When I Look at You

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Chapter Thirty

Over the course of the next couple days, Aunt Maggie, Dad and I all worked together to finalize Mom’s estate. A lawyer had contacted Aunt MAggie about Mom’s will and had sent it down here to be read to us. I had no clue what could be in her will. She had no real assets besides me.

There was a knock on the door and Dad answered it. He returned back to the deck with a man dressed in a business suit carrying a briefcase in one hand and a fedora in the other. “Sorry I’m late! My assistant had trouble finding the correct address. My name is Gray Andrews. Mrs. Oliver’s lawyer intrusted me with her final wishes to be read to you today.” He said, sitting at the picnic table next to Dad. He undid the clasps on the briefcase, popping it open. Inside, he shuffled some papers around before pulling out a sealed envelope. He opened it and pulled out one single piece of paper.

“That’s it?” Aunt Maggie asked, raising an eyebrow at him. Mr. Andrews nodded.

“Yes. Your mom had very simple wishes so it’s as simple as could be.” He replied, looking at me. He unfolded the paper and cleared his throat. “To Whom it May Concern, this letter is to serve as my last will and testament. I am of sound mind and understand the legality of this document. These are my last wishes I would like to be followed at the time of my more than likely death. To my sister Maggy, I leave all of my physical belongings including my belongings in my home and any items that my daughter Kerri would not wish to keep. Don’t be greedy, Maggy.” Mr. Andrew’s eyes popped open slightly as he realized what he had said. “I am so sorry! That’s what it says.”

“Yeah that sounds like her.” She said, taking a sip from her coffee.

“To my ex-husband Chris, I leave you all legal rights to our daughter Kerri if she is not of the age of 18. If she is, I trust in you to help guide her through life and to make sure she lives life to the fullest. I also leave you all of our photographs. Memories are the most precious things we can keep. Never forget me.”

“How could I?” Dad said softly, wetness brimming his eyes. He wiped them quickly.

“Lastly, to my daughter Kerri. I leave her all of my monetary funds to be used for college and any other thing as she wishes as long as she can provide a reasonable excuse to her father. I also leave the deed to the house she fell in love with down here. My nurses have helped me obtain it through a mortgage broker who accepted my car and life savings as payment. Maggy is to stay with Kerri until she is done with school. Then Kerri can decide what she wishe to do. It’s your life, Kerri. You do with it as you please and follow it through.”

“She left me a HOUSE?” I asked, looking at the lawyer confused. He nodded, reaching into the briefcase again. He pulled out a folded piece of paper. I recognized it as the flyer I had taken from the house Blaine and I looked at the morning after our camping trip.

“Your mother legally purchased it about a week before her death.” He stated, placing everything back into the briefcase. “The monetary amount she speaks of totals about $40,000. It wa her life insurance policy and a few bounds she had from the early 90’s. Since she did put a stipulation on it, your father will have control of this fund until you’re 21. But you are free to move into your new home at any time you wish.”

Aunt Maggie and I moved into the house a few days after the reading of Mom’s will. The furniture from our place in Maine arrived and we set it up around the house, making it feel like an actual home. It was coming along nicely, even giving myself my own office in the attic. I hung a lot of Mom’s paintings around the house next to some of my favorite photos. It looked warm and inviting everyday when I came home.

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