I’ve got the doctor tomorrow, so I had to write tomorrow morning’s posts today, and then had to write this morning’s posts, and then my Newswithviews column, and then came a couple of hours’ worth of paperwork involving Aunt Joan’s inconsequential estate…
So I went to the bank to get a bunch of papers there, and then to the accountant to deliver a bunch of papers to him, and get asked a lot of questions that I had no idea how to answer–and it’s still not finished, more papers yet to obtain, more forms to fill out–
Pardon me for screaming.
Charles Dickens wasn’t kidding, or even exaggerating, when he wrote Bleak House, the story of the havoc wrought on a lot of people’s lives by an estate that just never can get tied up and settled. We’ve got our own Bleak House right here, and it’s wearing us out.
I can’t imagine what they’d be doing to us if my aunt had actually left us any money.
So I had to go to the bank today and set up Aunt Joan’s estate account. Nobody’s getting anything, the government will get it all, but the paperwork never ends. Like, never.
I didn’t understand half of what the guy was telling me, and when he got around to telling me that because I’m only a mere nephew, and not a son, they can only release half of the money, or whatever, I’m afraid I blew my stack. “What are you talking about? [expletives deleted] I mean, there is nobody else, there’s only me–everybody else is [bleep] dead!”
My wife was most upset that I didn’t get the business done as well as it could have been. *sigh* So I went outside to smoke a cigar, and discovered that there was a baby cardinal in the garden, with the mother and father flying all around and all in a tizzy because the baby should’ve been in the nest, and there was nothing I could do to help them. We just checked again, and found all three cardinals gone. I hope that means they got the little guy to fly. He must have done at least a little flying, to wind up there in the first place.
My stomach is just starting to return to its proper location in my abdomen. But I can forget about writing another chapter of my novel today.
I’m much better today, although not yet entirely out of the woods: very tired, still stuffed up–but with intervals of breathing. It makes for a very quiet Fourth of July. Patty and I did our “Deer Cove Market” jigsaw puzzle again this afternoon.
I’d better be better tomorrow, because I have to go to the bank and do something about the avalanche of paperwork concerning Aunt Joan’s microscopic estate. It never ends. What they would be doing to us if she’d actually left any money, I prefer not to try to imagine.
Meanwhile, everybody, thank you so much for your prayers: and thank you, Our Father, for hearing them.
Today we are wiling away the morning trying to set up an estate account for Aunt Joan, who left virtually no money. I went to the bank but got nowhere. Now we’re trying to get her accountant to take over. “We need an EIN from the IRS or we’re SOL,” I told him. He is astonished that there would be so much fuss over such a small account. Anyway, now he’s going to try to manage it for us. I’ll have to deliver him some documents, so hasta la vista for now.
This is the hymn they had for Aunt Joan’s funeral mass today, I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say (1846).
There were only six of us. One of my cousins and his wife came all the way down from Connecticut. And one of Aunt Joan’s long-time co-workers stopped in at the viewing. But if you live to be over 90, as Joan did, most of the people you’ve known and loved have already died.
I would like to tell you a little story about her, as a memorial.
She and her twin sister, Aunt Florence: little girls who shared a bedroom, rainy day, what to do? Well, they had one of those old-fashioned beds with an iron frame and bars at the foot. These bars looked like the bars on a jail cell! So the girls decided to play Robin Hood. One of them would be Maid Marian, in the Sheriff of Nottingham’s prison, and the other would be Robin Hood, and rescue her.
So Maid Marian gripped the bars and poked her head through, to cry, “Help! Help!” That was fine, as far as it went. But she couldn’t pull her head back in! And Grandpa had to come upstairs with all his tools and take the bed apart…
I’ll be out all morning tomorrow, for Aunt Joan’s viewing, funeral mass, and graveside service. I expect only my brother and sister to attend, so I made all the arrangements for the same day, to spare them extra trips on the Garden State Parkway.
I’ve instructed WordPress to publish a few posts in my absence.
Aunt Joan used to say she didn’t want to be the last leaf on the tree, but that’s how it turned out. Well, she’s in Christ’s Kingdom now, with all her family and friends. God created us for eternal life, and now she has it. Bless and praise the Lord.
My maiden aunts. of whom Aunt Joan was the youngest, were voyagers. They sailed on ships like this one in the picture, and they went everywhere. They were young women living before the age of universal jet travel. You could join the Navy and still not see as much of the world as they did.
Today I’m up early because I have to deliver Joan’s burial dress to the funeral home and make as many of the arrangements as I can. It was only Friday that we finished preparing her taxes for this year.
Well, she had one more voyage to make, and now she’s made it; now she’s there. It’s the last voyage, the voyage home; and she has made it.
So many of you have already contacted me to express your sympathy: Patty and I thank you one and all.
I had been expecting Aunt Joan’s death for quite some time, but still was hardly ready for that phone call. She’d been through so many medical crises, and always rallied. But this time she just slipped away. Now I’m the oldest surviving member of my family–and who ever thinks he’ll one day be that?
All the phone calls now, the ones I have to make. Better get back to it.
Thanks again, all my friends, and I’ll try to be back after supper.