I've been helping my parents downsize and was going through their files and saw one with my name and my siblings on it. I looked through it and I was supposed to have inherited an art collection almost 45 years ago from a great grandmother. It has been on my parent's walls all this time and they never told me. Lately they have been making a big deal of inviting people over from various museums planning to donate it. I poked around the rest of the filing cabinets and my grandfather had left me money in a trust that my parents did not tell me about that I was supposed to have gotten when I was 30. They did hand over the reigns to a modest investment account when I was 40 but never mentioned my grandfather and acted as if it were a gift from them. There was another grandmother that I was very close to that left me nothing, which I figured was her choice but what if she did?
I feel so sad and ill right now and my chest feels like it's ripping up. It's part knowing that my relatives wanted these things for me and cared and I spent all this time not knowing. It's also the money. So much of my life has been spent struggling financially when I had plenty of money and assets all along. I've lived nasty places where you hear gunshots at night and if put down a white piece of paper on the moldy carpet you can see fleas jumping around on it. I've passed up so many opportunities because I was being safe. I've taken and stayed at jobs working for awful people because of a good health insurance plan. My kids could have had so many more opportunities. I've always been the "good" one who followed the rules and worked hard and never complained out loud.
I have poured so much of my life and love into my parents. The kicker is that I am my parents' (unpaid) primary caregiver. Right now this means making sure they go to their appointments, the house is clean, fridge stocked, their dog goes to the vet, the yard looks good, I visit daily and cook for them often. I have not talked with them about the inheritances. I'm fairly certain my mother has early dementia and my father is completely disabled and can barely feed himself though his mind is in better shape than my mom's. I cannot look them in the eyes any more. I cannot stand going to their house, but I do. They ask me if I am cross and I blame other things. I've been told my father has a year left. He suffers physically and takes a lot of pain meds.
I look at my own kids and I cannot fathom what my parents did. What would you do?