The Finger

imagebot (6)I picked up the phone. My husband was on a conference call and had already missed his call waiting twice. “This is Sherry from preschool. Your son hurt his finger and the nail has ripped off. He’s been a trooper so far but can you come?”

“We’ll be right there.” We were already in the driveway, on our way to pick the other car from the mechanic’s. We headed straight for preschool as I cursed the 15 minutes it takes to get there. We finally arrived, jumped out of the car and they took us to him. He held up his thumb and started to cry as I picked him up. A Band-Aid hung loosely around his thumbnail. His thumbnail hung loosely at the top of his finger and his hand was covered with blood. The preschool director explained to my husband that the kids were cleaning up and a little girl dropped a block on his finger. He’d asked them for the Band-Aid. She gave us a wet washcloth to wrap around his finger to absorb the blood. read more

In Dad We Trust

old_man-2After my dad’s funeral, we began the first monumental task: wrapping up his financial affairs. Dad’s money was his favorite thing. We thought he would’ve treated it better.

My Dad got his will from legalforms.com or whoever else peddles legal forms to unsuspecting octogenarians on the web. For a man who always claimed his browser was “broken,” he found a way to buy and print a will. Then, in all caps — he couldn’t work the shift key — he typed his name, my name, signed it and had it witnessed and notarized. If he’d stopped right there, it would have been easy to transfer his stuff to my name. But nothing is easy with my dad. He downloaded another form to establish a trust. The trust is another way to pass on money, and totally unnecessary. To use a trust, you must set your money up in trust accounts. Loosely translated, a trust is an account that requires your beneficiary to jump through more hoops than Shamu trying to get a fish. My father did all of this jockeying to avoid paying a lawyer to write his will and to eliminate the need for a lawyer when he died. read more

Anger has its price

Angry guyI’ve been nagging my husband about his temper since we had kids. Come to think of it, he really didn’t lose his temper until we had kids. Hmm. He yells at them, then I get on him for yelling, and he tells me that they gave him an excuse to yell. We’ve been doing this dance for some time now, and I could never convince him that his anger had a price. Until now.

We were leaving Target, and my two-and-a-half-year-old son had followed my daughter and me into the ladies’ room. When we came out, he headed to our special two-seater cart  and tried to climb onto it. Not wanting to take the cart to the car, my husband grabbed the bags out of it and said, “You grab him.” I did, he held fast to the cart and he started to cry. Wail. Scream. I held him across my body like a sash while he kicked and screamed, all the way to the parking garage. read more

Dad’s latest accident — fifth in a series: I shall not be charged

We continue the saga of Dad’s latest accident. Let’s tune in. 

old_man-2Friday was the third day I spent at Dad’s and it brought a huge snowstorm, well, huge for someone used to Seattle, but the 24-hour aide took a cab to Dad’s house in the morning, thank God. He asked what my dad needed and I told him about Dad’s state of health – couldn’t walk, coughing and in and out of reality — and that Dad was nocturnal.  The night before, Dad woke at 11 p.m. and wanted me to take him to another room. I said no, because I was exhausted, had to go to bed and couldn’t help him back and forth for two hours. I couldn’t lift him by myself, either. He’s skinny, but he’s solid. I told him to call me if he needed me. read more

Dad’s latest accident – Fourth in a series: There’s no place like home

old_man-2We continue with our story of Maria’s dad’s great escape from the rehab. Let’s take a look.

My phone rang as I was waiting for my flight to New York to take care of my dad. “This is Visiting Nurse Service. Our aide went to your dad’s house today and found him on the floor, so she called 911. The ambulance came and your father refused to go to the hospital. He’s allowed to refuse, so they left.” read more