Friday, November 3, 2006

Fear and Loathing in DIY (I of III)

Do It Yourself home improvement is not for pussies. Being crazy helps. A life long failure to think inside the box, coupled with a complete disdain for authority and an innate inability to suffer fools gladly really come in handy too. My house, or as I like to call it, my construction site, is the house I grew up in. The decision to purchase the house was not made lightly. Before my parents became so seriously ill in 2003 I was getting ready to figure out how to buy a house anyway. Like a lot of people, women people especially, I had made the moronic mistake of not doing a lot of things because I was not married. Things like buying a house for instance. This had a lot to do with how things were when I grew up, and a lot to do with thinking about how I thought I might feel about those things, and how I would want to handle them when I got married. Well, now that is just silly, isn’t it? You can’t sit around with your life on hold until everything is configured in some preconceived societally sanctioned ideal.

When my Mom and Dad were sick, I helped them as much as I could. When things became pretty bad with my Mom’s health, and my Dad was freaking out, my parents decided to go see an attorney. They made a lot of decisions that affected my life, and will at least until I die, some even longer. One was to give me full Power of Attorney. Really all Power of Attorney technically does is make things more convenient. I could talk to their doctors, pick up their medications, and write checks on their accounts, among other things. I did not use it at all until the spring of 2004, and then I mostly used it so I could pay their bills and move their money around more easily. When my parents died I was in the process of interviewing contractors to make the house handicapped accessible and trying to figure out how to pull out all the equity so I could have the funds to care for them at home. So, I was perfectly happy to let the bank have the house when they died.

My parents, prior to them ever becoming ill, were quite distressed about some of my siblings and their endless capacity to mooch. My parents considered moving far, far away into a one-bedroom home where no one could possibly stay with them. My parents were looking at what I call geezer villages, and what is politically correctly called assisted living facilities. Where geezers can basically do whatever they want whenever they want, but where you can have people to help you to varying degrees as your needs and health dictate. My parents decided to stay put in the house. They wanted to stay where they were comfortable, the idea of actually cleaning up the house and sifting through all their stuff overwhelmed and terrified them and truly, they were within minutes of some of the best medical care available in the world. So they stayed here. My Dad died here, alone, with the dogs who loved him and sat with him until my sister came home from work and found him. My Mom died nine days later in the nursing home I, the world’s most evil child in the free world, had put her in four days before my Dad died so I could line up nursing care and get a ramp put on the house, and have the bathroom revamped. Just for the record; September 2004 really sucked dick on a level I would not wish upon my worst enemy.

I had long since moved out on my own and was doing very well, so I did not need a place to live. Things were tough when I was a kid. This house has a lot of bad memories, a lot of demons for me, and for my whole family. It really was a pain in the ass after my parents died. Until you get appointed as the Executrix, ooh sexy it sounds like you get a whip and thigh high boots along with all the legal responsibility, everything is tied up instantly by the courts in order to protect creditors and heirs. So I was paying out of my pocket for a lot of stuff, like the utilities at my parents house where my sister lived and did not clean, pay bills, or function in any discernible way for fifteen fucking months mother fucker! So, by the time I had pretty much dealt with two terminally ill parents, their deaths, and their funerals single-handedly I was ready to burn off my fingerprints with battery acid and leave the country forever. I’d had enough shit with my family and everything to do with them to last me a thousand lifetimes. The last thing I wanted to do was live here.

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