On Weds morning, I received a call from my mom’s best friend, Annie. She was fit-to-be-tied (by the sound of her voice) and still only meeting me once a few days prior, she was unsure what type of person I really am.
“If I told you that your two sisters were reprehensible, how would you respond?” She asked
“I would tell you , that you hit the nail on the head Annie, what is going on?”
She proceeded to tell me that sister had left word that anything not of value left in the house was to be thrown away and this included all of my Dad’s war stuff, photos of the family, and anything else “they” found that wasn’t going to fetch high prices!
I was horrified and Annie agreed that was the right emotion. She said that she started pulling the photo albums, and anything else she could out of the dumpster and putting it in her car! She asked if we could come up and get the items because shipping them would be more expensive that ever. She also said Mother was so miserable and she was rapidly losing weight and she was powerless to get her to a better place.
I told her I would see what I could put together.
As often happens in my life, God smiles on me and provided the means and the monies to make this 900 mile journey was made possible. People were lined up to care for the cats, horse, roosters and we were on our way. The bad part about the trip is we had to take Mike’s truck a 2009 Expedition that guzzles more gas than my car does.
Our first stop when we arrived was to visit Mother and see how she was doing. It didn’t look good- she looked so defeated and lost. I talked with her a good while then she called Annie, and Mike and I left to go to the house. We arrived at our destation early Thursday morning and the estate sale was planned for Fri and Sat of that weekend.
It hurt my heart so to see that house completely stripped bare! All of Mother and Daddy’s lives packed up in boxes, fine furniture slapped with prices that were so cheap I gasped. Dad’s tool shop had been laid bare, his tools and equipment already given away and it was just so sad.
Annie arrived and even before we started unloading her car, I could see that if we put everything in the truck she had- there wouldn’t be any room for B-Dog or for us!
Off we went to rent a trailor. Back to the old home and before we loaded the trailer, Annie handed me her phone and told me Mother wanted to talk to me. She told me to go through all the possessions and what I wanted just to take home with me. So, I ended up with not only the life of the Love family in photos, my Dad’s naval career and journies but their big couch, my dad’s recliner, a cedar chest and a computer chair. a model ship of the USS Constitution my Dad had been building from scratch but had to stop when he couldn’t see any longer. (Mike is going to finish it in honor of Daddy)
Then I went into the garage where Mother’s friends were pricing items and the memories just flooded me as I saw their “life” on the workbenches. I took Mother’s cookie sheets that she never washed and they make the best cookies in the world because of that! She would just wipe them off and stick them back in cupboard. I have her roaster that I remember as a kid coming home from school and seeing her pull out the dinner. The meat just simmering inside this roaster. Her original mixer that still works, and all of her wind chimes. Good thing we rented the trailer!
Went back to Mother’s “cell”, spent some lovely time with my Mom and gave her a stern lecture before I left. I told her is she stays where they put her, she will die. I told her that she isn’t dying- she is NOT senile as my older sister keeps insisting she is- and she has a lot of living, and BINGO games to get through yet! I told her that Annie had my permission to find her a better place to live, then I asked her “Mother, where do you want to live?”
Surprisingly, she didn’t say the house. I think the memories would do her in eventually. She told me that she wanted to go to Independent Living by the hospital, have a second floor terraced apartment and live there with dignity! She told me that this morning, she had asked for a towel so she could take a shower. A common request – but you know what they told her? “Mrs. Love, you just had a shower TWO DAYS AGO, you don’t need another one right now!”
I was HISSED! I know the shower is across the hall- but really- telling her she doesn’t need a shower.
Annie had arrived by then with Calico and as I loaded the kitty into the car, I gave Annie a fierce hug and said “Get her the Hell out of here!”
Then, because of the time frame of the rental, we headed for home. I stopped at the house for a final goodbye and I was holding it together pretty well until the neighbors came over one-by-one. They started sharing with Mike (I was out of sight leaning against the rental trailer) about first their outrage and what happened to Mother losing this house and her husband and her life- and then they started sharing stories about how much they love Mr. Love, how nice he is, what they remember. I broke apart when they shared their stories about him. They heard me blubbering and came around the truck and gave me big hugs and told me how sorry they were. One woman leaned over and whispered in my ear “Thank ya Darlin for NOT being like your other sisters!”
Then we left. Calico rode pretty well- Brandi stayed up front, and I put Calico in the back. It is a 14 hour drive straight through and about 3 hours from our home, Calico decided she was so tired of being in this cat carrier and the LET ME OUT NOW Meow started!
We stopped at the next rest area and I carried her carrier to my seat and that’s how we finished the ride home.
I have her in my Introduction Cage and she is eating! YAY! But she hisses and spits and growls because she misses Daddy and she is so unsettled. BUT she allows me to pet her without striking out- so I am hopeful.
The better news is mother is MOVING! She and Annie went to that Independent Living Facility and got a place for Mother. It is so big my mother said, she doesn’t have to sleep in a twin bed now! She doesn’t get anything confiscated from her, can come and go as she pleases and no one just opens her door and enters without knocking! She told me all of this just last night. She was so excited, and I admit to screaming in joy at the news with her. She can move in August 1st AND she can have Calico back!
The rent there is cheaper than what she is paying now and one of her best friends lives right across the hall from her!
So, that is the latest, and I guess the morale of the story is it doesn’t matter how much money you have, or how much money you want in your life which is my sisters focus. If you let your compassion go, your moral compass becomes shattered and you put your selfish needs above anything else- Karma will get you.
Mike and I struggle just to get by every day and it is a story told seven-times seven all over this nation. Even though we couldn’t afford to go on this trip- God provided the way and friends stepped up to say they will help with kittens, cats, roosters and a horse (I am pet sitting some farm animals right now) and we left here Weds night at 10:30 arrived to our destination at 11:00 a.m. the following day and were home Friday morning 4:00 a.m. and I WONDER why I am so tired?
My final thought- Be kind to each other and thanks for listening-