My sister met with my two aunts and then spoke with them after the funeral. Turns out there are a lot of convoluted stories and who knows what the truth is. I report here what I think to be the truth.
Only one uncle (maybe 2) have seen dad since 2003, at my Nana's funeral when things went haywire.
Rita is supposedly "sick" from a horse parasite (they live on a horse farm) and that is why she is so sickly and skinny. We all know it's the drugs. But the parasite story helps explain her being so skinny and sick looking.
Apparently, Dad had a series of strokes. He was working out of state - about 6-8 hours way from his house. Rita had been trying to reconcile with her mother. Rita's mom passed away unexpectedly. We guess dad was driving back to be with her when he suffered a series of small strokes. Rita eventually took him to the hospital where he had a massive stroke and died. I looked up Rita's mother's obituary. She has many siblings mentioned. I only knew of the existence of two.
Apparently, Rita was so distraught that she couldn't plan the funeral. Dad had been a member of a volunteer fire department for years, even serving as captain a few years. So the fire dept did the planning for her. Not sure who wrote the obituary but I think she had a lot to do with it.
The story of the "will" was not true. I know enough about that area of the law to know that wills are not read until after the service. So either it was my dad's wishes we not attend - or Rita's.
My aunts said we should have come anyway. Then we all could have gotten kicked out together. They are pissed at Rita. And pissed at my other uncle who flew out from Calif. That Uncle didn't even fly out for nana's funeral. My aunts reported that they had never met any of the four children except the youngest and that it was awkward to meet the other children under these circumstances.
None of Rita's children talk to her or have contact with her. Or at least not the boys. The daughter was not seen all weekend. The youngest came to the first night receiving only because he was close with my father. The oldest two came to the service only because they wanted to speak with my aunts. They explained that their mother is crazy. They had no contact with her. Rita's desire was to plan the service and only contact the extended family when it was over. The kids demanded otherwise and refused to have anything to do with anything unless she notified family. After two days she finally gave in. So that explains the delays. Rita insisted we (sister and I) not be notified.
At the service, Rita stood alone. No one was comforting her. The aunts suggested the kids go over and they said, "hell no, she'll have a new man moved in soon - I give her less than 2 weeks." The kids were never told what happened to Sister and I. They only knew that they came home one day and we and our stuff were gone. They were forbidden to mention us. They gave my aunts their contact information. They wanted to get together to talk. My sister and I finally decided to email them. We think they wrote some of the comments on the obituary page that were negative toward Rita. We have heard back from one of the boys. He says that "dysfunctional doesn't even begin to describe things." He also said that Dad was the "glue that held things together." I can see that. He did try to hold our family together a long time. I don't know why the glue didn't extend to Sister and I though.
Sister and I plan to have our own service in July. We may get together with these "new" family members. Dad may have legally adopted them so I guess that makes them siblings. Step-siblings at any rate. They've not done anything to us and we think it might be healing to share some pictures and good memories, the few that they are.
I plan to keep tabs on any estate that is open. My grandfather titled the lake property in dad's name only, intending it to be passed through the siblings. I'm pretty sure dad wouldn't have seen Rita to have anything but good intentions. I want to make sure the lake property stays in our family - not Rita's. And if the will happens to leave things to his "children" - well, I'll insist on a share. Rita can call me money hungry, but it's Dad's fault I have the massive private school loans with super high interest rates that are hanging over my head and making life miserable.
People continue to make harsh comments on the obituary internet page. It was up to 14 at one point. Things like "where are the REAL kid" and "Rita sure is showing her true colors." Then they all got deleted. More got put up and deleted again. Sister and I do not know who is writing them.
I attended my mentor's funeral on the same day and at the same time my father was being buried. Talk about a surreal experience. Some of the tears shed, were related to the service I was missing. But I'm glad I made the choice I did. When I went through the receiving line, my mentor's wife and children both commented about how much he had enjoyed working with me and the praise he had for my work. That made me feel so good. And provide some healing in my heart.
I think more closure will come in July. We shall see. I'm thankful to all my blogging buddies for your support.