Mewsings from Lowecat (aka Indianacat)

My rants, ravings, and overall 'mewsings' on life, the universe, and everything.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Some of the Hardest Work I've Ever Done

I've decided to continue utilizin' this blog to keep all y'all in the know of what's happenin', and how I'm doin'.  NOT that I don't appreciate all the individual responses and the outpourin' of love/support/prayers.  They're definitely appreciated and needed right now.  Just that I'm feelin' a little overwhelmed right now, and figure this is the best way to keep all y'all up to date on how things are progressin' and how I'm REALLY doin'.

That bein' said, I didn't sleep Friday nite.  Nor was I up to eatin'.  They say after a loss like this, it's normal, but 'they' say a lot sometimes!   After seein' Daddy at the hospital for the last time (Robert had been busy upon his arrival by packin' up Daddy's few personal items for us to take home with us while he was waitin' on me), we came home, and I was numb.

  My cell phone was very warm from bein' used, as everyone was callin'.  I felt at the time it was impotant to return the calls, but was feelin' a lot overwhelmed by the contacts.  Hence, the initial tribute blog about Daddy. 

Once Robert went off to sleep as he had to work the next day, I sat at the computer to try to locate the copy of the memorial write up Daddy had asked me to do for him years ago.  It wasn't on the hard drive, and then I remembered that it was a three and a quarter floppy disc.  Our computer doesn't run those! 

"D'OH!"  Typical Homer moment.

You see, several years ago, Daddy had asked me to write up the 'in memorial' for the annual conference journal, which would be printed for the Indiana United Methodist Conference journal following his death.  The Conference meets every year to discuss the successes of the various committees and outreachs of the church, ordinate new ministers, and announce appointments within the conference. 

After it's all said and done, the conference sends out a printed volume with all the reports, pictures, appointments, budgets, and the 'in memory of' write ups for the deceased clergy, their spouses, and the missionaries.   Because I'd written the narrative for a slide presentation that was shown of Daddy's career when he retired, he entrusted me with this honor.

It was written up years ago, and stored on a disc.  It was updated from time to time as needed.  When our last PC tower croaked, so did that file.  Hence, the only back up I had was that aforementioned floppy. 

Double D'OH! 

With the help of the VHS video of that presentation from the retirement reception and one of the most recent conference journals I had on me, I was able to rewrite both the 'lost' obituary for the newspaper and the 'in memorial' for the journal! 

Note to self, havin' a back up is good, but make sure one backs up on current technology!

By six AM, Saturday mornin', I had come up with a game plan that would enable me to still earn, take care of business, and utilize the three days of paid beravement time work allows to best advantage and texted my team lead.  He replied that it sounded good. 

Went to bed, tried to sleep, and fought the bed for two hours.  Since Tig, the bike's, repairman was due to arrive at 11, I gave up tryin' to sleep.  The repairman didn't arrive because the doctor didn't release him to go back to work.  Le sigh.

Had a nice visit with my cousin and his wife from Harrison County.  We talked about things in general, the service in particular, and Daddy quite a lot.  As they were leavin', I went into the house, grabbed the car keys, and took off for the hospital.  Got half way there when I realized that it wasn't necessary to go. 

D'OH!!!!  Again! 

Decided I needed a project.  Something to keep me busy and occupied until the DH got home.  So, I called each and every current minister for the churches Daddy had been appointed to during his tenure, so the ministers could give the news to the congregants that remembered him.   This was a period of time from 1955 through 1992.  A lot of churches. 

It wasn't easy.  I broke down several times.  Yet, it was an interestin' emotional journey, rememberin' the places we'd lived before, recallin' names of parishoners, learnin' how much things had changed since our time at those locations.   A few of the ministers did know Daddy, or knew of him, and that made it doubly difficult not to break down. 

So why put myself through such a thing?  Why intentionally inflect such pain on myself?  It felt like the right thing to do.  The conference office would put out an announcement on their web page come Monday, but gettin' the word out to the congregations would've been more difficult.  To me, alertin' the ministers directly enabled them to share the news during worship services on Sunday, so the congregants that wanted to remember Daddy could do so.  They'd at least know the basics. 

It was the last gesture of love and appreciation that I could make to him, and I wanted to do it right.  It took four hours to do.  It was the hardest work I'd ever done in my life. 

Today, I went back to work.  A little normal routine seemed helpful.  Sundays are kinda quiet at work; not the usual drone of a busy call center, as most of the other departments are shut down.  My appearance shocked everyone, as they didn't expect me to come in at all.  Hey, that's me, always doin' the unexpected! 

Our department manager was workin' today, and stopped by to see how I was doin'.  I told him what my supervisor and I worked out via text on my schedule, and had sent him a copy via email.  Though I have more than a year on the job, my full time tenure didn't start until July (was part time from hire until that time).  He was kind enough to check on my PTO eligibility, and found out my bucket has 40 hours of time.

So, instead of runnin' to Washington Sunday night after work and runnin' around the town scramblin' to get things done and runnin' back to Indy to go to work THEN runnin' back down to Washington for the wake and the funeral (jeeze!  I just wore myself out typin' that!), I'm gonna stay in Washington through Friday.  That will give me time to work on things at the house, sort through things, make the difficult decisions. 

The dear husband will drive down on Wednesday. 

This weekend has been a time just to try to come to grips with losin' Daddy.  I still can't believe it despite havin' seen his lifeless body lyin' in the hospital bed on Friday.  Every time that I've run across somethin' of his that we brought home from the hospital, the pain hurts just as it did the minute the nurses told me he'd passed.  

I'd brought his wallet up with me from home, along with the checkbooks that enable me to pay the bills for him and my step mother (Mom).  His wallet had my old high school senior year portrait in it, along with his driver's license.  I stuck that in the keepsake box where I also keep mementos from the furbabies I've lost (their collars,) and from other people I've loved and lost. 

Today, I gathered up his cell phone and his hearing aid to take back to the stores there in Washington, so his accounts could be closed and credited.  I also have his glasses and his watch (which stopped runnin', by the way), and seein' all those things together drove things home again.   I also took the little stuffed kitty that I gave him for his birthday that he took great delight in havin'.  I want him to be buried with it. 

Stupid?  Maybe.  But it's comfortin' to me to think of. 

I've never had to actively participate in plannin' a funeral.  I've been to a lot, but never planned one out.  Not that there's a lot of stuff to be done, such as choosin' the casket, burial site, etc.  Daddy did all that long ago and paid for it.  All I have to do is follow his lead.  Kinda like while he was still alive. 

There's a line from Star Trek II, the Wrath of Khan, that I find is very fitting.  After the Enterprise crew has fired Spock's body into space, and the Admiral is standin' on the bridge with the rest of the crew, he's reminded that "He's not really gone, you know.  Now as long as we remember him."


Anonymous julie said...

I know it is hard, but you are doing the right thing...

He loved you very much... and is very proud of you.

May 7, 2012 at 6:41 AM  

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