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Inheriting a good life, or a bad one

April 9th, 2018 at 05:04 am

It being near the end of heating season, I poured the last of my kerosene in the heater, burned it til nearly empty, and then proceeded with a "dry burn" outside my front door. This helps remove the carbon build-up.

Later in the week I'll disassemble the heater, just by unscrewing and removing the top, to inspect the wick and scrape off remaining carbon so it burns well next season. In addition to the user's manual, watching a lot of You Tube videos helps.

Since I've only used it a total of 9 times this winter, I don't think it's necessary to replace the wick yet.

So of the 5 gallons I bought, I got 36.5 hours of run time. I had no power outages this winter (thank goodness) so I ended up just running it on weekends or when I was otherwise home, and it typically would keep it at a very toasty 71 to 73 degrees inside when temps outside were in the 20s, 30s or 40s.

There's really no way to regulate heat flow. It's either burning or it's not.

Familly complexities
Talked to my cousin J. in PA. He has major relationship issues with his 2 daughters. They sound like terrible human beings. They are in their 40s now (living with boyfriends, kids) and he continues to heavily contribute to their finances, paying for a house, a car (totaled, then he gave her another one), paying their cell phone bills and I'm sure there's more I don't know about. And yet they treat him terribly. Very entitled, presumptuous and demanding, not at all appreciative.

After I told him the story of how my dad told me, when I was a senior in college, that the modest child support payments he'd been making directly to me when I entered college would end when I turned 21, it inspired my cousin to stop the outflow of monies to his grown children. It's time they took responsibility for their own lives.

I suspect part of the reason for his largess is perhaps an unconscious desire to compensate for the lack of mothering his daughters got when she was still alive.

It strikes me that bad fortune, mental illness and addictions persist and continue on from one generation to the next. And I have to think back to my grandmother's sister, and what a bad choice she made in marrying my cousin's father (mental illness and alcoholism), which I think somehow influenced my cousin's choice in a wife (mental illness, painkillers and alcoholism), which in turn really messed up cousin J.'s 2 daughters' lives, finally leading to his grandson, who is now in jail after shooting at my cousin at point blank range 3 times. He would have shot a 4th time, but the gun jammed, possibly saving my cousin's life.

My grandmother and her sister could have passed for twins. They were both very pretty as young women. They didn't have to settle. But sometimes women go for the bad boys.

Although some feel we are masters of our fate, I think often there are forces at work with origins well before our time that remain invisible to the eye and beyond our grasp to change.

I'm sure my great aunt had no idea how her choices would impact her as-then unborn son, her granddaughters and even her great grandson. I hope the cycle can be broken.

4 Responses to “Inheriting a good life, or a bad one”

  1. ceejay74 Says:

    Oh my gosh, agreed. It's not like people can't escape cycles, but family history has a huge impact. NT and AS both had parents with problematic marriages and it affects ours. Luckily they're self aware and we all want to break cycles of both marriage and parenting that we don't want to repeat from all of our backgrounds. And luckily we don't struggle with addictions, violent tempers or dishonesty, despite the fact that there was some of that in some of our parents' lives. But even less dramatic family dysfunction can have a ripple effect through generations.

  2. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    I know what you are talking about. I see my brother choosing woman after woman who are just like our mom. The drama queen bits and the super high maintenance bits. And just like our dad, he just keeps going back again and again. He even acknowledges this - but it hasn't changed anything.

    Some of DH's and I's issues stem from residual parenting resentments. Sometimes I'll say or do something, and trigger a knee jerk response in DH - something similar to what his stepdad might have said or done. (not a good relationship between them) DH came away from childhood seeing all the negatives in people, while I came away trying to give people the benefit of the doubt.

  3. rob62521 Says:

    I truly get what you are saying. My godparents wanted children badly. In fact, my parents were split up when I was born and they offered to adopt me. I often wonder how differently I would have turned out, but I digress...anyway, they adopted two kids, a boy and a girl who were siblings. They were raised the same. They were supported both emotionally and financially. The daughter turned out great -- married and works hard. The son got a girl pregnant in high school, married her, got her pregnant again, joined the Army, got her pregnant again, and then divorced her and left the service. I am wondering if it was a dishonorable discharge. They paid continually for him to go from one program to another...first he was going to be a lawyer, then a stock broker. They wound up filing for custody of the grandkids since neither were responsible. The same thing happened to a friend of mine in college. He and his sister were adopted. They were siblings. She turned out great. He turned out to be a bum and their parents paid for everything for them growing up. He went through over $80,000 of college savings and never got a degree. The last I heard he was on welfare and food stamps.

    I'm glad your cousin is listening to you. It's about time his kids grew up and took responsibility for themselves. It is a shame that they treat him so badly.

    My childhood was not easy. My parents did get back together, but it wasn't a loving relationship. My mom was mentally ill and an alcoholic. Looking back, I think my dad was depressed. There was little money for extras. When it came time for college, I worked to pay for it. I do think we are a part of our circumstances, but we are also what we make of ourselves to hopefully overcome some of these situations. I realize that many things in my life have been shaped by my heritage, but I also realize that I have control over changing some of the things.

    I'm glad your

  4. PatientSaver Says:

    I'm so sorry, rob62521. It's funny, becus my parents did divorce when I was quite young, and there was more than one time that I pondered how much better my life would have been had my parents stuck together. But then I see the comments you made, and I once again have to wonder if that would have been the case.

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