Jim's NowPublic Postings

Random thoughts about the world, politics,politics, comedy, and stuff I post on NowPublic.com

My Photo
Location: Statesville, North Carolina, United States

57, bald, beard, 5'3" 189# single and looking

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Mom and Dad remembered

Dec 12, 1997, dad passed away. Dec 12, 2004 I forgot all about the anniversary. I thought about it on the 10th, and thought to myself, I gotta at least go over to the cemetery and put in an appearance. Well, I forgot. Bad Son...Bad Son....

Dec 13, 1997, I got here to my new home, my dad's retirement home that he willed to me.

Dec 13, 2004, I forgot that too. Here it is, Dec 14, 2004 and I am finally remembering, reminiscing, and talking about it not only to Lois but here.

I wasn't actually THERE when either parent passed. When my dad passed, I was in the bay area, which is where I lived. I had gotten a call from him on Nov 10, saying if I wanted to see him one last time, I had better get up here quick. "HERE" was Mt. Shasta, which is where they retired to after 32 yrs of driving bus in Los Angeles. He said he had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. He didn't know how much longer he had. He DID tell me that Dr. Herfendahl had told him, "Cancel Christmas, and make sure your bill is paid in full on the way out." My first reaction to that was, what an asshole. The doctor, not my dad. So I packed a suitcase, got time off work, and drove the 300 something miles to Mt. Shasta to spend time with him.

The smell of death was in the house. He said that he could feel his innards being eaten away. What I was smelling was those dead cells inside of him, oozzing through his pores. He said it felt like pacman eating away, he could literally feel his insides being eaten. The house smelled horrible. But we made the best of it, he put me up in a motel, because he didn't want me to have to smell the house any more than needed. I stayed till the 17th, he gave me my choice of things to take back with me, and I left. I found out at that time that my half sister Ann had already been there and took most of my dad's knives. I still hate that. Those should have gone to me. Oh well.

I went back to Livermore and waited. 2 days before his death, I called his house and got no answer all day. I figured, well this ain't right, so I called the police. They informed me they had taken my dad to the care center yesterday, so he could die there. I called the care center and spoke to my dad one last time. He told me he just wanted to be comfortable and die where someone would know it, so he didn't lay in the house for days and rot. (how thoughtful)

Well the 12th comes, and I got no phone call. I called at 7:30 p.m. to check on him and was told point blank he died that morning. I was livid. They had my number, and I had to call and check, only to find he died about 12 hrs prior? Well I got time off again, and drove up on the 13th. I got here at about 10 a.m. and called the lady who was handling the estate. She and her husband met me here at the house, handed me the keys to the house and car and said, "They're all yours, or at least the car is, don't know about the house yet."

I had asked my dad while I was up here what would happen to the house, and he said he didn't know if I would get it or not, it all depended on whether or not medi-care would try to claim it to pay for mom's continued care. He had long ago taken it out of her name and his and just had his name on the title now, but still, he said, you know how government is, they may try to claim it.

Well 3 days after his death, the executor got word from Medi-care that they could care less about the house. She told me she would bring me by a letter stating so, and that the house is indeed mine.

My dad didn't want to be embalmed, so the day I got here, I went to pick up his things at the care center, then went to the funeral home to see him. He was in the freezer. They rolled him out, I took a look, then we went to make final arrangements for the service. They told me everything was prepaid for him and mom. We made the arrangements and I left. I went back to the house and bundled up in heavy clothes and threw open all the windows to let the smell of death air out. It took almost 2 weeks for the smell to finally clear somewhat. It was snowing part of the time, got snowed in, couldn't leave here till Jan 8, 1998 to go back to Livermore to pack my stuff, quit my job and move. I was back here by the 10th.

With the job of moving in almost done, nothing was unpacked though, I had to start the task of cleaning the house. My dad had let the house cleaning go for about 8 yrs or so, since he spent all his days at the care center looking after mom. There were places here where the dust was an inch thick. I had to wear a painter’s mask most of the time. Also on tap was the chore of getting rid of most of my dad's personal belongings, stuff I'd never use, plus he was a packrat, and still had stuff here like....EVERY SINGLE CHECK he'd EVER WRITTEN. I found papers and stuff here from 1931. He'd only BEEN HERE since July 75. His papers from his first divorce were here. Papers from the first escrow of a home purchase. An accident settlement from 1946. His gas station purchase papers from when he was 19 yrs old. The bassinet tag from when I was born. Interestingly enough, it showed my vitals, and I found out that all these years my dad had told me the wrong time of my birth. But of ALL THINGS I could not find, and still to this day haven't found, was the title on the damn house. It's a wonder I have lived here 7 yrs now, and still don't have clear title on it. I paid to get it, but it never came. They said they couldn't find it, and wanted serial numbers off the house since it was a doublewide mobile home. I sent them the numbers, and they said those aren't the right ones. I said, well I took them right off the two halves, the little metal tags attached to the house, if they can find different ones, come look for themselves and get them. I still haven't heard jack shit from them.

Well I got the house cleaned up, dust wise to where it was semi-livable. I moved into my mom's room, made dad's a storeroom. His was much smaller a room anyway. No room for more than a twin bed and some walk around space. My mom's room however, was big enough for my king size waterbed and walk around room. My mom and dad hadn't slept in the same room since I left home at age 16, other than their camping trips.

Back when I was 18, my mom had told me once, while tipsy (what a good Mormon she was) that the reason they slept apart is that ever since the day she found out she was pregnant with me, there had been no more sex, EVER. Dad had said to her that sex was for procreation only, and then only once a month till she got pregnant. Took them 5 yrs to get ME. By the time mom was ready to give me a brother or sister, she had to have a total hysterectomy, so that meant no more sex. She also said the reason he kept a 38 revolver around was that he'd kill her if she left him because of not getting any. His first wife left him for that very reason after having 2 daughters, one of whom I only met once. By the time dad died, my oldest half sis Connie had died from lung cancer, she smoked 5 packs a day. Their mom had also died, not sure why. So Ann was the only one left. And like I said, we only met once. For some reason, she didn't want to have a relationship with me. She showed up on my dad's doorstep in LA around 1969, and said hi, it's me, Ann....your daughter. She apologized for believing all her mom's crap about dad and that she wanted to know her dad again. So from then on, they were always seeing each other, but she had no interest in having me as a full time brother. Just that one weekend meeting, and that was it.

So here it's time for the funeral of dad, She called, said she'd be there, wanted to know when and where. Day of the funeral, I get to the home, and find all she has sent is a wreath, and a note to me saying she couldn't drive that far. Well great!

Only about 13 people showed up for dad's funeral. And that included ME and my mom, who they rolled in there in a wheelchair from the care center. Now by this time in her life, she was pretty much in dementia from Parkinsons, and I wasn't exactly sure she knew what was going on, till she reached over and took my hand.

She stayed till they lowered the casket into the ground. The service was in the chapel at the cemetery, so the hearse ride was like a 100 yrds if that. Then it was back to the care center for her, and I stayed till they started to cover him over. Surprisingly and thankfully enough, no one from the Mormon church asked me if they could dress him in temple garments before his burial.

During the next couple months, I check in on my mother daily. I didn't stay all day like dad had, but came to make sure she was comfortable. Sometimes she would be staring at the ceiling, talking to someone. Not actually talking, more like mumbling. She was trying to make hand gestures to whoever it was, I'm figuring it was my dad. I'm sure he was telling her, come join me. She was resisting though and had this frightened look on her face. She had always told me her biggest fear was that dad would go first and leave her all alone. She didn't know what she would do. Now he's beckoning her and she's still afraid to go. Soon she started to have problems like rectal bleeding, and not just minor, but gushing. She was also x-rayed and found to have a broken hip from lying there so many years. The doctor, who I found out again was Herfendahl, was doing everything he could to keep her alive. When I found out he was her doctor, I went to hospital admin and told them I wanted someone else to care for her. She was 81 yrs old and ready to go. They said, "Sure, just let us know who." So I went to Dr. Parker and asked if he would take over care of my mom, no DNR, just keep her out of pain. He said sure, just go sign the papers.

I went to the care center, told them it would be Dr. Parker. They called to confirm. He did. They drew up the papers and Herfshit (as I like to call him) showed up raising a stink. "You can't do this," he was ranting. I said, "Leave me alone and watch me you sick son of a bitch." He starts to rant, "How dare you....." and I stopped him cold by saying, "How dare I? My dad TOLD me you were a cold hearted son of a bitch to have the fucking nerve to say to him, 'cancel Christmas and make sure your bill is paid in full on the way out', and now you're just trying to keep my mom alive as a medi-care meal ticket, so how dare I speak to you like that? Just like this....you're FIRED."

Of course by now, the care center administrator has heard all this, and I signed the papers. Herfshit was still protesting. The care center administrator told Herfshit, "Doctor, unless you are on rounds and have other patients to see, I'd advise you to get your butt out of here." He was just that cold about it. He had never known till then, that Herfshit could be such a jackass. When he heard what he had said to my dad, it deeply disturbed him, and he even told me so.

Of course, it didn't take my mom long to succumb to dad's will and pass on. Two days before it happened though, I had gotten a urinary blockage that had to be removed by force. At the time my only medical insurance was Kaiser Permanente, and the nearest one was Sacramento. So I drove down there, and got admitted. By 3 that afternoon, they were going up in there and removing a large kidney stone. I woke up the next morning with a catheter in me, which was a first, and hurt so bad I could hardly take a breath let alone a deep one. By noon they let me out, after removing it. They had told me I should stay in the area for another 24 hrs in case there was any severe bleeding or other complications. So I booked into a Motel 6 for the night. I got woke up at about 10 a.m. by a phone call that my mom had passed away. I'm thinking, oh great, this again. Not only not being there when she passed, but another long drive to pick up her stuff and another funeral to plan, and attend. My mom had so much stuff in her room that my dad had bought her, there were boxes and boxes of stuff. It was all packed up and waiting my arrival. Again, I go through seeing mom in the freezer, and making the funeral plans. The funeral home tells me the casket she had picked is no longer available, so I have to pick another one. He says, this one here is comparable to what your mom picked out. I said, “Ok, she’ll take it.” Well after he figured everything up, he says to me, “Well that means your parents overpaid by $886.” I asked, “What happens to the rest?”
He says, “Well you can either use it to upgrade their service or the money goes to you.” I said, “Put the check in my bank Bob.”

Well, funeral day arrives. I got on my new suit, cowboy boots, black felt cowboy hat, my belt buckle so big you can get DSS on it, and I go to bury my mom. About 25 people show up, and most of them are women from the Mormon Church. They had the nerve after the service to ask me if they could dress mom in temple garments so she’d go to heaven. They were worried about her salvation without those garments. I said, “Well what about my dad? No one worried about HIS salvation and asked that he be dressed in them. And although he was inactive in the church, he was still a member. I’m more worried about her salvation if she IS dressed in those things.”

I then turned to the funeral director and told him, “You let these women anywhere near my mom’s body and I will not only sue them and have them arrested, but you as well.” He said, “They won’t be allowed near her.” The women left in a huff; didn’t even stay for the burial.

So again, we take that 100-yard hearse ride, because my mom was being buried next to my dad. Again I stay till they start to throw dirt on her, and I went home. The only thing left was to come back about a month later and find their headstone finally in place.

I forgot to mention, that after my sister was a no show at dad’s funeral, I talked to her briefly to tell her she needed to call Jan about the inheritance money. She did and was sent her first installment. She couldn’t receive the rest till after all dads’ bills were paid off and Jan saw how much was left. Then it would be divided by % to Ann and I.

Well Ann got her first part, $4,000.00. I got $55,000.00.

Time for part II of the payments, I called Ann at work and was told she had quit her job and moved. I asked if anyone knew her new number, they said yeah but they couldn’t give it to me. I said, I wasn’t asking them to, but could they call her and deliver a message. They said sure they can. Jan never heard from her, neither did I so Jan finally gave me her share, another $12,000.00, and me my second payment of $30,000.00.

So here I am, parentless and girlfriendless. I was seeing online and by phone, this girl from Georgia.
I go to see her, and the plan is for her to move back with me. I’m half way to Ohio and I get this cell phone call from Social Security. They say they’re looking for the next of kin of Ruby. I said, well that’s me, I’m her only living relative, her son. He said, “well it seems that the care center mailed back your mom’s last 2 Social Security checks, and I was wondering if that was a mistake or what? What date did she die, or has she died?” When I told him the date, he said, “well then they were sent back BEFORE she died, so they go to you if you’re the next of kin. They were both issued before her death, so they’re cashable.” Ok, so now I got something else to holler at the care center about. What business did they have giving away my inheritance money? He said, “Well I need for you to sign an affidavit saying you’re next of kin, and we’ll make the checks out to you and send them.” I said, “Well I’m on my way to Georgia, can you fax it to my hotel I will be at, I’ll fax it back, then you send the checks to my PO box?”
He said, “Sure, we can do that.” So that’s what we did, and by the time I got home, 2 checks for $1500 each were in my mail as well as the $866 from the funeral overpayment.

I think back to the time my dad and I had our last discussion of things before I left to go back to Livermore. He never was much on apologizing, but he was doing his best. He said he knew he had made a lot of mistakes with me, and the first one was beating me with the belt. He said he knew that once he did that, and couldn’t stop himself from doing it again, he knew he’d lost me. He also told me that he did it purely at the behest of my mom, and that she was always jealous of the time dad and I spent together.
I said, “Well dad, if you hadn’t ignored mom sexually…..”
He said, “What do you mean?”
I told him about what mom had said to me one night while drunk. He said, “Well, I was abused by my mother, so I became anti-sexual.” I said, “Well even so, if God had meant sex to not be done all the time, he wouldn’t have made it so pleasurable. Mom was jealous because you didn’t lay her.” He then also told me, “And I never believed in that Mormon crap. I felt it was just the right place to be to keep you safe from communism, gangs, drugs, and commie education.” I said, “So you’re telling me we had knock down drag out fist fights over NOTHING?” He said, “Well lets just suffice it to say I know I did you wrong.”

That’s about all we had to say to each other except for g’bye, have a safe drive back to Livermore.

On the way home, did I cry? Yes of course I cried. I had to pull over a couple of times. Part of what I cried over was sadness that my dad was dying, and part of it was thinking about all the shit he told me he put me through over……….. NADA.

So, did I forget that date on purpose? Who knows? But that’s my story about my parents, and unless I think of something I missed, I’m stickin to it.