Wednesday, January 14, 2009

"I'm SO Sorry for Your Loss..."

That's a line I've getting since my father died over three weeks ago. That, and "Hamakom."

Frankly, I'm sick of it. As most of my friends know, I had a rather... complicated relationship with my father. And that's putting it nicely. Even gently. Honestly, I hated the guy. He fucked up everything he touched. He even almost screwed up my marriage before it ever began. His shenanigans in my family are legendary. I thank God every day my wife outsmarted him and did NOT let him screw up our marriage.

I don't even know where to start. Most recent? Earliest "screw you" event I remember? I guess I'll start with the most recent shining moments of Yaakov Aharon.

My mom. He screwed her over most of all. Forty-five years of pure hell, verbal, and sometimes physical, abuse, and certainly psychological abuse. He even cheated on her at one point sometime in the 1970s, after I was born. If only she had left him then. He messed her up so completely that she really is not functional enough to take of herself financially. She has no idea how to pay bills, what to pay, and how to go about managing her money.

On top of that, my schmuck father actually CANCELED his life insurance policy about two years ago. I only found out about it WAY too late, about four or five months ago. He insisted on paying over a hundred dollars per month for cable, over fifty for high speed internet access, and about eighty for cell phone service. But he couldn't be bothered to pay two hundred dollars for his life insurance policy because "I couldn't afford it." So. How did this leave my mother? Fucked up financially, that's how. She should now have $157,500 sitting in her bank account. Instead she has about $400. And all she's going to get for the rest of her life in $1264 (plus a 2.5% "cost of living" increase every year). She'll be able to survive on this, but that's pretty much it. Survive. Not live comfortably.

Way to go Yaakov.

But wait there's more. He also managed to screw someone, or rather an organization, AFTER he died. I told him quite bluntly a few months ago to make sure any post-death needs are taken care of BEFORE he passed on. I knew he had no plot and no money to deal what needed to be dealt with after his death. He said it was all taken care of with his rabbi. Well, guess what. It wasn't. There is now a bill at the Chevra Kadisha (Jewish burial society) of Los Angeles for about $4000. A close family friend called me about raising money to pay the bill. I told her I had no money and was simply not responsible. Period. The man should NEVER have canceled his life insurance policy. She asked me about asking my rabbi about raising the money. Problem is, the rabbi here is having trouble raising a lousy $300 or $400 to get someone in desperate need a decent pair of tefilin, so raising $4000 is out of the question.

Heh, Oh, well. I guess Yaakov managed to screw the Chevra Kadisha too. Way to go again, Yaakov.

Oh, by the way. He died owing me $4000. $4000 I was going to use last year to pay my 2007 taxes. Taxes I currently owe the IRS. And, since we made very little money this year, taxes that will be paid by what should have been a sizable refund upon which we were greatly depending.

Thanks, Yaakov.

He screwed some of his best friends. The most recent were someone here in my town who lent him $2000. Do you think Yaakov paid him back? Hell, no. And this caused Shalom Bayis (peace in the home) issues with the guy's wife to the point where she basically ordered him not to speak to my father any longer. Do you think my dad paid him back when he made about $55,000 in one shot in mid-2007? Hell, no. He decided to renovate his house, instead, and waste about $30,000 on that. Guess what's happening to the house in about three months? You guessed it! It's going back to the bank. Screwed a friend, screwed the bank. Good going, Yaakov!

When he sold his first house in Las Vegas (the one he never should have sold to move out to the Midwest for ten months to be near me), he sold it to one of his oldest friends, pretty much the ONLY one he managed to retain consistently for about thirty years. Now, while the friend never should have bought the house (at the height of the market, too), Yaakov, dear old dad, never should have sold it to him, knowing the guy's financial situation and inability to hold on to the house (and he didn't for more than a couple years - he lost it, it went into foreclosure). They didn't speak to each other until pretty recently, and the relationship was never close again.

Speaking of houses. He bought one in 1991. It ruined him financially. It was right before the recession. He had a variable rate mortgage. When it ruined him, he blamed my mother and friends he claimed "pushed" him into buying the house. Except HE was the one who signed the papers and handed over a down-payment, not my mother, not his friends, not the realtor. All he had to do was say no. He didn't. He blamed everyone but himself.

More house stuff. Back in the eighties, we moved to a town called Emmanuel. It's on the West Bank in Israel. My father bought a condo there. He had co-signers on the loan. One was a dear and close friend. They were our neighbors in Rechovot and convinced my father to move to the brand new, all religious town of Emmanuel. We did and Gershon, poor Gershon, co-signed on the loan. His mistake. Nearly three years later, my father decided we were moving back to the States. Do you think he put the condo up for sale? No. Do you think he continued to pay the mortgage? No. He simply shucked all responsibility and walked away. I heard later that Gershon got so depressed because he was essentially left with the mortgage that he almost killed himself. That's what my father did to people. Really great guy, Yaakov Aharon. Really great. Thank God someone came along and bought the condo before it was too late.

He treated me like crap. He treated my sister that way too. Everything in his life was about him, not his family. He made and wasted more money than anyone I know. He always HAD to buy chachkes. He could never save money. He fucked my education, and my sister's as well. What a guy. Great guy.

And he had (and still has) so many people fooled. I couldn't believe how many people were at the funeral crying over this person. It was astonishing. He really had many people fooled.

And again. He left my mother hanging high and dry.

I have to say Kaddish for this man I essentially hated. I feel like a hypocrite. I don't really know if I can continue. I really don't want to. The reason I have done so thus far is because I am a halacha following Jew. Whether this continues after shloshim (the first thirty days after the burial) is questionable, at best, at this time.

I'm sure I'll have more to say later.


Miriam said...

Well now I'm REALLY sorry about you dad. I also have a hard relationship w/ my dad . Its nonexistant but better that way.

At some point ya gotta let the bitterness go.

cool yiddishe mama said...

Of course he left you a big mess to clean up. Tchakes you can sell for some cash, but the legacy he left you, your mom, and your sister was sh'vach.