L, here. It’s been a loooong 2+ years. Here’s a tiny–tip of the iceberg–of what’s been keeping us so busy.
Some of you might remember when Chad blasted us on here for not having his “values” that are based in some kind of straight/white/male/father-only version of a “Christian” religion. He’s been blocked, but the incident took the fun out of blogging for a while. And while we’re cleaning house, if you are a Trump supporter, you can get the fuck out right now. Bigots have no place in the Blue Lime world.
But more than all that, we got even busier than usual with family drama on my side, so we didn’t have time for blogging. Legally, we also had our hands tied to talk too much about what was going on.
I took a job at a great company–the very best place I’ve ever worked. Most of our projects for the house fell by the wayside. Turns out, we like to have fun on the weekends. Crazy, right? We also took on a couple of very rewarding personal projects when we did have down time.
The next series of events is proof that truth is stranger than fiction. I went from a pretty normal life to becoming a Guardian of my Grandmother to an Executrix of two estates…all in just 2 years.
My mom (A) was already both crazy and a victim. I did blog a tiny bit of that story. She was being gaslighted and emotionally berated by The Abuser (L), a man I had known my whole life as he was my dad’s best friend. She was also ignoring major health problems.
During that time, my grandmother (B) started to show signs of dimentia. They were small things at first, like repeating stories or her being really tired in the early evening. She spent all her time worrying about A, so we did what we could to mitigate that; I wrote A’s Will to give B a little peace of mind.
Two summers ago, B had a stroke and managed to call 911 for herself. A didn’t call to tell us. I found out on Twitter. (I told you it was drama!) We rushed home to find B in pretty bad shape. The hospital didn’t waste a minute asking me about discharging my grandmother, so E and I had one day to find her a rehab center / nursing home (not the memory care she was starting to need; that doesn’t exist in Paris). We picked from among the awful. The nurses/aids were all great. The PT staff were pretty good. The admins were nothing short of awful, and they had lied to us to make the sale. One of the first days B was at Brentwood, A physically assaulted me, and B called her an asshole. That’s when we hired a lawyer.
We needed to pay the bills, but A was listed as the primary Power of Attorney, so I sought Guardianship of B and became that in September/October. Despite being 5 minutes away, A didn’t visit B that whole six months, not even for Christmas. I hired a friend who has experience in elder care, and together, we moved B to Austin to a proper Memory Care facility near us in Austin.
Eventually, the silver lining of B’s dimentia surfaced: she could remember the good stuff, but not the bad. She sometimes thought her new “boyfriend” was my grandfather, but she lived only with happy memories. Eventually, she forgot all about A and stopped asking about her.
At one point during all of this, realizing that none of my family would even notice, I started the process to change my first name. It’s informal for now, but it’s on most things.
Last Cinco de Mayo, after a fitful evening, A passed away in her sleep. Honestly, it was a relief. There hadn’t been any real love between us in decades…since long before Daddy died. I had no idea how we were going to get her to relocate to Austin or move into a Memory Care facility, so she saved us a lot of aggravation.
Both sides of my family and some strangers went a little nuts when A died.
- Daddy’s sister (J) called the Realtor selling the houses (we were selling them both at the same time) and told her that we were being uncooperative, yet I hadn’t even heard from J.
- A’s cousins mostly wanted details and—in their true fashion—asked questions that were highly personal. One of them (U) even contacted L (they were HS classmates) and fussed at him about me not doing what U wanted for a funeral for A. Newsflash: we did what A said she wanted, which was next to nothing. I even had it in writing.
- A family aquaintence also called our Realtor and asked really personal questions.
- Even recently, through some facebook group for A’s HS class, Beverly F. (whoever the fuck that is) wanted my mom to have a headstone and started to try to take up a collection… until T reminded them that this was illegal. T is my dad’s cousin. He was also born in the same ward as my mom just hours before her. A knew T literally her entire life. T and I have always been pretty close, so he was watching out for me with his crazy classmates.
What. The. Hell???
[It’s not exactly related, but about a year later, E and I finally got the RV-and-Jeep we’d been planning for a couple of years. It’s been nice to get away but also stay “home” during all this virus stuff.]
We planned a short 4-day-weekend vacation. That Thursday, just as we were pulling into our camping spot, my phone rang. B had a stroke and was at the first-of-two hospitals. The days are kind of a blurry mess in my brain. We didn’t head back to Austin because with Covid, we couldn’t be with her, anyway. By Monday morning, I awoke to three missed calls, so I knew it was over. She passed away early that morning while resting comfortably. We should all be lucky in that way.
The eve of B’s burial, a thunderstorm blew through NE Texas. It also brought a series of rainbows: one wide and bright, but short. Another full arc with a half-arc double. Nature showed us peace.
B’s burial wishes were ultra simple: just a graveside service. We were able to keep the family monkeys out of it “due to the pandemic.” And given how people acted when A died, this was another silver lining. The whole thing from burial to done was only an hour including travel time and paperwork. I had them add two red roses to the casket spray. One was for B, and one was for me. They were my touch of Grandaddy. He grew the nicest roses. When we got back to the RV, I put my rose in a CocaCola tallboy can. The makeshift vase would have made depression-era B very proud.
Here’s a tiny proud moment and a funny nugget. On the day of B’s burial, we met with the attorney to lay out a plan for ending the Guardianship. E had a great question for her and asked how Covid has affected their work. I was a little proud that her work with us (being in Austin with a Guardianship based in Paris) laid some of the ground work for virtual proceedings in Lamar County in Covid times. We did some good for the people of that shit hole….from 5 hours away! She also said that all criminal cases are suspended, which makes sense. She then said that the firm is busy doing a lot of Wills/POAs/directives and other family business. They are even meeting clients in the parking lot, in separate cars, talking over the phone, and signing papers on the hoods of cars. They are calling it “drive-by executions”. It was a perfectly good LOL after a few really hard days.
And now, I have A’s estate to finish processing, need to start on B’s, and have to help the court dissolve the Guardianship. It’s a lot of work, but at least this time, it’s just one more time for each thing. (And then we can focus on our retirement and upcoming move.)
After the laywer meeting, we went back to the campground,
…and then I dropped my phone
and apparently on a sharp rock
and it shattered the screen
…for the first time in my life, I had spider-web cracks all over my screen. To me, this signals the end of a lot of stress and drama. Sometimes, completely shattering your phone’s screen isn’t the oh-shit moment you’d expect.
I see your 2020 “hand” with Covid-19.
I raise and call with Covid-19 plus Executrix x2.