Tuesday, March 03, 2009

If You Want My Love You Have it!

What's wrong with 'giving it back' or 'paying it forward'. If someone wanted anything of mine, needed it, I'd part with it. In fact I have . . someone wanted a photo from my photo wall of my dear departed lovely Paul a close friend who died 6 years ago . . I let them have it because they were in tears. Someone else was having a 'hot' night with a new man and I gave her a silk teddy that no longer fitted me, actually I had never worn it - she ended up marrying him! If my best friend needs my kidney, she can have it. Of course, nothing is taboo for my children as long as it's not whim or a 'want' but a 'need'. Nothing I own is that important that someone with a desperate need couldn't have. I'd give the shirt off my back to someone who really, really wanted the bleach stained monstrosity.

We have a client, she's not that old, in her early 60's and has slowly degenerated with MS over the past 8 years that I've known about her. Mid last year, it was clear that her income was not sufficient to permit the 24 hour care she needs at home and she would have to either be looked after by one of her three, wealthy, healthy children or move into nursing home care. No 'serious' offers were forthcoming from the kids so her financial adviser helped her arrange suitable accommodation in a nice nursing home (oxymoron maybe but I believe it is actually quite nice).

She moved into care.

The family had the job of dispensing with her worldly goods and retaining the few things she could accommodate in her new digs so everything was auctioned off. Among the belongings and despite one of her long term carer's requests to own it should this particular client not want it, was a painting. Not a famous painting, not painted by a famous person - and whilst I haven't seen it, not a particularly talented painting but one painted by her father. It was auctioned off for $1.

Once this client realised that her beloved painting was no longer hers, she asked her children could it be recovered, she'd pay $50 for it or whatever the purchaser wanted because it gave her comfort and it could be hung in her little room. The children were ambivalent but one of her past carers had the gumption to contact her financial adviser with whom this particular client has built a very close relationship and a plan to retrieve the painting was devised.

The adviser, has been trying so hard to recover this gem until finally, last week, all was arranged. The client's daughter would drive over and pick up the painting, pay what was required and return it to her deeply incapacitated mother. The purchaser rang the Adviser at about 3pm and announced that she she'd had a party the night before and was now not prepared to part with it. End of phone call. .we suspect someone 'whispered in her ear' and suggested it might be worth something.

Who . . who in their right mind, buys a painting by a totally unknown amateur painter and refuses to sell it back to the original owner, a severely disabled one at that, knowing fully that it's sale was a mistake, that it means something, that it has sentimental value . . .

There's a man in America who made a documentary and acquired Mahatma Gandhi's glasses, sandals and a small plate and bronze bowl . . he won't give them back to Gandhi's grandson . . .he's auctioning them and so the grandson is organising a fundraiser to try to buy these iconic items back. It seams very mean spirited to me, then if he gave them back the precedent for British and other imperial acquisitions might be overwhelming . . .

In our lovely client's case . . .We're not talking third world survival here or the Elgin marbles, just an incapacitated lady who would like her painting back.

People can be so unkind. And yes, I'm beginning to think that nice guys finish last!







33 comments:

steph said...

Life can be so cruel at times.

What depresses me most about this sad story is, not the loss of the painting, but the obvious 'abuse' your client is suffering at the hands of her three "wealthy, healthy children".

Frankly, I hope their mother cuts them out of her will.

Thriftcriminal said...

Mean spirited sod.

I recommend a Mission Impossible style recovery expedition. You'll be cool with dangling from wires on the ceiling right?

Miles McClagan said...

If it was a painting of Cheap Trick, I'm doubly pissed at this story...

Baino said...

God you two are lightening! To be honest Steph,she was fiercly independent and renounced her son's early efforts to have her come live with him but as she deteriorated, he became less interested. There won't be much left in the will.

Oh shit yeah! As long as I don't have to do that calasthenic wriggling under infra red light thingy . .that the French guy did did in Oceans 12 . .then if I had the soundtrack . . .hmmmmm!

Baino said...

Miley snuck in there . . sorry I haven't been over this week . .I need a paragraph break . . you like Cheap Trick? I loved 'em. They're one reason I wish I had a turntable! (erm how long does vinyl last in a wardrobe?)

Candie Bracci said...

This is disgusting.All that interest people is to know how much worth this and that.Sentimental value,they don't know that.Shame on all of them!!

Mrsupole said...

You know I would donate towards getting that painting back. What an arse that seller is to not just give it back. Although if she saw this she would want more. But I would still do it.

Good news is that what goes around comes around. And it usually comes back in ten-fold. Someday if you keep track of the seller you will see this happen.

That was just a great story about how some people can be so greedy and care so little about others in need. But a very sad story also.

Thank you for reminding us what are the important things in life.

God Bless.

Susan said...

How horrible that her things were auctioned off in the first place; worse that none of her children wanted a painting done by their own grandfather. But that cold-hearted bitch of a buyer outdoes them all. ONE dollar? If I bought something for a dollar and then heard the story, I'd drive it back myself and no, wouldn't need the dollar back. Jeesh.

Thanks for sharing this story, Baino. I'm even more thankful now for parents who taught me to value kindness more than money.

hokgardner said...

I hope karma kicks those kids in the ass at some point.

Grannymar said...

I knew an old dear who had a Will and a 'Wish list' tucked into it.

In her latter years she gave away many of her possessions(most worth a bob or two!) to various nieces and nephews. When she died and the Will was being read the wish list came to life. Alas, most of the items on that list had been given away but not to the folks named on the list.

I know the poor niece who had the job of sorting it out!

nick said...

I don't understand how people can be so mean as not to give back something that other people value but is clearly of no great value to themselves (except some financial gain in the Gandhi case). What are they trying to prove?

Cuppa Jo said...

That is so sad...and upsetting...and mean. I always wonder what the karmic retribution will be for such actions. Damn, now I must start my day irritated.

But thanks for the song!

ian said...

There's a load of stuff going on there, Baino. sounds as though there's baggage from the long past.

If you want tips on retrieving things the Father Ted Episode when Fr Todd Unctuous tries to steal the golden Cleric award is useful!

Brian Miller said...

nice post...at least your part about giving away whatever people ask for. the painting people...hmmm... makes me think about what I hold onto tightly...

Terence McDanger said...

This sort of stuff just makes me downright angry. Seriously. Her kids are some shower of ungrateful wankers that they wouldn't even take the time to find out what their mum would like to keep, and the red roaring bitch of hell that would deprive someone of such a sentimental item that she KNOWS is otherwise worthless to all but one aged, disabled person, well she deserves a bloody good slap. Cow.

Anger!

Jay said...

Karma will come and kick them in the backside one day.

Why are people so mean? Because ... oh, heck. I just don't know.

I hope she gets her painting back, bless her heart.

kj said...

this is when i take comfort in karma and reincarnation. those sob's will pay a hefty cosmic price for their selfish mean spiritedness.

and you and i, baino, and probably everyone else who comments on your blog, will continue on the windy path of generosity and kindness, at least most of the time (exception: don't piss me off or be cruel--sooner or later i'll put my foot down).

come on painting, come back now...
:)

Megan said...

That first paragraph describes me, too.

Remember my post about my Aunt Eleanor's will and people getting to pick stuff? There was actually a huge dust-up over a painting.

Sad.

Ces said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ces said...

I have no answers and opinions because this is not a political discussion. I only have questions:

Why is this woman in a nursing home?

Why did the children sell their grandfather's painting?

Why are the children reluctant to care for their own mother?

What kind of a mother was she when the children were young?

See? Karma works both ways.

Ces said...

By the way, if it is a painting of the dogs playing poker, I'll pay $500.00!

laughingwolf said...

crap... that's what i think of her 'children' grrrrr

Baino said...

Can't take it with you when you go Candie!

Very mean of her ..there was no further discussion tolerated either Mrsupole.

Susan she was aware and complicit with the auction but had earmarked the painting which was sold by mistake. And yes, I wondered why one of the kids didn't want to have it as a keepsake - perhaps it's awful!

Grannymar my mother had a similar list which just didn't make sense. We never understood why she left what she did, to the people she did . .

Nick since it sold for $1 I can't imagine why she'd want to keep it unless for the 'frame'.

Sorry Cuppa Jo (sure it's not your crazy diet?)

There is more than meets the eye but since we know our client better than her family . .the real culprit here is the cow who wouldn't sell the painting back!

Brian, there's little I need to hold on to really . .I like sentimental things but I can't take them with me when I go so if you want it . . . come and get it!

Don't get too angry at the kids now. They were doing her bidding. But you're right the woman who wouldn't return the painting deserves some itchy disease in an unreachable place!

Jay and kj .. I hope so. If only I believed in karma . .it doesn't exist. Trust me.

Ces that's true:
Why is this woman in a nursing home? She is disabled with MS and can't afford to retain 24/7 care at home. Nursing homes are the only places to provide for her needs.

Why did the children sell their grandfather's painting? By accident, or neglect, we'll never know, it wasn't supposed to have been in the auction.

Why are the children reluctant to care for their own mother? Because the're largely ungrateful and busy with their own lives. One son offered an 'annexe' to his home but at the time, she was able, mobile and said 'no'. He never offered again.

What kind of a mother was she when the children were young?
Tough. Independent. I don't think she was a touchy feely mum.

Oh no you wouldn't! That's so kitch!

double grrr indeed Wuffa! Now should you be reading so many blogs with your new eyes?

kj said...

ah,baino, we could have a karmic discussion well into the night...
:)

Baino said...

Well kj if there's such a thing as Karma, there must be a lot of good stuff coming my way!

Megan said...

You deserve all good stuff.

River said...

I would have given it back in a heartbeat, to keep an elderly lady happy in her last years.(I love to put smiles on the faces of old people.) Couldn't they come to some arrangement where the original owner gets the painting and the $1 buyer gets it back on the old lady's death? Greed makes people petty, yes?

Baino said...

I found out this afternoon that the client herself, despite having difficulty speaking, rang the woman to plead for the painting but the purchaser was resolute . .we all hope it falls on her head! Soon

i beati said...

I agree wholeheartedly - everything has its price. My dear aunt wante so much to have her glasses back , to read, and teeth to chew, but her kids would not allow her to live anywhere except a nursing home, and then they fought over her inheritance(they all died subsequently)there is no thing that could not help someone else.Though right now I am bummed becasue my computer blew up and a picture with my grandaughter is missing sigh.

Bimbimbie said...

Sad that some people have no heart or empathy, bet they class themselves as good citizens too :(

laughingwolf said...

seeing a tad better today, baino... even if the upper left eyelid's a bit puffy

i spend no more than 15-20 minutes online at a time, then take a break

Baino said...

OH Sandy I think my PC is giving me all the hints that it's about to die also . I feel for you.

Bimbimbie . . I despair of people. Probably why I prefer dogs.

You take it easy Wuff . .happy you're posting but rehab is more important. The Eyes have it!

ashleigh said...

Greed and laziness. Gah!