Yesterday a large envelope was delivered to me. I didn’t recognize the name on the return address and it was completely unexpected. My anxious mind immediately thought I might be in legal trouble, because, that’s how I roll. Nope, it was official correspondence from my fathers lawyer and included the last will and testament of a man who claimed he loved me. There in black and white, dated in 1992, was the truth that I have always known. He disinherited me, he did not claim me as his own. When I called the lawyer to find out why I received the information he stated that there was an account that had not been included in the family trust and the proceeds would bypass me and go to my children. This is confusing to me as my father also did not want anything to pass onto my youngest son, yet he is named in the will. The lawyer told me I was welcome to contest the will, as if that would ever have crossed my mind, if I wanted to. Nope it is easier to know I didn’t exist for him. The truth hurts. The alternative is craziness embodied.
I broke a tooth on Saturday. Front and center. During chemotherapy two of my back teeth shattered, one upper, one lower, both on different sides of my mouth. Other teeth are decaying and need attention. During treatment my oncologist told me I could go to the dentist but would need IV antibiotics, but at the time, I was uncertain if I was going to live through the treatment and figured I would leave the money for my kids rather than fix my teeth. I only eat soft food now for fear of another tooth breaking. So, this morning I went to the dentist to fix the tooth that broke on a banana, that stares at me in the bathroom mirror. I left with a dental plan of care. One tooth to be pulled, one root canal, one implant, six crowns, multiple fillings. So, if I’m going to live, I guess I need to get my teeth fixed. I told the dentist I just didn’t want to look like I had chiclets for teeth if there’s a choice. Major remodel begins Thursday with a four hour appointment.
Ten to seven this morning, the phone rings. “This is your evil step-father calling. Sorry I didn’t call sooner. I don’t have any way to get your mom to her appointment this morning, you’ll have to come get her. Your brother can’t.” Well, don’t ya just know, I am sitting around waiting to be beckoned. I drive to Vancouver, pick her up, drive to Lloyd Center for her appointment at 11:00 all the while listening to her go on and on and on and on about how she never gets thank you cards, no one ever called her, how rude my son is and what did she ever do to him? It is really similar to a dripping faucet and when I finally responded, she interrupted me. I told her to stop talking and listen. She burst into tears. Is this really what I quit my job for? Is this what my golden years are going to be? She has no capacity to think of others, to empathize, to see or think of others. I understand why people pull away from her. And yes, not that different than pre stroke.
Drip, drip, drip
The wonder of words. Seeing my felt experience over the last twenty four hours in black in white, on the page in front of me helps explain why I am tired, why I feel tearful, why it is hard for me to take care of myself.
Yet, there it is: I am the only one who can make this different.
Only I can take the time, make the time, to put the pieces back together again and to learn from the chaos.