Print Story My Family Is About To Drive Me Insane...
By atreides (Thu Nov 12, 2009 at 11:07:41 AM EST) (all tags)
Subtitled For the want of an irony mark...

Does this stuff happen to everyone? Please tell me this is not Family Dynamics 101. Let it at least be 302 or a graduate seminar.

And believe me, you want to pay close attention to the relationships and the players involved because they might get confusing for reasons that will become apparent.

So, yesterday, I drove up to Ft. Worth to help take care of my father. Luck was on my side because his uncle had made some arrangements and needed to talk to the funeral home and I just happened to stop at a convenience store on that very road to call and get water and use the potty and all that. He met me there and we went to the funeral home. Unfortunately, none of us has cash sitting around to pay for a funeral. I'm currently unemployed and have a 7-month old with medical bills for checkups, vaccinations and, you know, birth so I sure don't have any money to spend (good thing I had insurance, right? [my kingdom for an irony mark right now...]). We made arrangements for the county to cover the cost of the burial. It would be no frills with no viewings or service or whatever, but he would be buried in a plot which would be known to us and, given a little time, we could have a proper headstone or marker laid and that would have taken care of everything with a minimum of cost, muss and/or fuss. Signed what needed to be signed, read what needed to be read and Robert was our mother's brother.

While we had some time waiting at the funeral home, I got the uncle to explain a little about how everyone is related because I have no clue who anyone is. Turns out that he is the husband of the sister of my father's birth mother. My father's birth mother died a few years after he was born so my father and his brother (my uncle) were sent to live in Austin with relatives (my grandparents) and their last names were changed to make life easier on everyone involved. So I have an entire big ass family that I really didn't know I had including uncles, aunts and cousins spread all over the Gulf Coast and California (Joy! More people to annoy the shit out of me! [God, I need that irony mark}). So my great aunt and uncle took me into their home, showed me some pictures, and generally entertained me for a while, even making dinner. My uncle and aunts (one my father's sister, the other my uncle's wife [we didn't talk too much and she doesn't really come up again so I will set her aside for the moment]) made it up from San Antonio around dinner time.

It had been over 20 years since I had seen my uncle. He was a lot shorter than I remember him being. My aunt was inconsolable. She had wanted to come up several times over the last week but didn't for whatever reasons and now she felt bad because my father was gone. She questioned the arrangements and we explained them to her. She wasn't happy because she wanted to see the body but the hospital wouldn't let her (it was in no shape for that), the funeral home couldn't let her (since they didn't have it) and nothing could be done without my say so anyway being his closest living relative and all. We ate, we talked and after a while, I got back on the road to see my own wife and daughter. when I got home I called my mother and let her know what happened. This is about the time I figure out that she has always known who all these people are and just never told me about any of them.

So, 5AM this morning rolls around and I get a call from my mother. She has my aunt on the house line and me on her cell because my aunt wants to ask me some questions. I don't ask why my aunt couldn't call me herself or why this couldn't wait until the sun had come up. My aunt wanted some information that she didn't ask me yesterday so we played a game of Telephone on the telephones. At 9AM, I got a call from the funeral home. My aunt called to inform them that someone else would be picking up the body for services and whatnot and wanted to know if that was my wish or not since it's my decision. I told them I would get back to them called her. She has decided that she wants a service and that "her brother and my father deserve better than just being dumped in a hole". I reminded her that "that is neither her brother nor my father, merely the shell he used to inhabit" and that this energy might be better suited to acquiring him a headstone and/or arranging a wake or memorial for later. Besides, who's going to pay for all this? She says she will. "How?" I asked. She had no details but she said it will get paid for. Alright. If that's what she wants to do, more power to her. I'll OK anything she wants to do, but the cost is her problem.

I can't help but wonder where all this planning and energy was early yesterday or even last week when there was only a 50/50 chance of him surviving. And now that the decision has fallen to me, the person who least wanted it, and has been made, people want to come in and change it. The needs of the living outweigh the needs of the dead. And that works both ways. Alright. So here is my decision because it still is my decision: if she can gets the body picked up and taken care of today, fine. We'll be scrambling to get to a service but we'll do that if required. But if it is not taken care of by tomorrow morning 8AM, then the original plan will go back into action and that will be that. And if people are mad at me? Let them be. I can handle people I see or speak to less than once a decade being angry at me. I came in and did what needed to be done when nobody else did.If they don't like the results, they should have stepped up to the mic earlier.

And, for now, that is all I have to say about that.

< LHuSi Festive Beers | Energy, or lack thereof. >
My Family Is About To Drive Me Insane... | 9 comments (9 topical, 0 hidden)
Oh, man by johnny (2.00 / 0) #1 Thu Nov 12, 2009 at 11:50:12 AM EST
I wish you all strength and solace.

This is, you are right, a senior seminar. This is not 101.

She has effectively checked out. She's an un-person of her own making. So it falls to me.--ad hoc (in the hole)

Was your dad ever in the military? by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #2 Thu Nov 12, 2009 at 12:20:52 PM EST
If so he probably can be buried for free in a veteran's cemetery.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

You Make Sense, And Are Good. by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #3 Thu Nov 12, 2009 at 02:47:30 PM EST
Indeed, let the lampreys bite at your chaps all they like. It'll haunt you all the way to the funny pages.

Peace and strength.

I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da.
Nutters by littlestar (2.00 / 0) #4 Thu Nov 12, 2009 at 02:47:38 PM EST
You're in some sort of family graduate coursework for sure now. It sounds like you are doing a fine job of juggling it all; hopefully there are no more entanglements that crop up for you to sort out. Good luck.


ah yes, death 101 by StackyMcRacky (2.00 / 0) #5 Thu Nov 12, 2009 at 06:32:55 PM EST
my grandfather had very explicit arrangements all set up and paid for.  when he died, my aunts (his daughters) argued for DAYS over how to handle the arrangements.  in the end, they decided to do what he had set up and paid for.  totally messed up.  people get like that when death is concerned.

seriously advanced nuts by clock (2.00 / 0) #6 Thu Nov 12, 2009 at 06:34:06 PM EST
i'm sorry, my friend.  this is over the top.  keep your wits about you and your chin up.

you have our best.

I agree with clock entirely --Kellnerin

God Bless You by yankeehack (2.00 / 0) #7 Thu Nov 12, 2009 at 08:28:14 PM EST
and you are entirely correct to "let her have her chance" at the arrangements, but if she can't come up with $, to revert to the original plan.

In a week, this will be over and you will have done your duty.
"...she dares to indulge in the secret sport. You can't be a MILF with the F, at least in part because the M is predicated upon it."-CBB

(Comment Deleted) by yicky yacky (2.00 / 0) #8 Fri Nov 13, 2009 at 03:40:18 AM EST

This comment has been deleted by yicky yacky

What johnny said by iGrrrl (2.00 / 0) #9 Fri Nov 13, 2009 at 06:41:35 AM EST
And grace to you.
"I honestly pity the stupid motherfucker who tries to talk down to iGrrrl" - mrgoat
My Family Is About To Drive Me Insane... | 9 comments (9 topical, 0 hidden)