After family found my blog I instituted a ‘Real Life’ rule… Revealing some things are fine, but not everything. I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings… with my feelings. Odd how that works.
Now, having managed a pretty good success rate, here’s the exception that proves the rule…
Mike’s mom is dying. I believe I mentioned that her lung cancer came back. Over a week ago, maybe two, the doctor gave her two days to two weeks to live. She’s on hospice care and is faring exactly how you would expect someone about to die to be: “fine, considering“. She’s aware of her imminent demise and seems to be accepting of it mentally and emotionally.
The people acting crazed are her daughters, except D in Texas. It’s the other four who have been providing enough blog fodder for ten sites over the past few months. You don’t know how many times I’ve wanted to write a post in frustration or humor or downright anger. From the diagnosis and ensuing race to mom’s side up until yesterday, those women have carried on like they’re ten year olds experiencing the joy of menses for the first time: in short, moderately psychotic. To be fair, their 85 year old mother is about to die. That’s not an easy thing to accept.
Immediately after the diagnosis there was a hastily arranged family dinner, attended by everyone – and their brother. Just a meal in a restaurant with their mom, everyone’s emotions were running so high it was cancelled roughly 27 times, each time because one of the sisters had made some offhand comment that was taken wrong. I don’t know how it all came together in the end, but I’m glad it did for mom’s sake.
It’s worth noting that even O.D. went to the Great White North for the dinner, during which time she spilled her guts to her aunts about me. Apparently I’m a bitch.
It happens. Back to the subject.
This brings us to money. Mom has already paid for her service, which will be an hour of viewing while she lays in an open box among flowers like a turkey on a Thanksgiving table. Then into the oven. Again, like a turkey… Sorry, but I hate funerals, more than I can possibly relate in a blog post. I likewise find turkey repellent.
Mom has also left [this is what I hear] 2,000. to each of her children. Well, one of the sisters has already asked Mom for a 500. ‘loan’ against her inheritance. Sweet, huh? Who needs money that badly??
Then there is the ash jewelry. For a certain amount [don't worry about price; it will be taken out of your 2,000] you can wear Mom around your neck! For those of us who are totally skeeved out about mama earrings, there is derision. Don’t you want her with you? Uh… no! Cue another kerfuffle. And then a mini one because when we were asked about buying casket sprays I replied that I’d be glad to do so, but was then told don’t bother, that it would “come out of your money”. A little confusing, but….
I’m doing what my mama taught me and keeping my mouth shut. Well, except for this post.
But I absolutely hated hearing that one of the sisters was speaking loudly on the phone in Mom’s room to a restaurant while planning a ‘funeral luncheon’. She heard everything.
Does mom have no dignity simply because she is dying? Is there no respect?
And this… This just floored me. A couple of the sisters took mom to the funeral home and showed her the box that she’s to be laid out in… you know… before the oven. Gobsmacked is a really good word to describe how I felt upon hearing that.
One asked “Do you want to go to the funeral home and see the casket?” And sick, frail mom had answered “Alright”.
She reported later that they had comfortable sofas.
Of course, in my rage I maintained to Mike that a southern woman would never do such a thing… but nowadays, I don’t know what anyone would or would not do.
It feels like they’re:
A: Trying to hurry the process.
B: Work through their own emotional crap at her expense.
If I were mom I’d want to get the hell on my way already; those girls must be driving her nuts.
Holy Mother of God, pray for us.