Later that evening, I called Matt to tell him what transpired with the will.
Matt chuckled when I laid out the terms. “Well, that sly old fox. Did she know you and Chris were separating?”
“Yes, I told her a week before she died.”
“You know, I need a Porsche Cayenne like I need a hole in the head. Barbara and I don’t even need the money. But, I would love to see you and Chris, so I insist you bring the car to me.”
“You know I love you, Matthew,” I said.
“Don’t tell Barbara or Chris. We’ll never be able to get rid of either of them.”
“I didn’t mean that.”
“Just don’t kill Chris on the road trip. It’s hard as hell to hide a body. I know. I’m a Medical Examiner. Tell that punk to give me a call before you kill him.”
I laughed and disconnected.
My own mother wasn’t as supportive. I called her after I talked to Matt to tell her what we needed to do.
“Don’t do it. Just tell that cheat and liar to get lost. Cut your losses. That road trip will lead to nothing but trouble. You will regret spending that much time with him. What has he ever done for you besides sleeping around with everything in the country?”
“Mom, one woman is not sleeping around with everyone in the country,” I said, sharply.
“I’m not surprised to hear about this. I have suspected for years that he was cheating on you. Now that it’s proven, you need to dump him.” Some stories never change. “I have told you for years he is a zip, a zero, a nothing.”
“Yes, I know. You tell me every chance you get. I didn’t call to get a lecture. I just wanted to know if Lily can stay with you while we’re gone.”
“Of course, I would love to have my granddaughter for a few days, but you know your father and I are going to the Hamptons for the summer and there is just nothing there for a fifteen year old girl. Let me talk to your father and maybe we can just stay in New York for the summer, although it is ghastly hot and miserable. I will make the sacrifice for my granddaughter.”
“Thank you, Mom. Let me know.” And I disconnected. “Don’t change the light bulb because I wasn’t going to read anyway.” I said aloud. “You know she won’t help you out, idiot” I admonished myself. Still, I always hope she will finally act like a person.
Snow lounged on the bed beside me, so I nuzzled her neck. She rewarded me with a lick on my cheek.
The little knock on the door alerted me to Lily. She opened the door and then started with, “Mom, I don’t want to stay with Grandmother Lilith. She makes me wear ugly dresses and puts my hair up in a 1960’s bouffant. She gives me lectures about proper ladies needing proper grammar and she says you and Dad have raised a juvenile delinquent. I would be miserable the whole summer. Don’t make me go stay with her. Find someone else to babysit me. Maybe you could fly Charlotte here to stay with me.”
“These walls must be made of toilet paper. Also, your cousin is getting ready for her wedding,” I said. “She can’t stay here with you. But, maybe you can stay with Carolyn and Louis. She can always use help with those three boys.”
“That would be a lot better than staying with Grandmother Lilith. Aunt Carolyn is fun. And you always talk really loud when you’re talking to Grandmother Lilith, so the walls don’t have to be made of toilet paper.” Lily looked thoughtful for a moment and then said, “I only have one grandmother left. Do I still have to call her Grandmother Lilith?”
“Yes, you do. She insisted.” Then, in my well known and well rehearsed imitation of my Mom, “I earned the right to be called Grandmother and I insist upon being distinguished from that other one. Therefore, the grandchildren will address me as Grandmother Lilith and not one syllable less.”
Lily giggled and then said, “I think she holds her nose a little bit higher than you did. Now, are you going to call Aunt Carolyn?”
“I’ll call her tomorrow. My sister goes to bed pretty early.”
“So, you and Dad are going to do this?”
“I think so. He is pretty upset right now, but he will go along. I don’t believe he really wants to separate. He has had more than one opportunity to leave and he is still here.”
“Good night, Mom. I love you.”
I smiled at my beautiful girl. “I love you, too, Lily.”