Saturday, February 4, 2012

It upsets me that I can't fulfill her final wishes.

My aunt had no will, but stated to many what her final wishes were.  Because she had no will, I, who she wanted to handle all of the material possessions and final arrangements, cannot do that.  Within minutes of her death being called in the field by the EMT's, I was asked for the keys and her wallet.  I was also told that I didn't have to stay and I could go ahead and leave.  The EMT's looked at me as I explained, "Um, I was here when she died.  I'm sure that I'm not supposed to leave quite yet."  :EMT shaking head:  They wanted to start ransacking the joint before she had even lost warmth.

Who is they?  That would be Bill and his wife. 

He kept asking, "Amy, where is the box?"  He wanted a silver box that were to contain Aunt Donna's final papers. 

I don't have the box. 

He's called friends.  They've called me and said that they were asked, "Where's the box?"

The box questions have ended.  Frankly, I think that in the ransacking of the apartment, he found the cash stashes that he was looking for.  All of the blank check books are gone.  I have concern about that, but handled the things at the bank as Aunt Donna instructed me to. 

It is one steaming pile of poo.  It's not how Aunt Donna wanted things handled.  She wanted my sister and I to handle everything and wanted her brother to have nothing and yet because she failed to state her wishes legally, he will take and take.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not here with my hand out.  I care nothing about physical possessions.  He can have at it with the medical equipment, used lift chair and the Golden Girls couch.  What bothers me is that I know that Aunt Donna wanted these things to be handled not just as thrift possessions, but as the life possessions that she had amassed and as such, she wanted good things to happen to them/with them. 

She would give anything she had to anyone. 

She would share anything she had with anyone. 

We knew that that's what she wanted done.  Instead, I come in to a bedroom that was ransacked for cash.  I get occasional calls about the missing bilfold she had.

The woman had very little and yet what she had is being amassed in a pile of gambling driven greed. 

"Oh, I know that she wanted to have trusts put up for all the kids and that WILL be done."  What kind of idiot do you think I am? 

I was with her at the very end.  I was present for her last breath.  I called 911--  twice.  I relayed info from her, then about her.  I, despite her size, still tried to roll her over to do CPR.  I dragged furniture and dead mobility scooters out of the way with the EMTs.  I watched them try to revive her.  I went down 7 floors to let the additional engine company come in to help lift her lifeless body.  I was there when her time of death was called in the field.  I was questioned by the EMT's.  I was questioned by the police.  I didn't panic.  I wasn't hysterical.  I did what I had to do.  It's with that that I can walk away and know that though not in death, but in life I did all I could do for her.  I rest knowing that the promise that I made to my grandmother while she was on her deathbed was that I would take care of Aunt Donna.  Within 10 minutes of being told that, her labored breathing had slowed and she went home to be with the Lord.  I carried out my promise and know that I made two women as happy as I could. 

With this, that's all that matters.  God's will, as I had prayed it, was done.  Aunt Donna felt no pain.  She was not suffering.  Her heart stopped and she just stopped being.  It was peaceful and it was like she just fell asleep.  I could have asked for nothing else for her. 

Now we're left to grieve.  I haven't been able to do that before today.  I've been on auto pilot.  K-, on the other hand, has moments where she just crumbles and cries.  You see, K- and Aunt Donna had been two peas in their own pod from the time K- was 4 days old.  The two went toodling on Aunt Donna's scooter, then when old enough, they would run races in the parking lot.  Aunt Donna would be on her scooter and K- would be on foot.  K- finally got big enough and fast enough that Aunt Donna, scooter full throttle, would have to cheat and sneak in between cars.  All the ladies in the building know her and she would hang and sometimes try to help them with their puzzles.  She was the mail retriever.  Aunt Donna had taken her for so many years that finally she was old enough to go the 7 floors down, get the mail and come back up.  Aunt Donna would scooter over with sidewalk chalk and cherry tomatoes for K-.  She'd sometimes scooter over while I was at work and leave a bag of Aunt Donna offerings on the door. 

Life just isn't going to be the same without the old girl. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

And the gate opened and she walked right in.

Her body is whole.  She is free of pain.  This evening, skipping a long and very sorted story which involves me, 911 and my aunt's lack of breathing, she went home.  She went home to be with her Lord and Savior. 

I'm okay.  Certainly wasn't something that I signed up for, but the Lord put me where I was supposed to be. 

The weirdness of the hug.

My parents separated when I was 6.  In fact, that summer that I was to turn 7, we lived at my aunt's house.  We lived in the basement (which was finished) and her family lived in the general living quarters of the house.  It was a bustling place, since we had three kids in our family, 5 in hers, their friends, my mom, aunt and uncle.  To this day, my cousins and my sister and I are still rather close.  At that time, there was Bill (bio dad) living in our house all by himself. 

Nice.  Send the wife and kids packing. 

We moved back in at the end of that summer.  I'll never forget that my mom told me on my birthday that we'd be going to "1171" which was the address that I knew and loved.  Bill moved out and to a home of his own and we could go back to life as usual.

He wasn't home a ton.  He worked and he bowled a lot.  He was never really involved with us. 

I remember the fighting.  Oh, there was intense fighting.  I think that I've blogged about it before, but there was one particular fight that is forever etched into my memory.  We lived on 3 acres, fighting had escalated and my sister and I went to hide out in the barn.  I don't know what made me, but I went up to the house, found my brother Billy crying and crying in the window, walked over hunks of broken glass while in bare feet, got him and took him down the barn with us.  It was just not a pleasant environment at that point.  When we heard we'd be going to Aunt Carol's with mom, I think we were all relieved.  Mom didn't want us to grow up that way. 

Bill never wanted anything to do with us.  I don't recall seeing him that summer.  He took my brother to spend the night once, but there weren't calls or even to stop in.  My aunt's house was all of two miles down the main road.  It's not like we moved states away.

When Bill moved out, I remember spending the night at his place once.  He did get married not long after the divorce was final.  I remember spending the night after his remarriage once.  We'd get cards dropped in the mailbox signed "Bill and Rose."  We never got calls.  He didn't care.  I think that he did make a showing at my first holy communion, but in the back of my memory, I remember him slipping in and out of a side door. 

Bill took us to the bar one evening for a visit.  Yup.  Good times.  I know I've mentioned this one before, too.  I thought mom was going to blow her stack.  Frankly, I don't blame her.

Bill went off to Oregon with Rose.  He went off to get away from his responsibility to pay child support.  He wanted my mom to "buy him out."  I think that the price was something like $5000. total.  Mom said no.

So times had come, he and Rose had sent a Christmas package to LeAnne and neglected to include Billy or me.  A card would have been grand, but I do remember at least that Rose made LeAnne an afghan.  I remember that he called to speak with LeAnne.  I refused to speak to him.  He didn't call to speak with me.  I was an after thought.  Just something that was there.  "Well, I might as well talk to her, I suppose," was the thought that I figured that he had. 

My extraneous self and my brother decided that if he didn't want us, we didn't want him.  We did go through adoption proceedings and were legally adopted with a legal name change in May, 1989.  Billy was 11 (nearly 12) and I was 15. 

Over the years, Bill turned up at Billy's house.  He really wanted a relationship with him after he found that my nephew was born.  He longed for my brother to change his name to the "family name" as to keep the name on. 

Um, no.

I've run into him with my sister's weddings, occasions at her house, bits with Aunt Donna and Grandma.  All were cordial.  After Grandma died and he showed up in tears, (Aunt Donna called to say that it was the end and they chose to go to bed instead, which was their choice, but then they were shocked that she was gone.  Go figure.) I gave him a polite hug and told him that I was sorry.  

Yesterday was just flat weird.  It was like he wanted to perform for an audience.  He seemed to have resurfaced after years because now I'm able to take care of myself and I require nothing from him.  No, it doesn't work that way.  Parenting doesn't work that way.  It irritates me.  He wants to make this seemingly large gesture and it is all for show.  Sure, I'm polite.  I wouldn't tolerate disrespect from K- towards him or Rose, but in the end, they are almost no different than a stranger off the street.  What a horrible attitude to have about someone who is half of your biological make-up. 

:shake of the head:

I realized today that my whole dad experience has been rather weird.  I mean, underneath I knew that, but I had a biological father who wasn't present and a step father who made up for that.  That relationship was still weirdish because of how he grew up.  (He was one of 8 and didn't grow up in a very touchy-feely or close household.)  I was adopted at 15 1/2 and still to this day refer to my father by adoption by his first name.  I mean it as no disrespect, but my brother does the same thing.  When I refer to him in title, he is my father.  When I refer to Bill he as what he is-- Bill.

Family trees are weird and sometimes burled and disjointed.  I don't know.  It just is what it is.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A list! Things you didn't want to know about the last few days.

1. I'm new at blogging from the Kindle and their auto-correct is hilarious. Yes, I know that there is an empty 10, but I couldn't figure out how to get the Kindle to scroll down the rest of the way. I can tell you what it was, though. Our crocus' seem to be confused. The warm weather has made them peek their heads above the soil.

2. I always have the habit of checking the public bathroom when I open the store. After the weekend, I can sometimes find some lovelies in there. At Christmas, I found that someone flushed an air freshened. It was those little gel balls and someone emptied it into the toilet. I have no idea what possessed them to do that. Monday, I came in to find a "gift" on the floor. Wow,that started my day off grrrreat!

3. I'm eating a cold lunch because my coworker has to heat each thing individually and it literally takes 10 minutes for her to do it. Think I'm kidding, just ask Nicole!

4. I have a coworker who needs to seriously retire.

5. My bio dad felt the need to hug me today in front of a roomful of strangers and to loudly announce that he loves me. I told him that I loved him just to make the awkwardness stop.

6. It was warm enough outside yesterday to lie on the sidewalk and enjoy the warmth.

7. The windows were open at the house all day yesterday.

8. Since this post is several days in the making, so my aunt's update comes here. The breast lumpectomy was done today. It was successful, they believe that they got everything and the lymph nodes that were removed appear to test fine at this moment.

9. The smell of my grandfather's cherry tobacco pipe enveloped me at one point. I felt Poppy's presence and boy did I need that. That was yesterday and I was a bit fatigued from all of the stuff with my aunt.


Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Because there is a Polar Pop out there with my name on it.

First, Aunt Donna's procedure went well.  They were able to remove her tumor by doing a colonoscopy and doing it that way.  They couldn't do it at the initial colonoscopy because they needed to get some tools to perform the procedure that they didn't have.  We're glad that it was basically as minimally invasive as possible.  Aunt Donna had herself all thinking that parts of colon or intestine were being removed and that rehab would be necessary. 

Thankfully, not so.  Her procedure (wasn't full on surgery) was supposed to be at 7:30 AM so I arrived at 6:25 AM to find her no where around.  She had been rolled down at 5:50 AM, so I had to hunt down the colonoscopy room and hang out there. 

Bill was fine and I'm thankful for the word search app on the Kindle.  It took the awkwardness of the situation away. 

Tomorrow, she'll be having the lumpectomy on her breast done.  I believe that to be true since it actually came out of a physicians mouth.  Lord only knows what time I'll need to be up and out for that.  I'm good with it.  Don't think I'm not.  I wouldn't consider not being there for her, but caffeine-- oh it shall be my friend.

With that, it is supposed to be a freakishly warm 60 degree day.  Pardon me as I go crack a few windows open.  I long for fresh air. 

Keep the prayers coming.  Thanks so much!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Aunt Donna's surgery tomorrow!

Bless the ole girl. They told her that she would have surgery tomorrow @7:30 AM and she didn't ask important questions like how long, where will I be after or anything. She's just excited to get this finally done. As for me, I'll be enjoying an akward wait time with her brother, my biological father who I disowned at 15, was adopted and had a legal name change. It's not about me and I'm hoping that we can continue being cordial as we've managed for the last many years.

Prayers, please!

More fodder for the blog.

A speedy post.

1.  Aunt Donna is going in for her lung biopsy this AM.  I'll let you know what I know, but currently I have nothing.  I can tell you that her roommate had given the nurses a run for their money and at 93, she tried to break the wrist of one, a finger of the other and that sent Aunt Donna into the hall yelling for help.  The cavalry came running and they were able to free their co-workers, to which they all decided that Aunt Donna needed a private room.  Too much drama.

2.  We are attending a lovely church with services and classes for the little ones.  Why is it that one lady insists on bringing her grandson with her on the Sunday a month she has him?  Apparently, his parents came along this week with two others in tow.  We had an adult class with three children 4 and under, being liquored up with coffee (regular) by their grandmother.  They were ripping the tree apart (they seasonally decorate a tree in there), so the one lady just directed the ripping into switching the theme.  They were flying around with large candy canes in hand and smacking things.  It is hard to pay attention when kids are running like crazy in a class that they don't belong in.

3.  Remember the dinosaur guy from Mrs. Doubtfire?  I think that he is alive and well at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.  :snore:  K- liked him and got a lot out of it.  I had to walk away before I fell asleep standing up. 

4.  Why do people have to ask questions involving swear words to interpreters that are conducting a program FOR CHILDREN?  I mean, is it necessary to ask what will happen if the animal gets pi$s#d off?  Really? 

5.  My husband thinks that I need to become a recluse out in some remote place in Montana.  There are days I just don't like the public a ton.  I told him that my lack of grace prevents me from being too far from a doctor.

Must go get ready for work.  That's all the time I have.