1. I'm behind. Tragically behind. In every area. Work, Thirty-One, bills, mail, school papers. There is still a pile of Christmas cards on my desk. The flex care thing is left undone, laundry is a heaping mound, the dishes are unfinished and I have to get some shirts down for screen printing for the volleyball team. That shouldn't surprise too many folks. Things like death of a loved one tend to throw your well oiled machine into stall mode. I need to sort through the pile on my desk. I need to sort through the heaping pile that fell off of the pile that was on my desk, and is now on the floor next to my desk. At some point, some person tried to be helpful, brought the mail in and put that pile in the chair. Then someone wanted to plant their ass in the chair, so they moved the pile to the floor. I have piles of crap, papers and stuff everywhere. I can hardly turn around in my office without getting a paper cut or sliding across slick sheets and advertisements. Incidentally, does anyone know how to unsubscribe to junk mail? Middle was super helpful in the office this weekend, but I've still got a long way to go.
2. Among the papers, obviously, is a stack dedicated to Pop. Holy Cow. There's a lot of paperwork associated with hospitals, hospice, dying, accounts, social security, funerals, memorials and the like. Yowza. Listen everyone, I've learned something really, really, really important. Go out and get yourself a pre-paid funeral plan. Morbid? Maybe. But I'm telling you . . . the last thing you want to leave your family with after the have watched you slip away is a six-figure bill for "associated costs." Go make your wishes clear and get it paid for up front. Your family has important work to do when you are gone. They are grieving and missing you. This is one of THE smartest things we did. When Pop when into nursing home care 12 years ago, we had to spend every last dime that was a traceable asset. He opted for a pre-paid plan, so we went in, made a memorial flyer, chose an urn, provided military paperwork and birth certificates and got all the necessary documentation done. And right now, boy am I glad. Boy. Am. I. Glad. On a side note, did you know that state law requires every living descendant to sign and notarize a consent to cremate. Interesting. I'm floored, again, by paperwork.
3. Platitudes. Thank you. Some amazing folks have sent well wishes and the nicest emails and texts. Thank you. Thank you so much. Incidentally, some of my most sincere wishes have come from blog followers who know me only through printed word. Thank you all for your very kind words. I haven't had time to respond to everyone. I probably won't be able to respond to everyone. Still, I'm very thankful. On the flip side, some very interesting texts have come across my phone, into my Facebook account and into my inbox. Shockers. Who sends a note that says, "Sorry, but, well, he IS 92." Guess what, guys? You're right. But, whether he was 56 or 80 or 98, he's my DAD! Some equally interesting messages from lots of folks who totally checked out of my life. It could have been 20 years ago or recently, but death makes everyone your best friend again. It brings to mind this gem that is hanging on my fridge:
4. Tae Kwon Do. During the hospitalization, illness and surrounding events, Little started Tae Kwon Do. The little guy is tearing it up. He's earned three stripes already on his white belt and is super excited about going to class. I love the "yes, ma'am" attitude. I also love the core of what they are teaching . . . more to come on that, with a brand new tag, I'm sure.
|White belt, yellow stripe.|
5. Friggin' flex care. That's all I have to say about that. Friggin' flex care. I'm still untangling a mess.
6. Stories . . . I have stories. I'll either blog them or publish my journal. Lots of stories.
7. Kids . . . . kids fall into stories I'll tell in the coming months. Suffice it to say that everyone deals with STUFF in their own way. Middle started out super emotional. Mimi, surprisingly, is very emotional, but it's also short lived. Big has a very firm grasp on the permanency of death. She did very well through the hospitalization process. She's struggling now. And I'm aching for her. Little, of course, part boy and part too-young does things like race through the kitchen shooting his nerf gun and simultaneously yelling, "mom are you said that your dad died? Bam-bam-bam-bam!!" Speaking of kids, Middle needs a tuck in, Big needs help studying for a social studies test tomorrow . . . and Castle is new at 9, so these paper piles will have to wait for 12 more hours . . . .
My therapeutic parting comment is from my Aunt Alyce. She is my dad's sister-in-law and she buried her husband, my dad's brother after a long illness that ended last summer. She said, in one of the hardest days, "Life is for the living." So, no matter how sad and empty and alone it sometimes feels, life is for the living . . . .