Wednesday, January 20, 2010

My brother's keeper?

My mother died 7 1/2 years ago. Her estate left each of her children some money.

We put a new roof on our house and built a deck.

My sister finished her basement into the cutest guest retreat that we have used several times.

My brother lives in Berkeley. California and because he is a recovering alcoholic and drug addict and has little sense when it come to money, I was given the responsibility of Trustee to his inheritance.

Over the years it has been difficult and I have made mistakes. I was not tough enough on controlling his spending. I didn't want to fight. I was a woos (how ever you spell that!) It has been incredibly stressful.

Now we are nearing the end of the money. It will all run out by the end of the year. The stock market crash this last year did not help our situation.

My brother is on welfare in California and will have an apartment and some food. But he will lose his TV and phone and computer.

My sister and I cannot afford to support his luxuries but we can't see him starve. I am so conflicted in this. My husband and I are nearing retirement and would like to be able to retire. My sister's husband is a lay pastor and doesn't make much money. Am I my brother's keeper? Do I sacrifice all I have worked for because of his bad life choices?

When I think about it, I cry. It affects every other aspect of my life.

God, please help me to know what to do. Please provide what I need and what he needs. I turn this over to you.


  1. Suz, that has got to be the toughest choice to make and only one that God can help you with.

    Sometimes He calms the storms and other times, He helps us to make it through the storms, stronger for it. Your brother may need to lose the tv and computer and phone to get through this storm. If all else is provided for him, then that's a blessing. He can go to the library to utilize the computer. Spend time reading and attending church functions or spending time with family and friends instead of being in front of the tv. I know, easier said than done but those are not necessities.

    Also, ask yourself that by providing for him, will that make him dependent on you and if so, what gauge will you use to know when it's time to cut him loose?

    You have done the best you can with his money. If he had had it in his care, it would've been long gone. Don't berate yourself over this.

    I'm praying for you that you make the decision that makes your heart at peace.

  2. Simone - Thank you from the bottom of my heart. me peace.

  3. I hope you receive your answer. I can imagine how difficult that must be. I have a brother with a similar problem. It's hard to know when to draw the line, when enough is enough.

    Good luck...

  4. Suz,
    I am praying for you as you wrestle with this difficult decision! My heart is with you!

  5. I agree. With everyone. You stepped in and took care of your brother and either way, this may have been where he ended up. You'll know the right thing to do. You will.