. I spoke to Nadine my sister and she does not have any knowledge of this document. “she has your 4 grandchildren” My stepmother “screamed” in the background that, “we’ll write you out” I told him that I don’t care because I don’t need his money. I am just telling him to “know all his business” as I don’t really trust his wife. She is not my “blood mother” she is my stepmother.
My comment, I had been told by him that there was an irrevocable trust set up and that no one would receive any monies until both of them had passed. The trust was revocable, not irrevocable but I believe she changed things around so that when that time came, there would be nothing for me, or my children and grandchildren. I have copies of the revocable trust as well as yearly copies sent to my sister and one to her son Jeff.
ENCLOSED IS A MONEY ORDER
Dec 18, 1996 – He writes to tell us he was sorry he could not make it this weekend to see me and the girls. He writes, “Enclosed is a $100 money order to give you a little something extra for the holidays. Of course this is my “mad money” so it’s just between us as usual.” He writes that when he comes in Jan he hopes to have more. He tells me Marilyn is bringing his Mother in Law home from the hospital and that his Sister in law and brother in law will be staying for a week. He tells me they are going to Vegas for a show and when they get back he will schedule a visit.
March 10, 1997 – He enjoyed our talk on the phone and writes, “Enclosed is a money order for $200.00. Use it wisely or put it aside for the radio and bracket for the boat.” I had started a part time job and scrimped and saved for my own boat, a used one. They are going to come over and he tells me Marilyn will bring her granddaughter so when they come, the girls and her will go to Busch Gardens together. He tells me to take care and sends love to the girls and I.
Sept 22, 1997 – He asks how I am feeling. He then writes, “Enclosed is a money order for $120 to help stem the tide.” He sends me 2 faucets and an article to read about new tax breaks for children. He asks about my visit to the eye doctor and then goes on about my sister and him not talking. He is upset that she made no attempt to call him and he won’t kiss her rear nor vice versa. He doesn’t understand her logic and he feels she has changed since she has been married. He tells me to take care and ends the letter with “Don’t ever say anything to Marilyn about the money”
March 21, 1997 – It’s a letter to Misty asking her how she feels and how she needs to take responsibility for herself. He tells her how hard I work and that she should be helping me out at home. He tells her if she wants anything she has to work for it and he hopes she doesn’t mind that he is lecturing her.
May 20th, 1997 – He tells me they are looking to escape the brutal Florida summer and plans with him and her family. He also writes, “Enclosed is a money order for $100, a little something for your trip to LA (some extra spending money). I was going out to visit a good friend from old times past! LOL
June 24th 1997 – I had a boat with an engine problem. I gave the mechanic money and he disappeared. My father was concerned but he writes, “Enclosed is a $100.00 money order to help you out a little bit, put it to good use.
Oct 25th 1997 – Expenses with raising my daughters were high and I needed to start working overtime. Problem is, working so much kept me away from home a lot and that’s when I had to endure the teenage years. Lol he writes, Enclosed please find a money order for 120.00 as a little extra help to get yourself straightened out financially by possibly trying to get ahead and try to save some bucks away by starting a savings account. This would come in handy with a systematic forced savings in case of an emergency or something that turns up that you need some extra cash.” I did open a retirement fund that I contribute to this day. He tells me they are planning to come Dec 13 and 14th. He ends the letter with a p.s. of course these money orders I send you is on my own, Don’t tell anyone!!!”
Jan 23rd, 1998 – He tells me he is having a super bowl party and that he enjoyed our phone conversation. He then writes, “Enclosed is a money order, my usual contribution to you and the girls! I know you will put it to good use!” He tells me he bought a 52” screen TV and how much he enjoys it! He tells me to let him know I got the money order.
March 10th, 1998 – He writes to me about my sister and how he is concerned about the problems she is having with her in laws. He stresses that he knows it’s a burden for her to take care of them as they are quite elderly. He ends the letter with enclosed is a money order.
April 28th 1998 – They are going to Barcelona! He wishes me a happy mother’s day but there is no money order.
June 2nd, 1998 – He sent me an article from readers digest and asks how we all are. He writes, “Enclosed is a MO for 100.00. I’m sure it helps out a little. In it he also writes, “I’m going to buy a birthday card for Greta. Marilyn is still pissed off at her and doesn’t even want to sign the card but I told her I would anyway.” ”It’s no use trying to make things worse than they are between them.” He asks about work and wonders if I am going to continue my education. He asks me to come visit and bring Raven and Sasha (love to see them).
July 16, 1998 – He starts the letter with, “Enclosed is s MO for $100; I know you will put it to good use.” He enjoyed talking to me and then goes into his family plans thru the summer. He wants to see me on my birthday and was giving me dates. On a small piece of paper inside the letter he writes NOTE! Marilyn sent pictures in another envelope; she didn’t know I was sending you this letter.
Sept 18, 1998 – He writes, “I thought I just send this MO out before I left for Vegas as I know you can use the extra money.” He will call me when he returns.
Nov 3, 1998 – He tells me he has been very busy working and tells me Dec 11 he is going to visit and buy some goodies for everyone. He ends the letter, “Did you vote? Ha! HA! Enclosed please find a money order.”
Dec 31, 1998 – “Enclosed is a $100. I know you will put it will help you out a little.” He hopes he can get lucky in Vegas. He wishes me and the girls the best for the holidays!
Jan 12th, 1999 – He writes, “Im sending you a money order for $200 which I am sure you can use! “He tells me he won some money in Vegas and ends the letter with “I’m doing this on my own so don’t mention it to Marilyn.”
Feb 2, 1999 – He writes, “Enclosed is the $100 money order that I told you about last week.” He tells me he will probably call and that he spoke to Raven. He was not happy with her moving out but doesn’t know what else to say.
June 30th, 1999 – just a short brief note on as torn piece of paper wishing me luck on my trip to El Salvador.
Aug 6th, 1999 – Short note telling me he hoped I enjoyed my visit with my sister in NJ. He writes, “Enclosed is a money order for $140. Go buy yourself something nice you may need for your birthday.” Evidently I must have borrowed some money from Marilyn and he wants me to start to pay her back. I did repay her. He tells me to take care and hopes I am feeling ok.
Aug 30th, 1999 – He writes, “Enclosed is a $100 money order. I know you will put it to good use and it will help you out as usual.” He talks about his plans to visit her cousin in Sarasota and then tells me about an upcoming trip to Mississippi with them to a casino. He hopes he is a winner! He ends the letter with take care and luv you all!
Sept 23rd, 1999 – He sends me a copy of a Readers Digest article about when your kids talk back. No letter or anything else…lol
Oct 29, 1999 – He’s writing me this while he is waiting for a drawbridge to come down. He tells me he will call me later and then he writes, “Enclosed is a $100 money order.” He hopes I can get some overtime so I can finish paying back Marilyn.
Nov 9, 1999 – “Enclosed is a $100 money order.” He hopes all is well in the house and hopes that there is no conflict. Ah…those wonderful teenage years!!!
Dec 2nd, 1999 – He writes and tells me it was nice that we spoke. He writes, “Enclosed is a $100 money order. I know you can use it towards your expenses or to help pay for some gifts for the girls. Don’t go overboard and spend more than you can afford.” He apologizes that he cant see us all for the holidays as he is going to Vegas and won’t be back till Feb.
Jan 27th, 2000 – He begins the letter with “Enclosed is a money order for $100 which I know you can use wisely.” He tells me he called and left messages but I did not return the calls. He tells me he will call again and that he had a nice talk with Raven.
Feb 7th, 2000 – He writes, “ Here is a little something extra to help defray your expenses to El Salvador.” It was a hundred dollars, I believe. He tells me he is doing a show in Ft Lauderdale and he is looking forward to seeing Raven and I in Miami. This was my high school graduation present to RAVEN for turning around. I took her on a mini mission and so we met up with them in Miami the day before.
April 23, 2000 – They are getting ready to go to Europe and I had asked him if he could bring me back a menu or two? He said he would try. They tell me they are coming up for Ravens graduation. He hopes we are doing well and is looking forward to seeing us.
June 9, 2000 – a brief note telling me about a mechanic his friend recommended to me as I had transmission problems. He sent me a 50.00 money order towards the bill. There was another letter inside regarding Ravens graduation ruckus and since the whole letter is a rant I have selected certain sentences relevant to this story. Here goes, “First of all we were very hurt by Ravens attitude and lack of respect plus her priorities in life and attitudes towards us are way off the wall. “He tells me he knows I’ve been trying to be a good mother but. “They don’t appreciate what you’ve done for them and take advantage of your good nature.” He states that he knows I’ve been struggling but I should have put more effort into giving them guidance and time. “No pride in the home! When we came back from shopping with Greta on Sat and walked in and saw the pillows from the couch on the floor and they didn’t make any attempt to pick them up and straighten things up, it was sickening!” He stated that their rooms were abominable and that they did not feel comfortable. He then writes, “It seems that their friends and Alex are more important than THEIR family” He stated that they didn’t say thank you and then writes, “I think you can agree with Marilyn and I that over the years we been there for you and the girls more than the Casatellis. Maybe not in person but supportive in the best ways we knew how.” He asks me not to take this the wrong way but he had to get it off his chest. He tells me he loves us very much but my daughters have disappointed him. He ends the letter by writing, “If you want to show this letter to the girls be our guest! We don’t mean to offend anyone but it just had to be said the way two grandparents who really care about a loving and intelligent daughter and her children.”
I showed the letter to my daughters and they knew better. It was made very clear to them that she favored her own over them. My father would brag about her grandchildren and they wondered why he cared more about them. They never bonded with him, he was a grandparent who sporadically spoke to them and when he did, the conversations were not pleasant. They never liked going over and so they saw him infrequently. The Casatelli’s treated them like family and there was no favoritism, calamity or arguments. We had some issues which were usually resolved, then forgotten.
Aug, 2001 – A brief note with a money order inside telling me to use it to renew my car registration.
Dec 24th, 2001 – He asks me if I have any extra work coming my way. He tells me he will call after xmas and that his sister in law and brother in law are coming down. He told me my uncle had an angioplasty done and wants me to give him a call, which I did. He tells me and the girls to have a nice holiday
Feb 10th, 2001 – He writes, “Here’s another $100, hope it helps you out a lot.” He talks about the boat show in Miami and tells me that Marilyn is in Orlando at a marketing convention. He talks briefly about the show and that her sons are flying down from NY. He hopes all is well.
Oct 30, 2001 – He writes that every time he calls I am sleeping. Misty told him I worked 6 nights in a row so he understands. He talks about his conversations with the older 2 and that Misty paid for her GED. He also states that they are going to try and come up to see us to get her a used car and hopefully get her into college. Again he writes, “Enclosed is a money order for $100. I would suggest you turn around and return the money to Marilyn. Actually it cost you only $27 for the lotion and it would be showing good faith that we’ve loaned you monies in the past ( I guess I got the lotion at the airport) and you are trying to pay it back.” He tells me he will call later on in the week and that him and her are doing fine. He adds a P.S. “That collect call from Israel cost $27.00 plus service charge. I think the rates are outrageous but there’s nothing we can do about it. Thank God you came back safe and sound and had a good experience!”
July 8th, 2002 – “Enclosed is a money order (100.00). I know you’ll use it wisely.” He was happy we talked and was happy to hear that I was not letting my kids get the best of me. They all moved out and he did not want me to let them back in. He also was disappointed about the way she treated Marilyn at the graduation considering that they were her “maternal grandparents”. He clearly writes that they deserved better.
Sept 3, 2002 – It’s Rosh Hashanah and they are making preparations for their family to get together for dinner. He states 14 people. Rather than an invite he writes, “It would be nice to see you for Rosh Hashanah but it’s not easy for you to come over.” I got the message loud and clear!!! He wishes me happy Jewish NY and tells me to use the check with good wishes.
March 20th, 2002 – Cheryl was graduating high school; they did not attend but thought I wasn’t. Of course I did! I had gotten a job where it was as a bit of a commute and he was asking me about that. I was dating someone and he was glad we were getting along fine. He told we would talk over the weekend
Aug 28th, 2002 – A general note asking how I was and if Misty had a nice apartment. He hoped she was able to use the things they gave her. Told me to take care have a good weekend.
Feb 12, 2002 – He was asking me about the new job and whether I was going to let Misty move back in. I did, I would never do to my kids what was done for me. That’s a promise I made to them many years ago and it is in full force! He tells me not to be so lenient and that I need to stand firm with her.
Oct 17, 2002 – It was Sasha’s birthday and they missed her call. They sent her a gift and hoped she got some nice presents. He asks how the girls are and about the guy I am seeing. He tells me her GD, Jocelyn is working in a nursery and that she is a nanny. All these little notes here and there were written on UltimateTV paper pads…lol I am sure they contained money orders but he made no reference to them.
July 31, 2003 – Im getting ready to go to El Salvador on a medical mission. He tells me to be careful and use lip balm and sunblock. Asks about the brood and ends with “Hope this helps with a little spending money and be careful with your purse. I think you should wear a fanny pack.”
There was a span of time that I received no letters or money orders. I would go over to visit them once or twice a year and they would reciprocate. Every time I saw him he would sneak me a small wad of bills. Many times I felt bad and wanted to talk about it but we never had much time to speak privately. She was always within hearing range.
BITS N PIECES – HERE AND THERE
Feb 19th, 2004.- My boyfriend and I are going to EL Salvador. We are going to stop there before we go and spend some time together. He tells me he will pick us up and we can have dinner together.
March 6, 2004 – A short note asking me about my health. He doesn’t think I am taking care of myself. He talks about Raven and her issues and hopes I feel better soon.
Oct 15, 2004 – short note asking how we were, was surprised to hear about Cheryl Ann and that he wished them the best of luck. I believe I told him she was pregnant and was going to get married.
Aug 30, 2004 – two small notes scrawled on small sheets of paper. One written on a Monday telling me he was happy we talked, and if he could he would call me at Fred’s. The other note was wed@2pm where he writes, hope you get this before you go to El Salvador. I’ll call you tonight to tell you to expect it. He tells me all is well.
Dec28, 2004 – He hopes I am feeling fine. He writes, “Enclosed is your belated Chanukah and New Years gift. Buy yourself something nice to treat yourself, Lord knows you deserve it!” He tells me he will call me and the girls to wish us a happy New Year.
July 8th, 2004 – He was looking forward to my sister, my boyfriend and I to come see them.
December 14, 2005 – He wishes me a good holiday season. He sent me another money order before they were leaving on their cruise. He tells me to buy myself something nice, I deserve it! He tells me he will buy me a Cuban cigar and send it to me.
Sept 8, 2005 – My daughter, her husband and my first grandchild saw them for the first time! They were stationed in South Carolina. He writes that M sent me pictures. My kitchen was being remodeled and he asked how that was going. He asks about Misty’s boyfriend and then tells me he will call on the weekend.
Oct 13, 2005 – A brief note asking how we were and if I got rid of the old appliances in my kitchen.
Jan 15th, 2005 – 2 notes, one envelope. The first one he is asking me about my job. He is in Las Vegas doing a show and has his usual cough. He talks about the big changes in climate. The other note was when he called we were having bad storms. Misty’s boyfriend picked up the phone and told him they were going out. He was upset because he felt Misty did not want to talk to him. He tells me, “it’s not a good situation, Marilyn and him are not happy about it.” He encloses an article that he wanted me to read and tells me he will call next week.
Nov 4, 2005 – he writes that things are getting back to normal and asks how I am feeling. They sent Sasha a card with money for her birthday but they never got a call back. They wondered if her father would not let her use his cell. I turn the letter and I see disregard this, she called me.
Feb 22, 2005 – He writes that he is sorry he missed my call. He tells me her son and his family is coming down for the sons BD. Tells me to have a great week.
March 28, 2005 – My home was broken into and I had just got paid. All my money was stolen and so he writes he is sorry to hear about it. He writes, this 100.00 is all I could send now by express mail.” It will at least put food on the table. He had a lot of unexpected expenses this month, taxes, etc. He would call me later in the week after I calmed down. He had questions and asked me to put a chain link on the front door. He was glad that the kids and I were ok.
Feb 22, 2006 – He is worried about my health. I was severely depressed and not doing well. I was in a relationship that was not going well. I had high hopes and a few years invested but I needed to end it. He tells me when I feel better they will come to visit.
May 22, 2005 or 2007 – No year but the letter refers to an email my daughter sent them thanking them for baby items. He said they looked great but did not remember Matt’s name. Wanted to know how involved Alex was with them and said he would talk to me by the weekend.
They would come over and visit once or twice a year or I would go over there. My relationship became civil and friendly with her. She appeared to be concerned about me and so I slowly started to share private aspects of my life with her. On one of my rare visits I had a private moment alone with my father and I could see that he was bothered and so he started to talk to me. At one point, I don’t remember when, we had a very intense conversation. I was at their house and he was outside barbequing. We had no one around and she was busy inside with her company so he started to talk. He told me they got into a huge argument over his brother. He wanted to help him out, as he was only living on Social Security and she blew a gasket. He then proceeded to tell me he was tired of her giving him a hard time about helping out his family while she was overly generous to hers. I remember saying to him, “You mean you are just now figuring that out?” I then told him not to send me any more money, I told him to send it to Uncle Paul because I knew he needed it more than I did. The money orders stopped and we talked on the phone every week. He would call me when she was out. I knew this to be true because when our conversation ended, he would tell me he loved me. He never did when she was there or when I called. I would end our phone call with an “I love you” and he would say back at you. I started to drive over every other month or 2 and still he would slip me money. Any time he gave me cash, I never asked. He would walk up to me, grab my hand and put the money in it. I never counted it until I was alone.
Sy was his big brother, he looked up to him. As the years went by, my father went into the service and then married my mother. He worked a lot of hours and the 2 brothers had vastly different lifestyles. My uncle worked for him briefly and then started his own business. The two brothers drifted apart and when my father remarried, he was not invited to the wedding. When my father and Marilyn saw him, it was on rare occasions and there was always an argument over where they were going to eat or what they were going to do.
My uncle got married at a later time and so one day the brothers and their wives got together for lunch. My aunt Marie pulled no punches. They were discussing their mothers living arrangements and my father was informed that she was in a nicer apartment and doing well. According to my uncle, Marie, his wife stated that they were covering all her expenses and that my father should help pitch in. My uncle said that if looks could kill, his wife would have been dead. She clammed up and that was the last time they got together again. My uncle stated to me many times when he got together with my father, it was without her and being with him was like being with a different and strange man. He still cherishes those few times they went out and walked through the old neighborhood.
Towards the end of my father’s life, my uncle and I reunited and we have spent countless hours wondering how one person could wreak so much havoc and tear apart blood family. When my father started getting very sick, I made sure when I went over to see him that I called so the two brothers could speak. She was ever so watchful, and so conversation was strained. After one particular incident, Marilyn called him up and proceeded to scream and rant to him about money and other issues. He hung up on her. He had written her a letter which I have quoted word for word.
Oct 27th, 2011
Let me re-introduce myself
I’m Paul – your husbands brother-for all 81 years of my life.
You and I have never had a conversation for approximately these past 37 years. Yes, we both have unspoken issues about each other but something much more important is currently at stake. For the past month my brother has been lying semi-helpless in an inferior nursing home. Your behavior is deeply disturbing. You have not made any effort to contact me. Apparently your “eye for an eye” brand of equivalency empowers you to “punish” me. But you are confused by a false and cheap set of self-righteous “values”. Our differences are trumped by my brother’s current condition. There is no, and I repeat, no equivalency and justification for your silence. You have again revealed yourself to be a cold-hearted person. Now that you have complete control I anticipate further revelations of your distorted revenge patterns. If my brother only knew. My hope is that Seymour recovers, enjoys a few more years-he so much enjoys life and to give selflessly to those he loves and cares about.
As for you, Marilyn, you represent the ultimate betrayal. If you don’t know it – too bad. Denial is a convenient shield.
Seymours brother, Paul ps. Show this letter to anyone you wish. I stand by every word.
He wrote my father a private and personal letter which he enclosed in a small box with some other items. On Oct 31, 2011 he writes, “
Hi Big Brother,
You’re always in my thoughts. I’m confident you’ll be on the go in short order. If anyone can do – it’s you. You are the most spirited human dynamo I’ve ever known. Sounds like I am prejudiced? A bit, but remember I’ve also been around a bit. It’s not phony praise. You know it’s true. Sy, I have to speak to you frankly. Like we haven’t since I can remember. What’s going on? If it weren’t for Nadine I wouldn’t have known your wife dumped you into a third rate excuse for a nursing home. So it’s convenient for her to visit you daily? Big deal. Think of all the money she is saving while you stare at 4 walls, eat inferior food, watch 1950’s like TV and “attended” by low wage help. Demand home care or a transfer to a first class care center! It’s your right! You deserve nothing less! And what is with your wife’s attempts to keep your daughter and grandchild from visiting you? Where’s your cell phone? Is it being repaired? Did she forget to pay the bill? What’s going on? Personally, your love and examples are sufficient for me. I need nothing else except to know that your wishes are to be respected and honored. Are you confident your wife feels likewise? Her current behavior disturbs me. My feeling about her, to be quite blunt is that she is a vindictive person who equates money as more important as anything else. Especially if it’s your family. She’s in control and is exploiting your present incapacity. Sy, please stand up for your kids and grandkids. Its what you want. Protect your rights. With everlasting love, Paul.
We believe she intercepted the letter and never gave it to my father. He read the letter to me before it was mailed but because she was in charge, we didn’t know if he would ever get it. When he was in the nursing home, it was hard to call him. It seemed she would conveniently forget to bring him his cell phone. It wasn’t until she was pushed by my sister, and I, that he got it. On my first visit to the nursing home, I called his brother and gave him my phone so they could talk. I could see that she was pissed off about it but I didn’t ask her or give her a choice in the matter. I spent the entire drive over on the phone with my uncle and told him what I would do when I saw my father. After Marilyn’s vicious phone call to my uncle, he too was not notified of his brother’s funeral and so when I drove up to NYC several months later, we paid our respects privately, together, without the toxic people who stood by and watched her systematically alienate and bully us through the years.
I SHALL NOT BE BULLIED ANYMORE!
I had just gotten off the phone with my sister, we were excited to get to together but apprehensive about what awaited us. After I got off the phone with her, my phone rings and in a cold calculating monotone voice Marilyn says, “Nadine, I don’t want to get in a fight with you but if you bring Raven there will be legal consequences.” I was shocked, speechless and I hung up the phone. I could not believe what I just heard. I called my sister and she stated I should bring my daughter another time. I disagreed and we fought over it. I told her our work schedules were rearranged in advance for this visit so it was the only time we could come together. Angry words were exchanged but I made up my mind, then and there that this evil woman who had bullied me for years would bully me no more. It was in October and I knew time was running out. I checked with an attorney, called the nursing home administrator and was given the OK to see him without her consent.
Oct 18, 2011 Raven and I drive to see him. We got there at 8am and left at 1050am. I asked one of the staff members to take a picture of us together. She did and I sent it to my sister.
Oct 18th, 2011 Greta writes to us both, “Hi, hope all is well! Writing this for better or for worse. Just a short note to let you both know that I wa put in an “uncomfortable position”. First I live in NJ and both of you are able to see Sy/Dad more often. My only goal was to see my father, not upset him and I didn’t want to be involved in “any battles/dramas”! If anyone got upset or hurt I am truly sorry! Last, I won’t respond to this email & if you want to call me we can speak! Thanks for listening and hope we can all get along! Ill be in touch. Love Greta.
Notes she jotted down on my copy, According to Nadine Marilyn said in a cold calculating and low tone if you want to come with Raven I will start a war and take “legal action” against Raven. Marilyn told me she “has it in for raven. She always asks for $$ and cries to Sy. I told Marilyn to let her see him for 10” and she said “NO” I asked one more time While I was in Florida Matt, Sandy and Nicole were visiting. Nicole gave her a cat. I saw Marilyn give Nicole a lot of things gave her a car etc! She said she had no mother…etc. She also told me that Matt, her brother intervened on our behalf and still the woman wouldn’t relent. He was “Her” husband and she was in charge.
I knew the woman slept in late, we would leave at 0300 to be at the nursing home by 8 and we could spend time with him unhindered and then leave. We drove 550 miles in one day to spend an hour and a half with him. He asked me why we were there so early and why wasn’t Marilyn and Greta with us. I told him what was said and why we were there and he was stunned! He cried when we left but we had to go to avoid any scene and I don’t believe she ever knew we were there. I even asked the staff not to say anything to her. We left afterwards so we wouldn’t run into the woman and my sister. As a mother with grandchildren of my own, I could not in good conscience tell my daughter she could not see her grandfather. I couldn’t and I wouldn’t. 2 weeks later I returned back to the nursing home only this time I brought 2 of my daughters. I asked him if she knew if Raven and I came and he told me she didn’t know. He looked down and was sad. We spoke about the issue and I just basically told him what I knew and that I was there because he was my father, I didn’t care about the money anymore. He told me she was in charge of everything. I told him I was done with her after all these years and sadly enough he agreed. All he wanted to do was go home and he kept telling saying was, “she won’t let me come home until I can walk.” I kept thinking to myself, they have plenty of money. Why isn’t she hiring home health to come in to take care of him? My friend Sue works in the field so I called her, and she informed me that many seniors have in home health care. Once he was out of bed and up in the chair, he started telling me that he was bored, he hated the food and was lonely after she left. They treated him well as best as they could there, but here was a man who was used to being independent and living in luxury and now he was stuck and helpless to do anything about it. All he had was a bed and a TV. If I had lived closer, I would have taken care of him myself. I thought about all the money she had but it is my feeling that since he admitted to me she had everything; it was more convenient and financially prudent for him to remain there.
On November 17th, at 1043pm my father called me and told me he may be discharged in a week. Finally Marilyn decided to bring my father his cell phone. I called him back the next day. We spoke briefly; he asked me if Cheryl and the boys were coming down for Christmas. I told him they would be here Christmas week. He asked me if we could all drive over together to see him. He had not seen any of his granddaughters or great grandsons since November of 2009. Previous visits were very few through the years. I don’t believe he saw his great grandsons a half dozen times when he was alive. Even though they lived so far away, when they came home my father and his wife came over once or twice. We spoke again and confirmed. I made arrangements for all of us to drive over December 23rd, 2011.
When my father was finally discharged home he called me one evening. My daughter Sasha was there when I received the phone call. He then states that all of us could not come at one time. I informed him that we all rearranged our schedule so we could come together as a family. He repeats what I said and then I heard Marilyn in the background yelling at him screaming, “I don’t want all of them here!” My father stated that to me and when I replied back he repeated everything I said. She yelled back, “I won’t be threatened.” I told him it was all of us or none of us; I was not going to kowtow to her anymore. This was about him, not her and I told him that. He was silent for a moment. He then repeated what I said and so she started screaming again. I told my father goodbye, told him I loved him and hung up. I couldn’t take it anymore. She was bullying my father as his life was ending. I cried my eyes out while Sasha held me, what else could she do?
On Dec 30, 2011 I received an email from her.
Please do not think I am trying to stop you from seeing your father. You have to realize that he is sick and you cannot come to visit him amass. He just isn’t up to a big crowd. If you bring one of your children with you, that’s ok but it has to be a short visit. He is weak from this last episode and cannot and should not be aggravated. Please check with me first if you plan to visit
I knew I had to go, he was still my father and at this point I knew it would be the last time I would see him alive. I had no idea where he was or what was going on and so another short, bittersweet journey began. It was the last time I spoke with him before he died.
That same day I sent a reply
Hi Marilyn, I want to come tomorrow as next week I have a busy schedule with work and school. I can be there by myself by 1 ish, stay for awhile and come home as I work on Monday,. Nadine
Dec 31, 2011 she replies
OK, He’s in JFK Hospital
New Years Day – 2012
When I arrived at the hospital and saw my father, he was wheezy, frail and short of breath. His arms were wrapped in gauze because he was retaining fluid and his skin leaked. I knew the end was imminent. He drifted off and then would wake up for a moment or two and so I did little things like help him cough, feed him and comfort him. I asked a nurse for a suction set-up so he could orally suction himself with a wand.. She brought one in; I set it up and showed him how to use it. She sat there stone cold and watched everything I did. At one point he drifted off. I turned to her and asked her if he was a DNR/DNI? She replied that he didn’t want anything done. She never answered my question and she knew I was disturbed. I’m thinking to myself, something doesn’t seem right, this is an end of life issue, and he would not survive resuscitation. When I finally said goodbye she followed me out and watched me. I turned and walked down the hall and looked back. She was back in the room so I turned around and stopped at the nursing station I asked for his nurse and we spoke. I wanted to know his code status and she informed me he was a full code. I was shocked, I told the nurse who I was and what I did for a living. I stated that we both knew he would not survive if his heart stopped but she stated to me that the wife wasn’t ready. I’m thinking to myself, it’s not about her; it’s about my father, who has been my father longer than her husband. Why would she want him to suffer? She was the one in control, I had no legal say. I drove home numb, feeling helpless and sad, very sad.
I never spoke to the woman again after that, all the years of cultivating civility with her so I could have a relationship with my father went out the window. I thought back to all that had happened but I missed the clues. I should have been on my guard when she saw my mother’s picture is on my cell phone. She said, “Who is that and then sneered, it’s your mother.” I said,” yes.” Ironically several months prior to his getting sick, we all went to brunch at their country club and as we were leaving she stated to me,” who could ever imagine that we’d get along so well after all these years!” I now knew just how evil and conniving she was and that the life sentence I had received from her many years ago was never commuted.
BACK TO WHERE I BELONG
Mikki drove west on interstate 60, a highway that crossed Florida from the east coast to the west coast. The scenery was one of small towns and pastures with little or no break from the long and winding road. As we passed through Yeehaw Junction, traffic was starting to build up approaching the Florida Turnpike and then thinned out again as cars whizzed by in the passing lane. As we approached another long stretch of road, something caught her eye! “Oh my God, did you just see that?” There was a sudden break in the clouds; beyond it was the brightest whitest light she had ever seen. A beam of light shone down, appearing as a pathway from the earth to heaven. I glanced at the clock and it was approximately 5:00, give or take a few minutes. As quickly as the beam of light shot to the ground, it quickly disappeared and the grey clouds were blanketing the sky. She asked me, “Did you see that opening in the sky?” If I saw the cloud, I really had not noticed, I was too absorbed in my pain and shock at the recent events that had taken place at the hospital. Mikki told me what she saw and said, “Your father just passed away, the angels came down from heaven to get him.” I briefly thought to myself, divine intervention brought me to him during his last hours and divine intervention gave me a sign that he was safe in God’s hands.
I didn’t say much, I was in shock after the situation I found myself in when we were at the hospital. I could not believe that the one person who I thought unconditionally loved me could turn around and stab me in the heart. I was in shock when I walked into the hospital and saw my father on a ventilator, dying while his wife and my sister were at the bedside. No one called me, his firstborn! I truly believe with all my heart that her final act of bullying was to not allow my father to die with dignity. She told me he wanted nothing done and yet she did not honor his wishes. It was cruel beyond belief for the man who gave her so much, yet she was hell bent to bully him up until he took his final agonal breath. She knew I would have vehemently objected to him being placed on a ventilator. But then again, it was about her, not him and I knew it.
My cell phone started ringing about an hour later then the texts came. I never answered them. I knew who it was. I deleted her and my sister out of my contacts and so only a number showed up. The hurt and anger that I felt had so overwhelmed and shocked me that I knew it would be a long time if ever, that I would speak to my sister again.
THE END GAME
The bullying was over, my father is at peace, but I was not! I had to release all the toxicity and negativity I held in for years. It was time to tell my side of the story, to put all the pieces together and see it for what it was and what it did. The saddest part is that my father never really knew or bonded with his blood grandchildren or great grandsons. He was denied a pleasure that most people take for granted. He was not strong enough to stand up to her bullying and so the public life that they displayed to the world was a sham. He lived a life of secret regret and sadness because he couldn’t publicly show affection to us. He would only tell me he loved me when she wasn’t around.
Her family never knew us; they only knew what she told them. It wasn’t just one time or one person; it was years of bullying along with the systematic alienation directed towards me, my children, my grandchildren and his brother. Years of holiday celebrations went by and we were never included. I can think of perhaps 3 events where we were all together as a family and even then, I knew we didn’t belong. The last time he saw us all together was in Nov of 2009 at a family function given by my sister.
Ironically, the month before my father died I flew up to New York. I was on a mission! My sister told me she had a packet of documents for me as well as other correspondence that she wanted me to have. We were both in agreement that what was done to us was wrong, that we were both bullied and needed to make things right but it was short-lived. We talked about contesting his will and how we would work together to right the wrongs that were done. Nevertheless, when he passed on there was no will, she had moved everything into her name and so any hopes we had were dashed into the ground. To this day I wonder if he ever really knew what she had done.
My sister succumbed to her bullying as our father lie dying in a hospital. She betrayed me the day he died but I stood my ground because it was the right thing for me to do. My sister tried calling me an hour and a half after he died but I would not answer the phone, I just couldn’t! My sister texted me and did not give me the correct information regarding funeral arrangements. My children and I did not attend my father’s funeral, we had no desire to. Not with those people, the ones who stood by silently and watched her systematically alienate us from my father’s life through the years. They enabled her and in my eyes they are just as guilty as she is for her actions. I had been told by my sister that at one point her brother intervened on our behalf but she would not relent and so he backed off. No one was immune to her bullying!
I had to purge, I went thru all my photos, years worth and removed any pictures I had of her. Anything she gave me went out the door. She had knitted me a quilt which I donated to a resident at an ALF. I burned all her physical photos, one by one in my fireplace. I took what little jewelry she gave me to a pawn shop and traded it out. It wasn’t much, but I was able to find something I liked. I chose a black opal with 7 diamond chips mounted on the stone. There was a chip for each of us, myself, my 4 daughters and my 2 grandsons
My father was calling me every Thursday night when she was out playing cards. When we were talking he would always ask me what I would do if I got a large cash windfall. I kept blowing it off until one day I told him I would buy my kids new homes, as well as myself. She calls me one day and tells me she is going to pay off my car. I declined the offer and then my father insisted until I caved in. I gave him the loan number and 2 weeks later I no longer had a car payment. The car that she paid off went to the dealership and was traded in for a new model, I didn’t want it. I knew where the money came from, my father told me about their huge cash windfall and so it was paid off with dirty money. Now I make car payments but it’s my money that pays it, not hers, not his.
MONEY ISNT EVERYTHING BUT IT’S THE PRINCIPAL THAT MATTERS
Any monies that I have received I consider a pay down from what was legally my inheritance by NY state law. As far as I am concerned, she still owes my sister and I a lot of money. I know the statute of limitations is over but they defrauded us intentionally and I know that she was the driving force behind it. She is in debt to us and will be to the day she dies. In total, I received 39 money orders over 33 years totaling approximately $15,000. Those letters and money orders she had no knowledge of. I received approximately $20,000 which includes them paying off my car, or helping me when I was in dire need. Any savings bonds or accounts for my children she spent on herself or her family. She stated many times to me, “I’m spending your inheritance.” That was the only reference she ever made that indicated to me I had one. The last time she said it to me I replied, “What inheritance?” She gloated about it whenever my father wasn’t in the room. My children never received anything. His grandchildren by blood as well as his great grandsons were never bequeathed anything. It is my belief that whatever wealth her and her sons now have would never have been acquired if it weren’t for those fatal days when my sister and I signed over our share of our family home. That was my TANGIBLE ASSET and it was taken from me!
I dared to oppose her, I dared to stand up to her and so a lifetime of bullying began and it ended the day my father died.
I drove up to NY in my new car, picked up my uncle in the city and we headed out to the cemetery to pay our respects privately. We found a dirt mound in her family plot and so we walked over and said a prayer. I placed a photo of us with her cut out at the head of the plot and took a picture. My uncle placed his beloved Gemini keychain on the mound and I placed a photo of my mother, father, sister and I in the mound. We stood in front of the dirt plot for a short while, talking about what could have been but it was too late, he was gone. The Uncle I hadn’t seen or talked to in years became my best friend and confidante. We spent the day together, visited my good friends and then returned to the city.
The next day I hopped on a plane and went to Iceland. Finally after all these years I made it over there. I did it because I knew in my heart that I could do anything I set out to do, my only restrictions and limitations were the ones I had allowed others to put on me. I know in my heart that I am a good person. I have my faults like everyone else. I had a real family the first 15 years of my life but it ended the day my mother died. She was my role model, a beautiful and vivacious woman whose life ended tragically. When my Dad married badly he had no idea of who she was and what she was about. He was a hard worker and a nice guy who got taken in by an evil, controlling bully woman. Even though I was a rebellious and angry teenager, I knew she was not a nice person. It wasn’t enough for her that I lost my mother and grandparents in such a short time, she felt I had no right to a father. She bullied him, and me, up until the day he died. All he wanted in the end was to see us all together one last time. We were his daughter, his grand-daughters and his 2 great grand sons!
I suffered intense emotional pain when he died! It ripped my soul to its core but the universe sent me a gift, a priceless gift. This gift was profound and life changing! My father’s spirit came to me twice to let me know he knew I loved him. He told me how much he loved me and how sorry he was. He held me tight in his arms for a brief moment in time and then he was gone.
He always told me I should write a book about my life and so I did. After those 2 profound visits, I was at peace and able to move on. My name is Nadine and this is my story.
Important dates: In chronological time
Sept 20th, 1965 – my father and mother signed the deed to our family home
Nov 3th, 1970 – Mother passed away
Jan 3, 1971 – Mortgage and deed by SS to Abraham Salander
Jan 18th, 1972 – copy of my grandfathers will deeding his estate to his son, my uncle Jerome
Dec 29th, 1972 – Assignment of mortgage from Abraham Salander to Jerome Salander
Feb 21st, 1973 – Grandfather passes away
Jan 15th, 1975 – I signed over my share of our family home to my father. I had no attorney representing me and I was not told what I was signing. I was 20 years old. I also want to note that he came alone, without her. I believe she knew if she was there that I would not have signed.
Aug 27th, 1976 – My sister did the same. She also had no legal representation and she was 19. She has repeatedly stated to me that they were both pressuring her since I already signed my share over.
Nov 22, 1977 – Deed was transferred to him and his 2nd wife.
August 24th, 1984 – house sold = according to my father they were paid $165,000 cash for house.
May 23, 1987 – Affidavit from County of Rockland, petition for Grandparental rights
Dec 17th, 1997 – Sentnor Family Limited Partnership#1, LTD – $2,000,000.00-Revocable Trust
1993 – 2001 – Copies of Notice of Withdrawal Rights sent to my sister for the Sentnor Irrevocable Trust
April 10, 2010 – Certificate of Dissolution – SFLP
Jan 13, 2012 – My father passes away
Jan 16, 2012 – Closure Letter sent to her, her family and friends
Timelines via text between Marilyn and I when my fathers health was declining
9/23/2011 = Her – Seymour is in the hospital. He was complaining of bad pain and could not walk. The xray showed nothing broken and no blood clot in his leg. He is in good hands font call the hospital he wont answer the phone.
Me-what happened? Do you need me
9/28/11 @1546 =Doesn’t look like he is going in until 4pm
Me = OK thank you for the heads up. My love and thoughts are with both of you
Her = they took him in at 5pm
Me – ok thanks for updating me.
@1825 = Doctor says all is well. Blockage is completely cleared haven’t seen him yet.
Me = Thank you. I feel better/ Let me know when u do
9/29/2011@1208 = Just saw him, all is ok
Me = great. I love hearing good news
She texts me a phone number.
10/1/2011@1652 – moved, new room phone #
2016pm for Seymour 561-731=3052 he is in rehab
10/3/2011 – moved, new room phone
10/13/2011 – she calls me up and tells me she does not want to have a fight with me but if I bring Raven there will be legal consequences. I am numb and then she hangs up
10/14/2011@2112 – are you coming tomorrow
I reply N no
My last text to her – Jan 13th, 2012@1341 – you are a cruel vindictive evil woman and someday you will answer to a higher power for the cruel and horrible things you hav done! Damn you!
Texts from Greta
10/11/2011 – 2108 – just spoke w Marilyn, u & I can stay w Marilyn. This way no rental car or hotel expenses. Maybe girls can come another time .thx.love g
2220 – If its that important to raven, she can come another weekend. She can come 10/28. Don’t make problems!!! Not a time to do this.
Me-im not coming. Ill go with her on the 28th.
Greta – so come sat. so we can spend time. Remember this is not about you and Raven its our dad. U need to calm down. U & I can stay at hotel sat pm.
Me-I either bring Raven or I don’t come. My decision is final.
GRETA= Bring Raven 10/29 if she really wants to see him. You’re going to come anyway. Dad will still be here. I’ll miss u if you don’t come this weekend.Just think about it. I know it sucks but its VIP that you & I see him. I just told mike & he was ok with it. To bad if he wasn’t anyway. Ttu soon! Love g get some rest.
Me- my decision is final.
Greta – ok
Me – Ill call her on Friday and tell her I am sick and that I have a fever That will make the cuntrag bitch happy. She can go fuck herself. Im going to bed This is the last time for me. I saw him. Its ur turn. Im sorry but I am not going to let her control me. Illstay away If I don’t Ill explode on her. Spoke w Raven. Neither of us will be going. Im sorry im done. Keep the hotel room. I am going to bring Raven and she can see him after Marilyn leaves. Marilyn does not have to know. The law in Florida guarantees me the right to have access and fuck her.
Greta = I will speak to her when I go down. I will stay as calm as possible and explain that raven is coming. I may also stay in hotel sat pm. Marilyn has her own plans sat pm. Room still held for sat. Love g. Ps chill yo mama We be having yo get some alcohol and be relaxin on between the madness!!!! Be cool!!!
10/12/2011@1452 – Greta – Cancelled hotel! U both should come a different week when u r calm. Im not discussing any further. Stop the drama!!!
Me – The drama is over and I am walking away from all of you. Don’t bother calling me anymore. I have disowned all of you.
Greta – You need to speak to a counselor again. Just come a different time. You guys live in fl. I want to see him without your drama. Sorry but you’re out of control& don’t think you should come this weekend. Sorry! Love g
Me = goodbye greta
10/18/2011@1048 – I sent 3 fotos of my father with raven to her via phone
Greta – nice
Me = ill call you when I get out of work.
10/29/2011 – Snow and treed down today
Me – Lovely. It was sunny, windy and in the mid 70’s today
Greta – nice’
Me – lol
11/21/2011@1632 – If you are at work call me later…love g
Me – I had a needle in someone. I will call you when I leave the hospital.
Greta – OK:)
11/22/2011@0928 – If you want to come up early on Wed Ill switch days will have wed and fri off. Will pu & drive u to arpt. Drive & pu from Chinsky th pm & then we can spend fri together and then airport. To fl. U don’t need to rent car.
Me – ok Let me see what flits I get I will book on fri thanx
Greta – GREAT, look forward to seeing you!!!
11/28/2011 – Switched work schedule so will p you up@ airport 12/14. Will have fun! Love g
Me – im gonna call ya
11/8/2011 – greta – please bring a few letters I wrote to you many years ago upw you to nj I have some ltrs. Docs for you to check out! Love g
11/29/2011@1703 – me – got it United we stand. Divided we fall
11/30/2011@2225 – me spoke w Seymour for over an hour. Cried after we hung up
12/2/2011@1119 – Greta – sorry but all of this is very upsetting! Will call Sy later today about dec 21 We both need to move on. The bitch probably didn’t tell him I called!…Love g
Me – I love you GRETA but I am going to right the wrongs done to us no matter what it takes. After that I will have closure and I will never speak to that vile vicious sociopathic pathetic POS again.
Greta – Do what you have to…tty later Love g
Me – im sorry for upsetting you. I am so driven I cant help but dowhatever it takes to right the wrongs done to us.
Greta – ok
12/6/2011 – @0928 – I sent her a funny foto and she replies cute see ya soon!
Me – Yup. U will Lol I promise not to behave lmao @1231chek your email
12/16/2011@1231 – At work see u approx 4 pm will call later. Love g
Me – Ok Drive safe loveya
Greta – J
Saw flight delayed. Take flight 2304 – Leaves Atl 2211 arrives tpa 2338 3 seats regular % a few 1st class seats. Good luck. Could call on cell phone before you go to the counter Tell them on your way to counter.
Me – I did Wee still iun air approach to Atlanta
Greta – great
12/17/2011@2110 – Just landed already booked on 2304
Greta – great
Me – im on it now. Thanks for all you did
Greta – great
Me – Battery running low Ill tty tomorrow
Greta – OK nighty nite
12/18/2011@0100 – Home safely Love u
Greta – great! Freezing here today
Me – im at work. Its sunny and warm.lol
Greta – Lucky
1134 = yeah got to work at 0930. They are so short staffed its dangerous so when I called I told them I needed some sleep nd then would come in.
Greta – OK employment is good….Ttu soon love g
12/22/2011@2023 – If yu call dad Please don’t upset him. Love g
Me – I don’t have his number
Greta – I don’t either. Probably at same hospital
12/22/2011@2142 – Me please keep me informed Thanx. Got a houseful of kids n grandchildren here
Greta – OK
Me – Thanks. Nite gotta work in the am
12/24/2011@1649 – Greta – Spoke to Paul& Marilyn again & dad briefly. He’s doing better today but still had a bad infection. Will be in hosp & we can only take 1 day at a time Love g
Me – k – at work. Too many traumas right now
GRETA – ok
12/21/2011@1412 – just spoke to Marilyn E mail her to see Sy. Said u can bring 1 person. Good luck! Love g …happy healthy new year
12/31/2011@1436 – I emailed her and can go tomorrow. Otherwise its work n school
GRETA- Great!!! Keep it together!!!! May the force be with you!!
Me – no s#!t I’m still a bit shocked she emailed me. (ironically she did and then closed her acct.)
Greta – Take what you can get that that’s all you can do.
Me – The universe works in strange ways
1/3/2012@1726 – Greta – Please don’t get anyone else involved in this. If you want to visit just let her know when you want to come. Ttu soon
//4/2012@1836 = Greta – Marilyn called said Dad is alert & doing well today. Just voice not good.
1/4/2012@1856 – me Spoke w ethics office. They will speak with her but will not tell her I called. I am more concerned w end of life issues n code status. I don’t want him to suffer if his heart stops or he cant breathe. I don’t want to see him on a vent. My discussion w them was confidential. A psychologist should have spoken to her today. In school on break. Ttyl
Greta – OK shes been calling me everyday. I understand what u told me. Not feeling well will talk tomorrow.
Me – ok
1/13/2012@1821 – Greta – please call me
1/13/2012@1929 – sorry things worked out this way. You’re forcing me to let you know by text msg. Dad passed away at 505pm. He went peacefully. Call if you want to.
1/14/2012@1048am – The funeral for Seymour is at 11am on Sunday at Sharon Gardens in Westchester. I spoke w uncle Paul
Me – no reply – nothing
2/.25/2012@1259 – not sure what you are trying to do! Go to counseling & move on with your life. Put things in the past
I did not reply. There were multiple attempts to hack into my Facebook from an IP address in Lake Worth. I knew her brother was there and he owned a computer consulting business. I reported the attempted hacking and filed a complaint with ic3.gov and the Palm Beach Sheriff’s office. Attempts to hack my computer came from someone on Skype with the name of Brooklyn. I remember that she had a niece by that name so I ignored it, shut down and did not reply. I have copies of all attempted hackings in my possession.
MY RAGE OVERCOMES ME
Letter Mailed to her, her family and friends the day my father was buried and the exact time
When our relationship was civil, she would email me jokes from time to time. Ironically she had mailed one to me the day before she called me up and threatened me. On it were the email addresses of her family and friends. I composed a letter releasing 38 years of toxicity and sent it off on Monday Jan 16th, 2012 at 1100 am. I had to call the cemetery to find out this information. With 3 out of my 4 daughters present, I emailed this letter to them and then went to the beach with them and we said a prayer. We talked about the few good times we remembered. We then went to Hooters and had a lunch together in his honor. Ironically her email address had come back as undeliverable. I knew the other people I emailed this letter to got their copy, nothing came back as undeliverable. I found one card left from a previous birthday, printed off a hard copy and sent it to her home address. I wanted her to have her very own copy.
WHEN HELL FROZE OVER
My Name is Nadine, I was Seymour’s Blood daughter, the mother of his grandchildren by BLOOD, the grandmother of his 2 great-grandsons by BLOOD and I am sharing my feelings today on the day he is being buried as the thought of being there with people who shunned us is unthinkable.
If it weren’t for a gut feeling I had, I never would have made it to the hospital in time to say goodbye to my father as he lay dying. Right up until the end, Marilyn you’re controlling, vicious and cruelness shone through! If it weren’t for the fact that I insisted on a DNR/DNI I believe you would have made my father’s last moments on earth agonizing by suffering through an unnecessary resuscitation. As for Greta not even calling me and telling me she was there, unconscionable! You exerted your evil influence on her and our relationship is now severed forever. Marilyn, you should be so proud of yourself for destroying our relationship! The one thing you have no control over is the fact that my children, my friends and colleagues love and respect me and have comforted me through this difficult time. When my father died he left me a wonderful gift, I will never ever have to see or speak to you again! That is priceless as your toxic influence over my father is now over, he is at peace!
I want to thank you for your final vicious actions to me and my children during my father’s last days. After 20 years of civility you had the unmitigated gall to threaten me with legal action if I brought my daughter to see her grandfather! We saw him that Sunday before you got there despite your threats and evil ranting. You denied my father his wishes to see Raven but he was so happy to see us and I told him what you said and he enjoyed our visit immensely. ? He cried when we left but we told him we did not want to see you! My father told me he wanted to go home but you said not until he could walk. You should have brought him home and hired a full time person to help you but I guess you needed the money for more important things rather than to make him more comfortable. I know there were other options but you did what was easier for you. Did you even bother to check out their rating? It was pretty bad but yet you took him there. He could have gotten in home physical therapy and spend his days in familiar surroundings but that was too much for you. Makes me think he was becoming a burden to you, you had what you wanted, let him stay in the nursing home. I had to find out my father was in the hospital thru Jocelyn, you didn’t even have the courtesy of calling when he first started getting sick. Why was it OK for Jocelyn to be there and not his BLOOD granddaughter? Oh, that’s right; she owed him $200.00 and could not pay it back. I offered to pay him the money but he said as long as she was in school she didn’t need to. Meanwhile, your granddaughter, who was drugging it up in NY came to live with you. Your grand daughter, who got a DUI, went to jail and according to my father cost you thousands in fines, fees and attorneys, was allowed access. At a time when family should come together and be strong for each other and the sick, you vehemently tried to deny us our basic rights as a family to do that but your evilness did not keep us away. My father called me before he was discharged and wanted me to bring all his granddaughters and great grandsons to see him as he knew his life was ending but you bullied him and denied him his last wish! It wasn’t about you, it was about my father, who has been my father way before you came along and destroyed what sense of family we had after my mother died. I only blame my father for being weak and enabling you to manipulate him thru your bullying! You connived my sister and I out of our inheritance with a small pittance and a verbal promise to make good on it when things got better and when they did, you turned your back on us. I have all the copies of the real estate transactions as proof! Your outright favoritism towards us was blatant and cruel. If it weren’t for you defrauding us, you and your sons would have nothing! Howie once told me what a pussy my father was and after that I never spoke to him again. Jeff stole thousands from you but since he was your son it was ok to forgive and continue to give. You state all my daughters and I were looking for money! Ironic, isn’t it that the thief who stole from us was projecting her own thoughts on us! You denied me and my children and grandchildren a father, grandfather and great-grandfather due to your incessant bullying and it’s all about me and what I want attitude. I blame your family for enabling you to do what you did while standing by and not saying anything in our defense because we were Seymour’s flesh and blood. You should be ashamed of yourself. Anything done for us always had conditions attached and then was always centered on you, you were all that mattered, only your feelings! You never ever once gave a thought to how hurtful, mean and spiteful you were the few times over the years that we were together. Through the years my father sent me guilt money to make up for some of that and I have many letters stating that! I also have letters from Greta telling me about the horrible way you treated her and the things you did to her after I was thrown out on the street. Did it make you feel good to take my car in the middle of the night? Did it make you feel good that I barely had enough money to survive at 18 and that I went hungry and homeless? All you cared about was money for you and your sons and because what was once our family home by inheritance, became a money maker for you. Money and possessions were everything to you, doing the right thing meant nothing. My father had to beg me to apologize to you for being a wild teenager who was left without a mother so we could have a relationship which was a sham anyway. You took me to court for grandparental rights yet you shunned us, mocked us with second hand garbage for gifts while your family enjoyed your generous gifting that ultimately my sister and I paid a price for. You should be ashamed of yourself for being such a spiteful, jealous controlling bully who thinks it’s all about her and no one else! I know that you have given things that belonged to my mother to Maryanne and Sandy. Greta told me she saw something that belonged to our mother in her house but she was pushed away from it! Shame on you and your family for being in possession of heirlooms that should have been given to us before being offered to strangers! I hope that every day they look at those they realize that they were stolen items and should have been offered to the daughters of the woman who died but imp sure they just don’t care and wouldn’t do it. They wouldn’t dare oppose you for fear of incurring your wrath! You told me you were spending my inheritance, what inheritance??? The one you stole! You are no better than a common crook and thief! Everything you have was fostered thru our inheritance from my mother and grandparents. Your money is dirty, like you. I can’t even imagine what kind of upbringing you had that made you the evil monster that you are but my sister once told me what your father said about my grandparents and mother so I am sure they were just as evil as you!
We had a civil relationship for many years and then at a time when my father was at his most vulnerable and things were not looking good you called and threatened me. Let me refresh your memory of that awful phone call you made me to me on October 13th, 2011 at 930pm. You said “Nadine, I don’t want to start a fight with you but if you bring Raven with you there will be legal consequences”. You insensitive bitch! You may have been his POA but you are not his owner and we came over anyway! I made sure that I was well within my rights and being that my father was competent I had every right and he told me he wanted Raven and I there. We left at 300 in the am and drove 550 miles in one day to spend an uninterrupted peaceful hour and half with him where we could be free to talk and share. He told me and Raven how much he loved us and was glad to see us. Gee, he could only tell me he loved me when you were not around, what the hell does that say about you? It says that you are a jealous possessive domineering bully who has to have it her way but not this time and no more. . You are dysfunctional, greedy, pushy, and controlling with no thought to anyone’s feelings but your own. It’s always been about you and we had to sidestep and walk on eggshells for fear that you would sever what little relationship we had with our father. Shame on you!!! Raven, Sasha and I drove there again and he was so happy we were there and it made his day! We brought him his favorite things to eat and we shared, laughed and loved the way a REAL family should. Without your overbearing and evil presence it was a joyful and bittersweet visit and my father finally admitted to me what you were all about and that he was powerless to stop you at this point. In fact, for many years he called me when you were out playing cards so we could talk freely. He told me many times he was frustrated and angry that when it came to his BLOOD family you were unreasonable as opposed to your own. You hijacked his balls and turned him into an emotional eunuch! I will never forget your unkind and cruel mocking of his genitalia to me when he couldn’t use a urinal! You crude wicked twisted sick perverted woman!!!!!
I do not believe that there is an irrevocable trust. I think it is cruel that you would even state to my sister and I that we not get a dime until you die! I know for a fact it does not exist and what the truth is, he told me! You wouldn’t do that to your family, would you? No because that’s all that matters to you, that, money and material things. I hope you live a long life because somewhere down in there these words will haunt you for all the wrongdoing, hurtful, mean, spiteful and cruel things that you have said and done thru the years. You can have the money and all the things it buys, I have closure and peace knowing that my father admitted to me just what you were all about but that he was powerless to stop you at this point. The fact that I will never ever have to see, speak or hear you ever again is priceless to me!!!! Just when I thought you had one shred of decency when you knitted me that quilt you had to call me and threaten me like that! I gave it away to someone who could use it; I didn’t even want it in my house. I burned every foto of you I have, I photo shopped you out of any and all photos I have. You no longer exist in my world! My father is freed from your oppressiveness and when I look back on his life I will pretend that you never existed!
You are a toxic evil woman! Your family has enabled you thru the years to exert your toxic control on everyone around you. Now that my father is gone I am happy that he will never have to be berated and chastised the way you have done so through the years when I was around. Hate is a strong emotion and barely touches the rage and anger I feel towards you for doing what you have done to my Uncle, I, my sister and our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren with your bullying and blatant favoritism thru the years! I am a good person and have done many things in my life that have enriched others. My conscience is clear and someday you will have to answer to a higher power for the things that you have done to us but until that time happens, live a long life knowing that I and my children hate and despise you for being the most evil presence we ever had in our lives. . You make Hitler look like a saint! You had to be the one in control, the one who dictates who could and can’t see my father in his last days. How dare you! You are a greedy pathetic shell of a woman who is so insecure that you isolated a father from his daughters, a grandfather from his grandchildren, and a great grandfather from his BLOOD family! You may have cared for him in a material way but in reality you were a horrible and dishonorable wife! You attempted to break the sacred bonds between a parent from his daughter, a grandfather from his grandchildren and a great grandfather from his grandsons. You isolated and drove a wedge between 2 brothers with your petty and greedy demands, shame on you! And for what??? Money, material objects with the goal of enriching your own family with no thoughts about your husband’s flesh and blood! All the money, bling, fancy houses and material items don’t hide the fact that you are a crook, a thief, liar and an evil person! It is worth all the money in the world to me and my family that you are no longer in our lives. THAT IS PRICELESS!
My father is in a better place, unburdened by your toxicity and him and I made our peace privately. I know, on Friday the 13th @ 1:30pm he held on, knowing I would be there to say goodbye! He is with the angels and freed from your overbearing oppressiveness. He knows we loved him and that’s all that matters. I hope you and your family enjoy the dirty money. That’s all that matters to you! I have what I need and want and so my last words to you and yours is damn you and yours for the horrible alienation and pain that you have caused us. God will ultimately judge you as he will us and then justice will have been served.
Letter sent to my sister after no contact in 6 months
I receive a card from her. It had 2 little girls on the cover, one whispering in the others ear. She inserted a brief note telling me why she did what she did with no apology, only a “Let’s agree to disagree!” I was stunned and then my rage took over and I wrote her a scathing reply.
Greta, they say that blood is thicker than water, on Jan 13, it was not. When you stated to me on many occasions that our father made a pact with the devil when he married her, you did the same on Jan 13. Rather than do the right thing, you did what was best and easiest for you with complete disregard for me, my children and my grandchildren. Doing the right thing was not on your agenda. You allowed yourself to give in to evil and enabled a wicked cruel woman to create havoc on the last day my father died. To add insult to injury you couldn’t even give me the correct date of his funeral as well as where he was going to be interred, i had to find that out for myself. You stated to me if it weren’t for me and my fucking children this wouldn’t have happened. Your words and actions were despicable!!!!! Agree to disagree, i think not! It may be easy for you to compartmentalize these actions into a neat little parcel but you choose to ignore how hurtful and cruel you were, and that makes you just as bad as her. I will never allow any toxic people like that in my life again, ever!!! If it weren’t for divine intervention i never would have made it there on Jan 13th but i did. You had many opportunities to call me but yet you gave in to the evil because it was easier for you and that day when my father passed away, you did too! I have a clear conscience because in the face of adversity i stood up for myself and would not let her bully me no more. The letter i wrote was my closure and having the last word by holding that bitch accountable for what she did is worth more than all the money in the world. I am sure that you still talk to them and so for that reason i cannot associate with someone who is so connected to evil and dishonest people. You didn’t want to deal with it then but when you wrote to me you opened the door to dealing with it now. How did it feel to be the only blood family member present at his funeral, his burial, his Shiva ???????? Did you ever give a thought to Uncle Paul??? Your actions hurt MY family and as far as i am concerned, unless you apologize to all of us for what you have done there will never be any contact, ever. If you associate with those nasty people still don’t even bother. Their karma is bad and karma always comes around. I cannot nor will not associate with such filth and evilness. You don’t want a letter campaign, fine, then this is the last letter coming from me. I am still so hurt that i dont know if i could ever speak with you again, when i think of you, i see you comforting her and rejecting me and it is repulsive. We may be bound by blood, but the she devil poisoned you and broke that bond. I feel sorry for you for being so weak and i pity her because one day she will have to face what she did and she will feel the pain that she inflicted on others. There are more important things in this world than money, it’s called doing what is right and standing up for it! ~Nadine Casatelli
Notice, all steps have been taken to ensure that everything quoted and stated in this book is true. All letters that have been quoted come directly from hard copies in my possession. Any misrepresentation is unintentional. All facts are supported by letters, texts, deed transfers and trust documents that are verifiable and all of these are in my possession. All legal documentation is filed with the State of New York in Rockland County and in the State of Florida, Palm Beach County. All opinions stated are those of the author.