How I didn’t meet NoClueBoy (long)

About a month back, I announced that I was traveling to OKC and asked if any dopers wanted to meet up. I only got one to commit but that was OK. You see NoClueBoy is one of my favorite dopers.

Anyway, this isn’t about meeting him, because I didn’t.

The purpose of my trip was to visit my mom. I hadn’t seen in about 3 years. I hadn’t been ‘home’ since 1999. That time, I was home for my brother’s funeral. He died, quite unexpectedly, from an aneurism. That’s when the blood vessels in the brain goes “Blamo! You be dead! Tom would approve of me using that term, he coined the phrase during an intense game of Risk. He died at work. His friends told us that he simply said “I have a headache” and then collapsed.

But that wasn’t this trip.

My dad passed away in ’82. I spent all day Friday alone with my mom. It had been a while. My mom was apparently turning into that ‘old lady’ on the street that annoys people. I learned that she is on a first name basis with the code enforcement guy as she called him all the time to complain about the neighbors. It was strange sleeping in my old room. As we spent the day together we drove around a bit. We passed an assisted living center. Mom complained that my sister Lori wanted mom to move into one of those places. Lori lives closest to mom, only about a 30 min drive. I told my mom “She only wants you to do that because when you drop dead, she is the one that will have to find you.” Mom laughed at that.

After lunch we went to the cemeteries. Dad and Tom are buried across the street from each other, so it is very convenient. While there, mom showed me around. Pointed out where her friends were, showed the grave of what looks like five siblings who all died on the same day in 1943. We did some other things as well. At home mom told me that if there was anything I wanted to ‘take it now’. I asked if she had made out a will and she said she had but she thought she might change something on it. She did tell me that the silver service was to be Ashley’s. (she’s my neice.)

On Saturday, my sister from Wichita KS had come down with her kids. We had a great time. We all went to see A Prairie Home Companion. If you haven’t seen the movie, well, it’s pretty good. But you should know that Virginia Madsen plays an angel. An angle that comes to ‘take away’ an old man. She does other things as well.

Anyway, we come home and Mom is at mass. She reads at the Saturday evening mass. She gets back and we all go out to dinner. We go to this Mexican place that my sister Susan’s husband Rick likes. (Casino DeMino) We are eating diner and mom suddenly says “I have a headache.”
And then she collapsed.
I picked up cell to call 911 but I realize that I have no idea what address the restaurant is. I can’t even remember that we are on Air Depot. A women at the next table calls and I tell her that mom mother is 75, and what happened. Another woman in the restaurant is there and I think she is a nurse. She appears to know what she is doing as she feels for my mom’s pulse anyway. Mom’s pulse is strong but she is having trouble breathing. The ambulance comes and we head to the hospitable. The doctor tells us what we already know. He thinks it’s an aneurism. A CAT scan later and it is confirmed. I get the nurse to call for a priest. “Do you want a minister? We have one here.” “No, it has to be a priest to administer Last Rites.”

We, my sisters and I sit in the room with her. The doctor tells us that she is brain dead, her heart will wind down. It may take 20 mins or several hours. I call some people, I sit with my mom, and, just like in a movie, I feel the warmth slowly go from her hand.

The priest comes, does the rites. I know mom would have liked that.

My brothers show up. The oldest, feels he is up to bossing everyone around. The other, well, that’s the brother I don’t speak to anymore. I hadn’t seen him since ’99 either. Before that, he was being an ass at my wedding in ’97 which capped off a lifetime of grief he had given me. Still, I’m nice to him. I don’t runaway and he stays on his best behavior.

So I had to cancel having diner with NoClueBoy.
(continuted)

Now, mom had lived in this house since 1970. Before that, she had lived all over the world, as my dad was in the Air Force. So we start to go through/plunder the house.

We find the will. It just appoints my sisters as co-executors. That’s it. It does list Tom as one of her children. So maybe that is what she was going to change. This process is going to take several days. The house is full of stuff, there is no order, important things are mixed in with junk. So I see the opportunity. I go to Spencer’s Gifts and I obtain some cans of ‘Fancy Nuts’ that are filled with spring loaded snakes. Come on, we could use a good laugh. I hide the can, in my mother’s under ware drawer and wait.

I flew my wife, Kelly, out to OKC. We are separated, but on very good terms, no benefits, and I needed her. I think, when I told her I needed her to come was the first time I ever told her that. Maybe…

Anyway, Aunts come, some cousins, loads of food gets delivered to the house. I found a note my sister Lori had written to my mom. It was sloppily printed but was perfectly spelled. It was a note that read. Mom, you are beautiful. You are a queen. I love you, Lori. I showed it to my sister, and then I told her I would keep it to remind me of what a loving family I come from. I found some other, homemade mother’s day cards from all of siblings. Then I realized that there aren’t any from me. Was I a bad son? Didn’t I tell my mother I loved her? Then I remembered that I had made those things. So mom didn’t save mine! Mommy didn’t love me! Then I found one from me. (Niagara Falls)

Finally Susan is down in mom’s bedroom. She is going through the dresser drawers. Two of her kids are in there and I go down there to hang out. Susan is carefully going through the drawer just above the snake drawer. She goes to side instead of going down. I turn my head and make a sniffling sound to cover my urge to laugh. We’re in the Midwest now. If a man sniffles, a day after his mother dies, it means “leave me alone, don’t talk to me”. It does, it really does. Finally Susan opens the snake drawer. She reaches in and feels around. Then she closes the drawer! She didn’t find it! I’m ready to burst so I open the drawer and take the can out and chunk it at her head.

The kids have fun with that. I tell my sister that if her kids were not there, I would have bought a dildo the size of a table leg and hid it in mom’s room. (comedy gold!)

We do a traditional funeral then graveside then go back to the church basement for more fried chicken. It all goes well. I did OK at the service until communion. They sang that “I will raise you up” hymn and bam! Niagara Falls. Ted hates when people get up and say stuff at funerals. He doesn’t allow anyone to say their own eulogies. I stay for several more days. Hey, I’m unemployed, so I have the time.

I found my brother Tom’s ‘Cast Rite Metal Casting Set’. This was his TOY in the sixties. You have this heating thing and a metal ladle. You melt lead in the ladle and then pour molten lead into these forms and make your own army men. This thing has sat in a box for nearly 40 years. I plug it in and it works. There is still a bit of lead so me and my niece and nephews make one last army man. We also bought a Risk game. Kelly had never played and my nephews play all the time. We played a big game and Kelly almost won. I tried to tell them that she is very competitive but they didn’t believe that a girl would whoop on them. Of course, they should have realized that she is a woman.

A few days later, most people have left. Susan called me down to my mom’s bedroom.
“Did you do this?” She asks as she throws something at me.
She knows damn well that I didn’t. Susan had found some plastic thing that folded up and had pockets. I have never seen it before, but it looks like some travel thing. She found it had scarves and hankies and the item she had just tossed to me. I turned it around, trying to find how to hold it right side up and when I did my mind realized what I was holding. I was holding, a ‘specially saved’, and beautifully vintage, white, lacy thing. I was holding my mother’s panties.

The panties were crotch less.
There are some things even Zoloft doesn’t help.

While I was there, a bunch of us went down to Lori’s ‘farm’, a good sized bit of land down by Stratford. On the drive back, we got caught in a storm. We could see the storm coming for sometime. You can see that on the prairie. When the storm hit the car, well, you have to be from that part of the country to understand how hard a severe thunderstorm can hit you in June. The rain came down so hard I thought it was hailing. The north, west and south of the car, you could hardly even see out of them but the windows facing east were hardly wet. When it did start to hail, it sounded like the car was being shot at by militants. Of course, we don’t stop. No need to stop. We hardly even mention that storm is happening. We sit there mutely. We just concentrate on the twenty feet of road in front of us. Soon the rain stops. Well, it moved on to the east. It’s cooler outside, and you don’t have to worry about watering the grass. That’s how my family gets through things. We just keep going. It’ll clear up.

When I get back to NYC, I take Kelly to the movies. She wanted to see Prairie Home Companion and I don’t mind. I tell her that when she see it, she will realize how weird it is that we saw that movie. Anyway, I had forgotten something about the film. Meryl Streep and Lilly Tomlin sing a song in the film. It’s a cheesy, country/folk/gospel song called Goodbye to my Mamma.

Niagara Falls

I had fogot to put in some links.
Fun with molten lead.
It’s starting to melt.
I don’t think this is a ‘girls’ toy.
Our first attempt.

Thank you for sharing your story. I know it must have been awful to be there when that happened to your mother, but in some way, when I lost my dad I would have at least liked to see him before it happened. I had been away at college and hadn’t seen him in many months, and he died the morning that he and my mom were going to come visit me. Your mother sounds like a wonderful woman - even if there are some things you’d really have preferred not to known about her!

Thanks for sharing. You and your whole family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Death…

GRRR!!!

What bothered me the most was that I couldn’t really say anything that would help. My Dad had just died a few weeks before and my usually verbose self hit a wall when trying to express condolances. But you were nice anyways and that shows Mom reared a good son.

Speacial thanks, too, to Eve, for passing on the phone numbers needed and for just being slightly odd and charming.

Your loss is sad, indeed. But I’m very glad you have such a good family, as you no doubt are. Cherish your memories.

Peace to you and yours.

Yes I had forgot to mention, NoClueBoy had given me his cell phone number. I put it in my phone’s memory but when I got to OKC, I called him and realized that I put the wrong number in my cell. Since I didn’t have internet access, I call Eve, we are close personal friends, and she emailed** NCB ** for me.

Zebra I’m so sorry for your loss. Your family and you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Oh Zebra, I’m so sorry.

I’m OK really.

My mom passed surrounded by her family. It was great that I was there. If I hadn’t been there, I would probably a wreak.
But…

come on people, My Mother’s Crotch Less Panties?

That’s funny man.

Zebra,

Prayers for you and your family.

But, I don’t recall often hearing such a strong, and balanced view of a recent personal tragedy. I am confident you will be well, in fact, to me it seems you have already brought tenderness, love, and humor through this time, with all your loved ones with you.

To be honest, I am just a bit jealous. But happy for you, that you can find that path, and apparently find it without trouble.

Tris

Zebra, I’m sorry for your loss. It’s good that you were there when she had to go. It makes closure just the teensiest bit easier.

You’re right about your mother’s crotchless panties, that is funny! However, you gotta admit, it’s much better than finding an ummmmm…toy, right?

I don’t know if you mean On Eagle’s Wings, but that’s one that gets me too. My best friend and I were children of the mid to late 70s when that raft of songs came out and that one (and “Be Not Afraid”) was played at his funeral. What a tear-jerker.

I’m sorry for your loss and glad you had warm family members around you.

I’m so sorry to hear about your mother, Zebra, and oddly amused by the crotchless panties story. My wife’s grandfather passed away last week as well… it’s never easy!

On a lighter note, because of the circumstances I’ll forgive you for not acknowledging in your original thread the fact that I’m also from Midwest City and am now living in NYC. :wink: Small world!

I think if I’d found my 75 yr old mothers crotchless panties that I would probably have put them back and fought like hell to repress the memory. You and your family seem to have a great sense of humor.

That said, I’m very sorry for your loss.

My thoughts are with you and yours.

gigi I believe Zebra is referring to I Am The Bread of Life. It, too is one of those mid to late 70’s songs that play a lot at funerals. It’s a pretty good Holy Communion hymn as well.

Zebra I did laugh out loud about the crotchless panties. I think it’s that combination of humor and grief that gets us through times like this.

I’m stuck in the mud and still sing the "I Will Raise Him Up " version. I like that song too.