I had the piano appraised. It’s price, new, was $85,000.
I learned later where Susan got the money to buy that piano. It came from her share of her mother’s estate. The house I had bought for our family in Crofton, Maryland, was the only thing of value my ex-wife still had at the time of her death—she had long since gone through my savings she acquired during the divorce. It was a lovely large home at the end of a cul-de-sac on an oversized wooded lot that backed onto the Crofton golf course. The big yard gave the children plenty of safe space to play in. During our years in that house, I had worked hard to improve it. The result was an increase of its value.
As I learned later, after I left the marriage, my ex-wife neglected the house. When the time came for the children to sell it, its value had declined due to disrepair. They sold it as-is because none of the four of them had the time or money to restore it.
Susan used the money she inherited from her mother, from the sale of the house, to buy me the Steinway. She’s never told me why, but I think I’ve figured it out.
At the time of the divorce, one of my four children sided with her mother. The others, Susan included, were either neutral or sided with me. I speculate that when Susan found out that her mother had arranged for her sister to be brought into the courtroom just as I took the witness stand and I refused to testify against her mother, she was angry. My conclusion is that Susan used her share of her mother’s estate to buy me the Steinway as a way of evening the imbalance.
The end result is that I own the most beautiful grand piano I have ever played.