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“The Hits Keep Comin’”

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4266
Joined: Jun 2009

Dad continues to be the gift that keeps on givin’ – the whole year ‘round…

Last night at dad’s house, as I was living yet another day of his life, I decided to stop by the cemetery, just to say, “Thanks” for everything.

Even with an estate sale, an estate liquidator and a salvage guy, I still can’t get everything out of that dam house! After six-months of hauling and stacking and driving stuff everywhere…the song remains the same.

Or as the Eagle sang in Hotel California…”I stab it with my steely knives – but I just can’t kill the beast.”

So, I’m just way over the fed up part of all of this…no matter how hard I work, no matter how hard I try, no matter how much money I throw at the problem…I can’t get it to ground zero.

I figured I’d make a rare appearance to the bone yard just to tell him all about it….

But, when I got there, nobody was there…

I couldn’t find the grave….couldn’t find the marker…I walked up and down and all around…there was just no memory that he was ever there…sort of creepy really…especially since I knew that I was probably walking over him trying to find where he was buried.

Darkness came and went and so I abandoned the search and went on to fight more fires that needed to be put out…

This morning, I called the funeral guy…he put me in touch with the cemetery person. She was sort of cold sounding when I talked to her…and The Lion is so raw right now, I’d eat a plate of $hit and ask for seconds…I was in no mood to play.

So, I gave back to her what she gave to me.

I asked why I couldn’t even have “Two Sticks Tied Together” to mark the spot….the grave that my dad had paid for…and the 17K they clipped me for, which was the basic funeral.

They had placed a temporary marker (nobody told me anything, what’s new there) but it was only good for 30-days…my first thought was that Adopted Daughter had come out and taken the stone as a “souvenir.”

But, no…..

After 30-days, they remove the marker…and with that, that person disappears without a trace.

This doesn’t seem right to me.

The ol’ gal, sensing I was miffed, offered to send me a brochure outlining all of the prices…I said let’s cut to the chase…”what’s the least expensive option available?”

Pretty close to 2k….for the basic:(

Even though I’m pretty pi$$ed off right now, there is still that part of me that I hate…that part of me that continues to want to do the right thing…even when it’s the wrong thing for me.

These folks are proprietary, so I can’t bring in an outside vendor….it’s them/all them…why dad never thought to take care of this dates back to his senility on how he handled everything…”I just want to make it easy on everybody he said.”

Good grief!

Really, Pop!

I thought you said, “I’d have to work for it.”

The funeral broke me open and emptied his IRA…thereby creating a tax problem for me that will now require a CPA to figure it all out. The lawyers have bled me dry taking care of POAs….initiating injunctions against Adopted Daughter…and the process of probating an estate…and of course, we’re not done yet.

I don’t need a prostrate exam…because everyone has been shoving it up my backside all year long…I’m just great for the economy…everybody is getting rich but us…I’ve greased every palm North, South, East and West of the Mississippi…

It’s sad that is all that I am…just the mop up boy…somebody to use to get what they want…and then throw me to the street curb, like a bag of trash.

We’ve been systematically eliminating him, so that there is no record that he even existed…a pain this deep, must be buried deep.

And still, I got that funny pang…that twitch in my conscience, that he was physically erased from existence in an unmarked grave that cost over $20K all included..

And not even a cheap metal marker to show you were born and died.

I continue to be disillusioned by all of this…

I don’t know what I will do…perhaps, Time will provide me the answer…I’m so raw right now, it’s hard to think straight…

It’s just left me with a weird feeling after hanging up with that lady…I’m trying to move on, but can’t get out of this quicksand.

We went to unhook the dryer to give it to the salvage guy…turned the gas valve off, but gas was spewing everywhere…called the gas company to shut of at the street for this Friday…but they reported it as an Emergency…and cut the gas off.

On the coldest night of the year…temps reached 21 degrees…I drove back over and opened up with the water spouts to keep water flowing through the pipes…and hoped for the best.

The next morning, I came back in and noticed that the floor has started to buckle and raise up…when they yanked the washer, the water in the lines must have gotten under the floor…combined with the record low temps of the year….

And whammo…the perfect storm….just my luck, of course…

So, now I gotta’ pay to have the gas valve or whatever repaired…and now will have to replace part or all of the floor affected.

I went out to the garage to see if there was any flooring left…sure enough, the salvage guy had it setup in his pile to take….so I promptly removed that and set it back inside the house…I need it now for the repairs.

I’ll have to call someone…

Mo money:)….that I (ain’t) got of course….I’ll have to charge it off to the house and try and get it later.

HO HO HO!

It’s no wonder that Santa Craig didn’t back the sleigh out of the driveway this year.

I’m tired of everything….tired of all the responsibility…tired of working for nothing…while that dam ex sits on her fat ass down there waiting to get the same ½ that I do.

Maybe, no marker is good after all….I’ve been wanting to erase him from existence…people will never be able to find him at the cemetery now, me included…and I’m erasing him from everything there ever was…piece by piece.

I’ve thrown out letters he wrote to me (long story) and family photos with me in them etc. etc….I don’t even want to exist…not in that past world anyway…I want no memories of that former life.

Still, it’s chilling that there is no marker there for all the money that was spent – there’s a huge conflict there on how I should feel, versus the feelings that are tugging on me right now…and I so wish I could make you really understand what I’m feeling…

As Don Corleone said in the Godfather, “What have I ever done to be treated with so much disrespect?”

People have just been taking advantage of me all down the line – all year long…

It's like this great big ugly Food Chain...

I’ve struck back and will continue to swing…I’ve settled some old scores and settling a couple more before its all said and done.

After all, The Lion Roars…

Marie, do you still love kitties? At least, Big Cats like The Lion?

This is just not the way it is supposed to be…Norman Rockwell lied to me with his whimsical paintings of what family life should be.

Good thing I can’t draw…but I can write.

Just for my fun time...I chased last night for an alarm battery to stop that blasted chirping sound...and went out at lunch and found one of my tires flat today...

Let me know when I'm having fun...

KathiM quipped the other day, "Yes, Virginia...there IS life after cancer..."

The problem is...it may not be the one that you necessarily deserve - or want - or get...

No argument from me with that one...

Lovekitties's picture
Lovekitties
Posts: 2893
Joined: Jan 2010

Yep, still love kitties and you!

My vote on the headstone is...if dear old dad had wanted one he would have made the arrangement like he did for the funeral...so let his final resting place go unmarked. If anyone thinks he should have one, tell them to feel free to pay for it and put it up.

Life does get complicated and the daily " aw SH*Ts " do pile up...believe me I know.

Just hang in there Lion...just remeber...at least you are still on the right side of the grass.

Hugs and love,

Marie who loves kitties

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4266
Joined: Jun 2009

He only arranged the burial plot itself...that's it.

Dad wanted to have his body prepared at a rival funeral home...have the service at his church...and then be buried in the other rival's funeral home.

But, that's dad...one f'd up mofo...

Just like he signed up his friend as a "co-executor" with me being the other one...had him to sell the house...nothing to do but call the realtor...the work was in the clean out and his buddy said...that's yours.

He didn't think I could handle anything...even left a written note that the co would know how many death certificates to order?

Know what's funny about that - the guy never even knew he was a co-executor until I told him...and luckily he declined to serve, eliminating one additional headache for me.

Can't handle things - look what I've done!!

Dad was such a giver.

He used to open up all of these bank accounts...a few dollars in this bank...a few in that bank...at one time he had over six banks or so...we just lost count.

He was a convoluted person...never did anything easy...and lived up to his legacy...it's just a shame that he's still taking a dump on me.

But, he arranged nothing but the plot. I changed the plans on the funeral home...too much money hiring police officers to do the traffic...and the transportation of the box from the first funeral home to the church...from the church to the gravesite at the other cemetery.

And I made dam sure that the funeral was held in "neutral territory." After the way, his church all treated us...I'd burn in hell before I took him there.

I went to a one-stop shop...body prep...visitation room...chapel service...hearse for about 15-yards...and then last stop, graveside. And it still was a buster.

Here's how stupid I am, Marie...you of all people, can appreciate this story.

So, we packed out 30 cases of books...boxes the size of a supersized Coleman cooler...18 of those cases were religious books...I found about 33 bibles of all kinds...

Know what I did?

I contacted the same said church that had hurt us and offered to donate those books to the church "In Dad's Name." They have a little church library there.

I even asked the pastor if they could make special mention of this in their Sunday worship service...say something like TJ was still giving to the church...even in death.

Of course, they all nodded...we all miss your dad:)

Yes...

Why, Marie, why????

Why am I so compelled to do these kinds of things? Why must I always take the High Road? Why can't I just get down and gutteral like I used to be?

It wasn't for me...part of me was still trying to take care of dad's name...even with the way he was to me. Why?

I guess because they thought he was so wonderful - and I could not bring it upon myself to disparage him in front of them...some truths for some people are best left untold.

I just played him up and left his memory intact...they were grateful for the donation...and the senior pastor was sifting through the cases and had picked out several.

I guess I was just trying to do good works for the Lord...knowing that I'll never build a stairway to heaven with any deeds that I do...but yet, I'm compelled to do the right thing...and the simple answer is...just so I can live with most of it...

That's what it really comes down to, Marie.

I'm still ambivalent in my feelings towards all of this...I hate to think of a life that goes unnoticed...empty amongst a field of lives that once were.

I told him I would...don't know if I would do the inscription he wanted though..."He Died Climbing."

Climbing to what, Pop? New heights or New Depths?

In Time, I will come to know what to do...I don't know what time that will be...with the fresh wounds that haven't had the chance to scab over...watching and waiting is a good strategy...

That's alot of money...and there already is nothing much left...we're gonna' take a big bath on the house too...totally run down...over 30-40K in value lost due to neglect and sheer apathy.

And then the Wicked Stepmom flys in from Florida on her broomstick to take her 50% of the action.

By the time, I settle it all out and pay everything...well, it will not have been worth it...but I knew that. I just couldn't let the Adopted Daughter just walk right in and take it though.

No way...

Nobody else will contribute...they didn't even send flowers...his wonderful bible school class or nothing...

I might just leave it bare out there forever...really wish I could see through 51-years of anger, bitterness and resentment.

I will get there...as soon as The Lion pulls the thorn out of his paw.

Hugs to You!

-Craig

Lovekitties's picture
Lovekitties
Posts: 2893
Joined: Jan 2010

You ask why you always take the high road...that is easy to answer...it is because you are turely a good man and have the driving desire to do what you feel is right.

I think that if you take a closer look at your dad's life you will find that he was not as admired or well liked as folks would try to make you beleive. As long as he was alive and able to contribute materially folks liked him just fine, but now that he is gone they have moved on. I find that very telling.

The Good Book tells us we can't get to heaven on just our good works. Only if they are accompanied by a true heart do they count.

I know that all of this has brought your anger and ill feelings about your dad to the raw state. I personally know how difficult it is to get past that. You have been fighting cancer with all your might. Now it is time to give up the fight with your dad. What has been done cannot be undone. Do not let it continue to take from you emotionally.

Step into reality about the house. Before you invest more time, effort and money in any part of it look at the balance sheet. Will that effort be worth whatever your part of the outcome will be. If not, then let it go. If you will not be adequately compenstated for your efforts, then let it go. The witch's percentage should not come off the top but after you have been compensated for what you have done as executor.

It has been a really tough year for you but think of each thing you accomplish as one more step toward the finish of it, even when there are setbacks.

Always remember that you may be thin on the blood relatives you want to claim, but you have a multitude of us out here who gladly claim you as brother and friend.

Hugs,

Marie who loves kitties

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4266
Joined: Jun 2009

I'm too close too quit now...that would be worse for me personally.

I've already paid so much of the freight...I might as well drag it across the finish line...

I'm hoping to have the house cleaned out tomorrow it looks like...I'm going to pay the salvage guy about $45 more to clear the attic and the last part of the garage...that hill will finally be climbed.

As for as the plumbing, we've got to have heat in the house...that's what caused the problem...they cut the heat and dumped the washer water and the floor buckled up as a result.

I'll talk to the realtor to see what she thinks...I found leftover cases of flooring...enough to do some kind of a patch job...just have to find the labor and skill that I don't possess.

Then someone cleans the house...someone cleans the carpets...and then we officially list the property.

I'm too close to finishing, Marie...the house will be a tough sell in and of itself...the way the floor is now would be an even bigger turnoff to a buyer...I'm going to get an estimate and evaulate from there.

I am gonna' charge the estate for some labor and expenses like this...enough that she feels the pinch...it is only right though she'll have a fit...but I can handle her.

I'll just shut up now and go back to taking care of business. I guess I'll see everybody when it's all over...

Just thank you for being you:)

I'm sorry I'm so difficult...I guess I've been hurt worse than I realized.

My deepest apologies to the community at large...

pete43lost_at_sea's picture
pete43lost_at_sea
Posts: 3915
Joined: Nov 2010

answer "better out than in"

Dear Craig, the story of your Dads house reminds me of my own, alas.

Its just ancient wisdom from a clever buddy

You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.

this may help, then again it may not.

i still vote for life with all its challenges than the alternative.

you'll find a way, keep cleasin the palms, someones gotta keep the usa economy running, sounds like you are doing one hell of a job. so smile and be proud of it.

there always a break in the weather, and sooner or later some fine weather will come your way.

hugs,
Pete

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4266
Joined: Jun 2009

Ok, you're not a devil, Pete...but the metaphor is appropriate...and it sounds good:)

I must say that this is one of your most lucid posts to me that I can remember. I mean that sincerely and gratefully. You really did good with this one. I really felt and understood completely what you were saying to me.

Don't tell me that Sundance is finally starting to rub off on you, eh Mate?

LOL!

Thanks again for a thoughtful post...I really appreciate it.

-The Real Big C

tanstaafl's picture
tanstaafl
Posts: 945
Joined: Oct 2010

Geez, Craig I'd heard Dallas real estate and entertainment prices had gone up but that is ridiculous. Honestly, it's been well over a dozen years since I made funeral arrangements for a grandparent (they thought they covered it 40-50 years ago, didn't stay paid off), and sounds like prices have doubled and the "basic" headstone trick is more than quadruple with the quick yank twist added. I can see why more people are refusing to feed the f vultures.

Sounds like getting tight, fresh bid packages is one more pre-need chore, or choosing from community based and environmentally friendly options. Come to think of it, I remember one of the wealthy surgeons in town held their own memorial service about a month after cremation when a kid tragically died and sponsored a memorial improvement in a local park.

Thanks again, forwarned is forearmed. Sorry for the all aggravation.

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4266
Joined: Jun 2009

Thanks for stopping in:)...I really mean that, man.

I agree, it's ridiculous beyond means....

I'm glad you wrote me, because do I have a story for you...I hate injustice...and from what I know about you, you also hate injustice and rage against the machine...so you of all people, are really gonna' enjoy this one...

Here goes...

During The Negotiation, they approached me with this "Tasteless" offering.

They said, hey we've got a new thing going now that we're doing...and without a doubt...100% of our customers absolutely love it....without a doubt, they are glad they did it.

Out of curiosity, I asked what?

"Catering."

That's right...they offer catering now for the Visitation...nothing says funeral visitation more than cocktail wienies over an open sterno, does it?

I tried to keep a straight face...

And I had come back in The Lion mode (fully empowered) with a downpayment check in hand, so now I was dishing it to him as hard as he had given it to me.

So, I said, what do you do?

Do you attach rails to the side of the casket like a cafeteria buffet line? Do you put up a sneeze guard over the condiments, so that you can get your salad dressing while your passing down the line with the body in front of you, remarking how life like he looks...and oh, what a nice suit?

Speechless, is what they were...

I asked them what they charged?

$695...but hey, whatever is not eaten...you can take with you!

Are you fn kidding me?

Who needs that many cheese trays in their refrigerator?

So, I said...let me get this straight...it's a flat charge whether 1 person shows up...or 100?

Yes!

Thanks but no thanks.

Oh, it's a sham, Tans...and a shame...shame on them.

I even went out and broke the funeral down ala carte...and it was actually slightly higher than the "Value Package."

There was just no way to win.

Dad had pre-paid his gravesite...it had more than doubled since he bought it...they were asking $4800 for a plot barely big enough to squeeze a casket through.

The grave marker...they don't allow headstones in this part of the cemetery...was just the final insult to an injury already too deep. The time to catch me would have been early...not late in the game, when everybody had already bled me out.

And charging 2K for a bronze marker with just name, birth date, and date of death...it's just plain robbery...plain and simple.

They charged me $1400 for the Opening/Closing of the grave...and it was a terrible job...they also clipped me on the "Funeral Valut."

While I opted not to spend the ridiculous thousands they charge for that...I was MANDATED by law to have some sort of slab in there to prevent coffin shifting....the basic was a cement base...at a cost of $1000...had no choice there either.

So, yeah Tans...$20K for body prep, a box, a plot and a weak chapel service...all over in a 2 hour visitation and a 30 minute chapel service...followed by a quick 5-min service graveside in record Texas heat that day - 107 degrees.

It's made me rethink many things...I don't have anyone to come to my funeral...I've told my wife to not even tell the relatives...I believe if you can't see when I'm alive...you've got no business seeing me when I'm gone.

I told my wife to take the cheap way out and don't waste the money if it's only going to be her there.

You're right, this story should be an eye-opener...it has been for me...and I'm glad it was for you....you're great at this stuff, so I'm sure you will do well now.

City funerals carry city prices.

Continued best to you and your wife...I am still reading you...and still listening too:)

-Craig

k44454445's picture
k44454445
Posts: 494
Joined: Jul 2012

have to get better for you! i feel so sorry you are going thru this. i would let someone else buy a grave marker as you have already paid the price so to speak.
hang in there.
hugs
judy

wolfen's picture
wolfen
Posts: 1173
Joined: Apr 2009

Some parts of your current "Ride Through Hades" are almost comical, although sad, stressful, and downright crapola. I didn't have the cemetery problem with my parents' graves. My mother was very thorough in her planning. But, when I visited, I always looked for a certain tree to identify the location. My problem was that the tree seemed to have moved every time I went there. LOL! I'm in agreement with Marie on this one. Let sleeping dogs lie in an unknown place.

As far as the ol' house goes, take along a pack of matches and a spare can of gas........
That darn defective gas line............

Luv Ya,

Wolfen

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4266
Joined: Jun 2009

Who's the wisest mama of 'em all?

:)

I can't tell you how many times that thought has gone through my head, Wolfen.

I'm hoping the pipes don't burst before I get the heat turned back on....might not be a fire...might be a flood.

Well, as long as it washes away all of those bad memories...so be it.

It's been a "Tragic Comedy" alrighty...with me playing the clown:(

Love/Craig

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4266
Joined: Jun 2009

We've all been saying that the entire 3.5 years I've served here...

I'm a patient man though and maybe the clouds will finally break one of these days soon...

That's just such an indecent price to charge for a marker...it's the bottom of their line, a bronze one, with simple inscription...name, birth date, deceased date.

But nearly 2K...they are running a shell game there...I even asked the guy if they dug him up to make room for somebody else and charged them again?

I was in a pissy mood...

I can't believe we can't have something temporary stay there permanently...just shows us it's all about the money.

They held me hostage during the funeral negotiations...dad was back there full of embalming fluid...and they told me to get the money - "Any Way I Had To."

They were "strong-arming" me hard...like a used car salesman...

I was trying to tell them that the estate was being probated and that my POA was no longer valid by law...that I would try and pay them as soon as we got the estate account setup.

They told me to get the money from my boss...or the lawyers who I just hired (and couldn't pay) to get the money...I had nowhere to turn...so I walked out.

Legally, without an official death certificate, there's nothing the bank could do...I pleaded my case...the lady finally made some calls...they broke up my dad's IRA account and gave me a downpayment of $5k to satisfy the hungry wolves at the funeral parlor...with the promise that I would pay the balance when the death certificates arrived.

It was horrid...it was unethical...but it was real...and I was caught up in it.

I had a whole church congregation down on my ass from the stories that my dad made up about us...they were watching me like a hawk...here dad was supposed to have the service with all of his 'friends' paying respects and whatnot...

And it didn't look like there was gonna' be a funeral...so I had that stress to try and fulfill his wishes and try and live up to what he requested...with a whole church passing judgment on me...can you imagine if there had been no funeral?

It was funny, "NONE" of the church members, even his closest 'friends' even brought a flower arrangement...it was all my side of the family and some of Kim's...

I had to put on a show and put up an appearance...and some of the folks would not even come over to speak to me.

They passed by the body and left...like it was something that I owed them...

I've done the right things...I've done them for me...so I can live with them the rest of my life...and lie my conscience down on my pillow each night and not have to question or second guess...

My patience is running thin now...this grave marker just tipped the scales of injustice to a new level...

I'm tired of paying for my father's sins...he always told me I was not worth enough to carry his last name...

Looking at it now... I think he's got it backwards...he's not the one worthy.

I'm determined to take this name I was given and have it stand for me than hypocrisy.

"Paying the Price?"

Me and my departed sister have just about paid the price to this madness - IN FULL.

Hers was a tragic death (murder)...and mine has been a Living Death.

But, I'm about to once again rise from the ashes - just like the Phoenix.

Stick around, Judy...you don't wanna' miss it:)

-Craig

herdizziness's picture
herdizziness
Posts: 3388
Joined: Apr 2010

The marker thing must happen a lot Craig.
My first born was buried 33 years ago, while I was in the hospital after giving birth to him. Just my husband, the priest and the gravediggers were there.
When I got out of the hospital 2 weeks later and went to the grave, I couldn't find it. They had told us to bury him in "Babyland" it was $150.00 more, which we didn't have, so my husband said bury him where you need to, because we can't afford Babyland.
Turned out they had buried him in Babyland when I went there looking for him (apparently to tug at your heartstrings they get you to pay the extra $150.00 if you don't they still go there, they just don't tell you that), and I looked all over for his grave and couldn't find it. There were two graves that were recent side by side, one was my son's, but which one the lady at the cemetery couldn't tell me. This was only two weeks later and their paperwork was so shoddy that they didn't know. They keep the markers up for 30 days, BUT...they had mowed the cemetery and the lawn man had run over the markers. All they could tell me, was that one of those graves were my but not which one. I would sit and pull weeds out of both and cry over both every time I visited waiting for someone to mark the other grave so I would know which one was mine. A few months later, there were baby dolls and other girly things on the one grave, celebrating the child's birthday I would guess (still no marker for her). So I finally knew which one was my son's.
I couldn't afford a grave marker, and I hated the thought of my child being alone, with no marker to testify that he had ever existed, he only seemed to have existed in my heart and soul.
Finally 10 years later when I was living in Ohio I could afford a grave marker. I had it engraved "You were Loved" and I loaded my two children in the car and headed to Louisiana. I dug the place to lay the marker at the head of his grave with my shovel I had brought with me, and got his grave stone out of the car and planted it where it belonged.
Sometimes, it takes a while to mark a grave, and maybe Craig you'll feel like marking it with a stone someday, because you exist because he existed and for that alone maybe he deserves a
marker, because he at least did one d@mn thing right...he had you and in turn, we have you, and I'm pretty grateful for that.
Love to you Craig,
Winter Marie

barbebarb's picture
barbebarb
Posts: 464
Joined: Oct 2011

Craig-
You are a thoughtful person and deserve better!
My father is buried in a veteran's national cemetary. When I went to visit him the tombstone had no mention of me as his daughter!
I was shocked.
Please know you are not alone with these feelings and major family annoyances!
A huge hug for love and comfort!
Barb

johnnybegood's picture
johnnybegood
Posts: 1122
Joined: Oct 2008

might need this((((((((((HUGS))))))))))....Godbless...johnnybegood

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4266
Joined: Jun 2009

I really, really need you guys...in ways, that I could have never envisioned:)

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4266
Joined: Jun 2009

Thank you, Barb:)

I think "we feel" one another's pain alright...

We're both traveling the High Road right now...coast is clear here...not too many walk this road, LOL!

Woops, I laughed...stop that:)

We both deserve so much better.

I'm an Echo - so Love & Hugs returned:)

-Craig

jjaj133's picture
jjaj133
Posts: 857
Joined: Mar 2011

My dear friend, WTH? I am so sorry for all you are going through. My dad has no marker, and I don't know where he is buried. That is how he wanted it.
He said, " I don't want people coming to my grave, when they didn't visit me in life'. Craig, he could be such a miserable *****, no one wanted to see him alive or dead.
Your mission my dear, is to do what is best for YOU. He is not really worried about a marker. YOU are still alive and YOU WILL get through this. Of all the things in the world to worry about a grave marker is not one of them.when things are better, you may be in a position to do it and not spend much needed money on something that can wait.
Be Kind to yourself or I will have to come and bop you one ; )
Hugs my friend,Judy

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4266
Joined: Jun 2009

I know...it was just a shock to go up there and find out that I'd once again fallen through the cracks in the system...they were supposed to notify me, but the cemetery person had left and the new one never contacted me...until I got hold of her yesterday.

I'm just a man of my word, J...take it seriously...and I told him I would...and had every intention of filling that promise.

I even made sure I placed The Fork between his hands in the casket the way he requested....everything up and down the line...I figured 2K would get you granite or marble, not bronze...I'm sure it's small too...told her to keep her brochures and hung up on her.

I'm still worried about cleaning out the house...still can't get it there...and I've got fix the plumbing and have some of the flooring replaced....and the house cleaned...and then carpet cleaners to come in...carpet has not been vacumed in 8-years...

And then try to give the realtor the go - on the list...shooting for first week of Jan13 now.

So, yeah, I've got more to worry about than a marker...but still, it struck me funny. I hate injustice...even for those who have hurt me. Wrong is just wrong...I think what they are doing is just wrong.

But, it's just too much $$$ to invest in that...I've still got so many expenses to go yet...it just may not be financially feasible...I wouldn't want that kind of money spent on me.

Strictly retail...and they say it with an Up Yours Take it or Leave It attitude that kinda turned me off.

So, I may just leave it off.

Would that be wrong?

I'll be waiting for you...but no bopping...how about some cookin'?

I can't get a meal on the table in the last couple of months...soup or cheerios is the difference between life and death for me...or a box of Krispy Kremes...I can stretch those for lunch and dinner for about 3 days.

Love/Craig

jjaj133's picture
jjaj133
Posts: 857
Joined: Mar 2011

Craig,
No it would not be wrong to just leave it. I wish i could come cook for you. You have a lot on your plate, but you need to step back and take one day at a time. Mark off one thing at a time. Your closer to being done than you were. You'll get there, then you can walk away. Think what you would say to any of us. If i have learned one thing in my life is that "this too shall pass". Sometimes it takes a really long time, but it will pass. Seems like some people just have more trials than others. I used to tell God, 'You overestimating me again!'.
But somehow I got through it, you will too. You know the old saying What don't kill you, makes you stronger. Well at this point I could bench press a Cadillac.
Treat yourself to a good meal, remember your body needs you to take care of it. Your dad is not the same person as he was on this side. He now knows what is important. That would be YOU. So take a deep breath, order a steak an be grateful I am not cooking it for you. ; )
(((((Hugs)))))
Judy

annalexandria's picture
annalexandria
Posts: 2181
Joined: Oct 2011

do what is right for YOU. You have a lot of wisdom and self-understanding (not sure if that's a word but you know what I mean...I hope). When it comes to this grave marker issue, think about it a little, and then do what feels right to you. Either approach is fine, just so long as you feel ok about it. You don't owe your dad anything at this point. You are your own man, and can now move forward in life free of his constant (and from what I can tell, largely negative) influence. Many hugs coming your way~Ann Alexandria
PS My mom died last month...per her request, we had her cremated and in the spring will be scattering her ashes in Puget Sound from a ferry...actually, per state law we'll be dumping them overboard in a bio-degradable box, but that doesn't sound quite so poetic. She didn't want a memorial service, just get the family together and raise a toast. Which we did. It's stories like yours that make me determined to go out of this world in a fashion similar to my mom.

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4266
Joined: Jun 2009

Dear Winter,

As I was reading through the responses, I was weighted and heavy, to the point where I thought I was just gonna' burst...so many powerful emotions swirling around my mind - it sounded like the Daytona 500 in there.

I was reading your tragic story that you chose to share with me - and it made me think of why I stay here...I don't stay here for Cancer...I stay here because of the people that I've met...and the folks whom I've so closely bonded with.

Cancer just provides me the opportunity to talk to you...and from there, we find that we have way more in common than just our cancer...

And that's what I hope that I have shown during my time here.

So, as I was reading down your post, filled with some brilliant insight I might add, I got to the very bottom...

"he had you and in turn, we have you, and I'm pretty grateful for that."~WM

Those words were so comforting to me, that I let go and started to sob...I had to walk away from the keyboard and over to the counter...and then sort of a burst of controlled sobbing, for about 15-seconds, until I could gather my composure.

Everything had been welling up and my cup had runneth over...and your words allowed just enough steam and a permissive release to let some of my feelings escape.

It wasn't like what you saw in the Dr. Phil video...I didn't re-record that, because I always feel that we should never be embarassed about what we are feeling, especially if those feelings are true and sincere.

But, this one might have hurt some of you, because I couldn't stop it for those few seconds...

At different times when our friends have passed, I've been overcome with such grief and anguish, that I open up my mouth...and I'm screaming...but I can't hear it...the pain is so deep that it muffles the sound. That's a hard cry when you feel that pain but no sound comes out.

That's some deep $hit right there...

I'm reminded of the closing scenes in the Godfather III...where Michael's daughter was accidentally shot and killed...and Michael is crying over his daughter, but it takes forever for him to find the voice.

Something like that...

But, this was controlled, but sort of uncontrollable...

Again, I'm once again reminded of the impact that words can have on one another, especially when we find ourselves in a vulnerable state...that sometimes that one sentence or thought, acts as a life preserver that gets us through the evening, so that we don't drown.

So, thank you, Honey, for that!

I've taught you well, Grasshopper....the Student now teaches the Master:)

Actually, you were doing just fine long before you ever met me...

Now, me, on the other hand...LOL!

Double Love/Craig

herdizziness's picture
herdizziness
Posts: 3388
Joined: Apr 2010

As much as you have been here for me, watching over me, keeping an eye on me, how could I not let you know how much you mean to me, to us?
I know it is extremely tough times for you right now, with memories that don't seem to stop, and neglect by your father, not only of you, but of his house as well, makes those memories even stronger...but Craig, you are a man on internal strength, you could not have survived this long going through what you have been through without being so. I'm proud of you Craig and how you are handling this, keep staying strong my friend, and let that strength you draw on be what gets you through this all the way.
Triple Love back at you!!!
Winter Marie

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4266
Joined: Jun 2009

Now is a good time to tell this story...

In the closing weeks of my last fight, my dad had come over to take my car...his had finally stopped running (it was junk) and he wanted to use mine...said he might fix a few things...but wanted me to "sell" it to him and sign the title over to him....

With the agreement, that upon his death it would be willed back to me.

I was deep in the throes of Folfiri...I had chemo brain...I was so sick...and I found out that dad was trying to take advantage of me...while I was so ill....found out later after the fact, that he was going to give my car to Adopted Daughter.

I was so sick with chemo brain, that I willingly gave him the keys and let him drive my car away at the time, not knowing what his true motives were.

When I took my car back (luckily he did not ruin it like everything else he touched), she ended up taking his (which was borrowed from a friend) and then gave it to her daughter to use to drive around in.

That's what would have happened to my car:(

I had been sleeping in the front room...Kim brought him in to see me...I looked terrible and hadn't showered in days...I looked like I was homeless and near death...I hate that Folfiri.

You should have seen the look on his face when he saw what I looked like...

It was sheer horror...he had never seen me like this...because, as with you, I always make it look a little too easy...and I portray a different image, so as not to upset people.

So, I had covered up my 8-years from him and he never had any idea...until that day.

He came to the side of the bed and touched my hair...it must have been too much as he quickly left the room.

I heard him telling Kim..."I've never seen him look like that, he looks so bad."

And Kim said, "Yeah, that's the side that Craig never lets you see...he has made it easy on you."

And then, I'll never forget the next sentence...

He told Kim, "I'm glad you were there to take The Burden from me..."

He never called me that year...never came by...had stopped coming to the surgeries two surgeries before...more trouble than he was worth.

One night, he nearly killed me by his stupidity and his prejudice...was right after I got home from the original rectal resection...my bowel had twisted...and the gas was so painful I thought I was gonna' pop...the kind where you get a good burp...and before your finished, it fills right back up.

I said, Dad call the surgeon...and he said, I'll call the other doctor...and I said, no, the surgeon, because he did the surgery...the onc can't help.

But, dad didn't call while I lay back in bed in serious condition (Kim was working late shift)...

When she got home, there was an exchange of words and dad quickly left, the coward he was at not being able to handle confrontation. Kim knew how sick I was and once I began to throw up bile and everything, we headed back to that hospital at 1am to the ER...we had gotten there in time.

Know why didn't call for help?

Because, my surgeon was Hispanic...yep, a preacher, a man of God...full of hate and prejudice.

He told me how terrible he was and that he would not have picked him. I said, the man spared me from a colostomy and cut my cancer out and helped save my life.

So, it's nice to know that the "Oooh Ahhh" moment of my conception was nothing more than a splash of protoplasm against my mom's vaginal walls.

Truly, I was a blessing...

Dad told me that I was "planned."

What was the plan that night, dad - an orgasm?

Mission Accomplished.

I was never more than some kind of "trophy" for the big old preacher...all dolled up in my little suits that helped to falsify an image that never was - but was readily accepted as fact.

The question is..."Am I really more than that to any of you?"

I'm so sorry...I just need to talk.

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4266
Joined: Jun 2009

I just wanted to thank each of you for taking your time to put your feelings into words for me. I truly appreciate your responses.

I know I've worn my welcome out with this...I apologize.

I guess I'm just understanding how a parent's damage to their children can go on long into adulthood...just because we get older, it does not lessen the pain we felt or feel now.

I covered it up for decades...and now, I just can't anymore...

It's just playing itself out finally...I'm grateful that someone will listen to me right now...if not for the board, I'd have nobody to talk to about how I feel...and there is no telling which way I would have gone, if not for some human contact.

The live you save may have been mine.

janie1
Posts: 753
Joined: Apr 2011

Craig,
Don't be hard on yourself. I hope you dont mind me saying this, but your dad had narcissistic personality disorder. He was mentally ill.
I'm sorry that your life has been so, sooooo hard.
But, you survived more than one beast.
You turned out to be such an honorable, decent person, I'm not sure very many people could have done this.
I hope you can put most of this behind you. Start livin a happy life. You've got it in you.
You' ve done all that you need to do. More than ENOUGH!!!!!
Do i have to come down there and give you a whoopin.

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4266
Joined: Jun 2009

In fact, I want all of you to come and see me:)

That's what I want for Xmas...all my real friends...and a quick sell to the house.

You are one bright lady, Joan!

Dad was mentally ill...I just never saw it...I saw mom's, but dad had me buffaloed through fear all of my life.

But, you got it sooo right...I've only discovered this recently as we've traveled through this.

Mom and Dad were both narcissists...it was a hard way to grow up...you really had to fight for any attention...most of the time, I just retreated into my own world back in whatever room was mine.

I've been lucky to have the innate ability to be able to live inside my own mind.

I just wanted to give you a big hug for your brilliant insight...you're steadily moving up in rank in the Sundance Army:)

I can't tell you how much I need to hug each and everyone of you honey mama's right about now.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Marie needed a spell from me...I've been wearing her last nerve out all year long...you all know you gotta' take shifts with me...it continues to take a village.

I am worth it though, right?

Love/Craig

That's right, I said love:)

janie1
Posts: 753
Joined: Apr 2011

You're worth it, Craig.
If we have to start pulling double-shifts though, that could get a little pricey.
We could break the fees down....ala carte, if that would help. Maybe a payment plan, or, a pre-payment plan.

I'm sorry, but all the money that was spent on your Pop's funeral, and now where the heck is he???
Well that is all just too ironic. Sometimes things are just meant to be.

barbebarb's picture
barbebarb
Posts: 464
Joined: Oct 2011

Craig -
This hurts me to read this post. Many parts of it parallel to how my mom treats me.
It took me 50 something years to figure it out. It does feel damaging but you are a kind person and leader on this board. You are insightful and give us all hope - which is priceless!
Run with what you have and know you are kind and deserving!
Its good you can release your feelings here.
I think we all have moments or situations that are unbearable but you are always stating them in ways that shine and demonstrate all your many, many loving qualities!
May your father rest in peace and may he see a white light to what a good son he has.
Keep roaring Lion!

Barb

LivinginNH's picture
LivinginNH
Posts: 1268
Joined: Apr 2010

Be careful what you ask for - I might just show up on your doorstep! :)

My sentiments are similar to the others, so there's no point in repeating their words. Just wanted to remind you that there are people out here that truly care about you and love you. The house stuff will soon be in the rear view mirror and then you can take a deep breath and finally get some well deserved rest.

Hugs ((())). Luv ya buddy!
Cyn

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 4199
Joined: Feb 2009

You have been through so much and now all this. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. It's terrible what funeral homes charge and then so rip you off at your most vulnerable point is almost unthinkable. But they are there to get your money when you are vulnerable and they take advantage of it. Sorry to say, but there is a lot of that going around lately. Hope you have a little relax time during Christmas. You surely deserve it.

Kim

Kathleen808's picture
Kathleen808
Posts: 2275
Joined: Jan 2009

Craig,
My friend, I am glad you can share here. We care about you so much. One of the amazing things about you is that you had so much pain growing up but you are able to love so much now. That is a huge tribute to you. I pray that as time goes on more healing will occur and that you can let go more and more. You deserve to be free from this past. I pray that you let go as much as you can, when you can and that peace will come.

Aloha,
Kathleen

JayhawkDan's picture
JayhawkDan
Posts: 206
Joined: Apr 2012

I definitely do not want to walk a mile in your moccasins -- but I hope you do for many, many years. Your story reminds me of how very lucky I was with 2 loving, caring parents. They're both long gone, as are 2 brothers, but my memories are cherished. You're like a diamond, my friend, born out of fire and pressure, and now the toughest thing around. Don't be too hard on yourself, and let things go. Breathe. I'm relatively new here but have found your story and writings compelling. Prayers and good vibes coming to you from a couple of states north. Dan

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4266
Joined: Jun 2009

Plumber got out there...and bad news...

Everything is out of code...from the gas meter at the street all the way into the house...gas valves etc. etc. all need replaced due to age....before we can get the city inspector to look at it...there could be more things, depending on what the inspection revealed.

Plus, the water heater now...

About $3500 more...$$$ I'll never see back with the sale of the house...as the house itself will have to be given away due to the neglect...

The floor continues to break apart and the laundry area and most of the kitchen is now affected...it's all this wood parquet type of stuff, all downstairs...so I imagine this will be continuing...until I can find a way to stop it.

I'll have to front it, of course...as the ex's phone now rings to voicemail...I'll take it out of her end of the estate if she refuses to cooperate...she's behind a month or so on part of the utility package as well.

I'll just hold on and try and recap what I can when I get to the next phase.

Looks like I see the direction of where the last couple of weeks of this terrible year will be leading...2012 is a four-letter word to me:(

As Marlon Brando said in Apocalypse Now circa 1979..."The horror...the horror..."

Lovekitties's picture
Lovekitties
Posts: 2893
Joined: Jan 2010

So sorry to hear of this new issue. I am a big fan of watching re-hab programs and old homes are definately a money pit when it comes to needed repairs of "not up to code" things like plumming and electric.

You may want to check with the real estate agent and find out what the structure is really worth. May be that the land it stands on is worth more.

I know it means more money but it might be worth getting a home inspection done now before you invest any more into repairing the structure. One will be done by anyone purchasing the house anyway. It might be more advantageous to sell it "as is" then to try to repair or pay the new owner to repair. Just a thought.

Hugs,

Marie who loves kitties

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4266
Joined: Jun 2009

That's the way it is leaning right now...I've got to unload before we go under completely...this is the only repair I'm making...if the floor repair is too high, we just reduce the price to compensate.

And such and such on down the list if it arises...as you say, it was going for "As Is" before this started...I don't know what we label it right now....a nightmare maybe.

luckily the pipes held up during the freeze...keeping the water moving probably helped there.

I got through the summer without running the a/c...but I know it needs replaced too...dad had gotten an estimate of about of about $2600...I told the ex we were holding because it still worked...

And you know...great minds think alike...what did you used to tell me? When you get Texas and Virginia together?...LOL!

$hit, I grinned...sorry:)

This morning, I did call the realtor and brought her up to speed on the latest developments...of course, she is sorry to hear of all of this. Of course, with the plumbing and gas issues, they have to be resolved...which that has been going over there today.

I sent my other infantry person over there...and one of the poor guys that showed up to help me clear trash got the initial brunt of her attack.

But, I asked the agent, "how much would you spend if you were me on trying to patch this floor?"

She said, just a few hundred at best...

And I said, if it's more than that, we can just strip the floor and start reducing the asking price, right?

Yes and more yes...

Kim got a hold of the ex this morning...and surprisingly she is going to help us with 1/2 of the $3500 bill.

With the fixes (with or without repairing floor, we should be able to get the gas turned on...I guess after the inspection?

Then we hire a house cleaning service...she said she will pay 1/2...and a carpet cleaner, just for sanitation and because the house smells so bad. He never vacumed the whole 8-years since she left him...the dirt has grown legs...I actually saw some running off into the corner:)

Then we list...

You know, Marie...always when you get to the end of any fight - you have to reach down deeper than you ever thought you could - and you have to fight the hardest as the clock is winding down and your down to your last shot(s).

The ability to face down Adversity, rather than turning and running, is the key component in anyone's armorment. This quality to engage is the driving force thin veil that ultimately decides the outcome of the contested event.

And Out I will Come....from and through all of this:)

You have my word on it:)

Adapt and Overcome...

Thank you for your continued support, my Virgina Honey Mama!

You know you're one of the biggest reasons I stay here, don't you?

Now, you do:)

What would you do without me?

I know, I know...much better:)

Certainly much quieter:)

But, it would never be boring:)

Love you!

-Craig

k44454445's picture
k44454445
Posts: 494
Joined: Jul 2012

you will NEVER wear out your welcome on here so put that thought out of your head. we are all here to listen & to give you support because we love you & you are an important guy! i know the house & finishing up other details connected with your dad is extremely hard on you but stay strong & let us help you thru all of this mess. you have been an outstanding son even tho your dad did not notice. it could be that your dad could not handle that you are the better one. what you put up with is more than what most people could deal with. you have to take care of yourself because that is the most important issue & you do not need all this extra stress so please put yourself first. do what you think is best but please do not try to do everything you think your dad wanted. that would be unfair to you. sorry at the funeral you got bad vibes from some of the church people. that just was not right! do not even think about such insensitive people. they do not deserve your thoughts! praying that your tomorrows will be better.
hugs
judy

rogina2336's picture
rogina2336
Posts: 188
Joined: Apr 2011

Everything you have gone through and are going through makes me very proud and happy to call you my friend. Kim

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