20 October 2010

Yes, it really is me again

I attended the funeral service for David, son of my friend Patty. It was an uplifting, beautiful service that was attended by hundreds. He would have been amazed at the number of people who cared for him and for his family. He suffered from the diagnosed mental illness of depression. His suffering is over. I pray that this is the last death I hear about for a long time.

I went to visit my parents' afterward before going over to Patty's house. While there, my father got a phone call and after hearing him say he was sitting at the table and didn't see a bill anywhere, I asked him to give me the phone. It was their insurance agent, and I found that the policy for their auto and home hadn't been paid and had been canceled. My sister has been paying bills, but my father has 'lost' some of them without her knowledge. Two weeks ago my mother's charge card was denied. It turned out the bill hadn't been paid. We have to come up with a better system. My father's dementia, while still in the early stages, is becoming more evident. In some ways he's still very sharp. In others, not. It's very interesting to see. He spends much of his time reading now, sitting at the kitchen table. He has a big stack of books. For the longest time he had stopped reading. This is a very good hobby to have and I'm glad he has it back. He reads and watches DVDs and TV in the kitchen, and he naps. He sits on the back patio. He seems happier. I wonder how you can read so much while forgetting so many other things?

By the time I straightened up the insurance mess at the office, I thought it was too late to go to Patty's house. I found out later that people stayed a very long time and now I regret that I didn't go.

I went to Caribou Coffee instead, with my laptop. I wound up spending about 2 hours writing a e-mail to my ex about my daughter and college. After writing, writing, writing and editing, editing, editing, I thought that I probably shouldn't send it. I wasn't happy with that idea since I had just spent so much time writing. I didn't think I could articulate my feelings as well face-to-face with him as I could in a 'letter'. Then again, many has been the time that I've written to him and gotten what I've considered a lecture back in return. I didn't want that. So I texted him, telling him that I wrote a tome that I hadn't yet sent, about college. I told him that AOL wasn't letting me send it (true), but if he wanted to talk after reading it that I'd like to do it in person. He texted back suggesting we meet in the morning. I got home with every intention of sending the e-mail, but in an instant decided it was a bad idea. It's so easy to misconstrue a e-mail, however well-intentioned. I texted him to say I wouldn't be sending it; that talking is much better. We're meeting in the morning. I'm SO glad I didn't push 'send'. I would have gotten a lecture. I'm going to print it out, just so I can look at it for reference. It's good to have a cheat-cheat for back-up.

I'll end this randomly. I live across the street from an Army base. It took years for me to realize we could hear the bugle calls: reveille, retreat and taps, each and every day. I'm not sure of the time of the first two, but the last is at 9:00 PM. I like that I can hear it.


Jules said...

Well look who rises to the top of my blog roll twice in one day!

I loved, loved, loved the last paragraph. This little known fact about you seems so significant!! I think it must be delightful to hear that bugle to end your day.

Your blog rocks C!

KathyA said...

I think hearing taps every night would be very comforting. Reveille in the a.m., not so much! :)

That's a shame about your parents and the bills. I hope there aren't any more surprises like that!

Good luck with your talk tomorrow. I'll be thinking of you.

Jamie said...

So much to learn about you, and we all think we know you so well. You have had your share of sadness recently, so here is to way better times ahead, darlin. Way, WAY better. Big hugs. :)

Golden To Silver Val said...

Maybe setting your parents' bills up online would be a good answer. Your dad won't be able to misplace them and its much easier (I think anyway) to pay bills online. Or...some companies will send a duplicate bill out to another person just for circumstances like this. (I know heat and electricity do for sure) When my daughter first suffered her head injury, I had to do this with her.

Lena said...

I was holding my breath hoping you didn't send the e-mail. Sometimes it is better to talk in person. I have had some situations where e-mails were not effective.

Sorry about your dad and the bills. I have helped a friend search a relative's house for bills that were hidden away and not paid due to dementia.

I hope your talk goes well in the AM.

Mary said...

Oh, no!! The dreaded college talk. I know you will be able to manage the whole thing with diplomacy and grace. Everything will work out just fine. (If he gives you guff just kick him in the shin.)

I'm sorry to hear that your father's dementia is progressing and that he misplaced important bills. It's so sad when our parents become unable to function as themselves.

You have some tough issues this weekend. I'll be thinking good thoughts for you.

Lena said...

Thinking of you this morning. Hope your talk went well.

KathyA said...

Hi Cheryl! What's up -- isn't this your post from this week?

Michael Blankenheim said...

It takes courage to look at death and illness and write about it without flinching. It requires sensitivity and good taste to treat those involved with respect. Pulling both off, as is done here, is a delicate balancing act.

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