After my dad’s funeral, we spent a week working on financial matters and loose ends. After that, we dropped the kids off with their Yiaya in order to start the epic and nightmarish task of cleaning out my father’s house.
My husband took the basement and garage and I took the upstairs. In the garage, my dad had strung a board from the wall at ground level that groaned from the weight of all the crap he’d stored behind it. My husband found tools, pipes, brooms and every wooden handle to every shovel or rake my dad had ever owned. In addition to that, he found three lawnmowers and a nook with charcoal stored next to gas, next to brake fluid, next to matches, oil, cans of compressed gas, cleaning solvents, and old rags. “I can’t believe this place didn’t go up in flames,” he told me. I wished we were that lucky. read more
I’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
It seems so unreal. My father is dead. There’ll be no more Dad, ever. Ever.
On our first day back East, we went to the funeral home to make arrangements. The funeral was the next day but apparently you can wait until the last minute to go over the details. So we did. One of our tasks was to get Dad clothes to wear in the casket. After our meeting, we headed straight to his house to pick up a suit.
We had two keys. They were marked “Upper front door,” and “Lower front door” in masking tape. I watched the kids in the driveway. My husband tried “Upper front door.” Jiggled it. No luck. He tried “Lower front door.” Jiggled it. No luck. read more
Last night I made a decision. Well, I made a decision in the afternoon, but last night I reversed it. Yesterday a surgeon from my dad’s hospital called. He’d examined Dad and found that he had a heart condition that caused his heart to beat alternately very fast and very slow. He wanted to insert a pacemaker to keep my dad’s heartbeat regular. I asked if my dad was capable of giving consent. The doctor said no. Sounded simple enough, so I said sure. He scheduled surgery for the next day. read more
We snuck off to New York last month. We didn’t tell my father. We visited my birth family and best friend, but we did not visit my dad. I wasn’t trying to punish him. He did it to himself. I told him that my birth mother wanted to buy us plane tickets to visit and he said, “Don’t go taking money from her. You’re getting too involved. She wants to mother you. She has a mother complex.” read more