November 8, 2009

Ack

I hope you will forgive me if I am so crabby and touchy you want to slap me with a sheet of plywood. I am just...just....ACK.

Okay, so first of all, I am trying not to interfere with the family's plans for my mother-in-law's body, but on the other hand I am so worried they're going to spend tens of thousands of dollars on stuff none of them care about just because they'll keep saying "Okay, okay, okay" to everything mentioned to them with NO IDEA how expensive things are, and have I mentioned we have after years of savings only JUST saved up enough for Rob's impending braces? And so the idea of spending, say, five times that much, on the disposal of a dead body, and possibly having to take out a home equity loan to pay for it, is...uh. ACK. Basically ACK. And yet just try even GENTLY suggesting that it would be cheaper to light the body on fire and go have a beer, and everyone gets all SQUIRRELLY.

And then, Paul is gone for at least a week, and I've had to put on wool socks AND an additional comforter just to match his furnace-like qualities, and also I am moping around feeling mopey about things I find of his such as this:


He took Rob with him, so I'm fretting about Rob missing so much school, and worrying that his teacher will think this means we don't think his education is important, and I'm worried Something Will Happen on the long car trip.

Also, I have NIGHTMARES about needing to pack rapidly for something, and so packing for their trip was stressful, and it has also been stressful to gradually become aware of all the things I forgot: Paul's undershirt, Rob's belt, Paul's pajama pants, Rob's toothbrush, etc. It's especially frustrating because everything I forgot for one person I remembered for the other, so it's not like I forgot about the need for such items, it's more like I LOST MY MIND. But all right, I can reassure myself: all these things can be purchased at store. It is no big deal. Breathe, breathe.

Meanwhile, back at the home front, William's fever has gone away as of several days ago, but now he is in the stage of Endless Coughing. And the other three children have all---ALL---developed fevers in the 102s and 103s. And when Elizabeth has a fever, she barfs, and so at 1:00 in the morning I was taking all the bedding off MY BED (mattress pad, sheets, down blanket, quilt, extra blanket for furnace replacement) because she came upstairs for what was apparently the express purpose of barfing on it, and also taking off all my own pajamas because ditto, and also thanking goodness we had about eight boxes of baking soda in the pantry, and also WASHING THE WALLS and let's leave it at that.

I mean, are you getting this? I am here by myself with four children, three of whom are sick, one of whom is BARFING sick. The house reeks and I'm trapped. TRAPPED! And meanwhile, decisions that could strongly affect my financial future are being made FAR AWAY and WITHOUT ME. ACK!

33 comments:

Jess said...

Oh dear. Oh no. I sincerely hope that someone who is a little less in shock and grieving is there to provide a bit of a voice of reason when it comes to these decisions. Fingers crossed.

I hope everyone gets better soon!

Katie said...

Horrible. HORRIBLE. That many bad things should not happen to such a nice family, especially at once.

willikat said...

Whoops. That previous comment is from Willikat.

Kristi said...

ACK is an understatement - I think a mainline of coffee and brownies is in order. If I were closer, I'd be right over. Hang in there - at least it's good blog fodder ;)

Portia said...

Swistle, that sounds like utter hell. I honestly can't imagine anything worse. (the barf! the possibility of thousands of dollars disappearing for no good reason!)
Hopefully Paul can be a reasonable (?) voice in the financial stuff. Funeral accoutrements really are a scam.
I would tell you to take care of yourself, but it's not like washing your hands and reminding children to cover their mouths is going to do a whole lot when you're stuck in a house with four feverish bodies. So...uh...eat something tasty and know that eventually the kids will feel better and Paul will be back.

Portia said...

my word verification was unkspend! like unspend! like, no, there will be no going into funereal debt on this blog!

Wenderina said...

Oh the stress. My stomach ties in knots just thinking of it. One of the best things my parents (one deceased, one very much alive) did for us kids was plan everything in advance. They donated their bodies to science which eliminated all burial/cremation costs and although we are quite lapsed members of a church, the church ladies helped us with a reception in the hall following a brief memorial for my dad. Being a writer (in my heart at least), I splurged on what I needed to for my dad - I paid nearly $700 for an obituary with a photo that only scratched the surface of describing that an incredible man he was. A year later, the college where we had donated gave us his ashes and we sprinkled them along his favorite walking path in the woods. Taking the commercial act from his death was his last gift to us and what my mother has planned as well.

Fiona Picklebottom said...

This calls for heavy drinking. Hope everyone (including you) feels better soon.

Jamie said...

Oh man, I remember being in a very similar situation last year when my MIL died suddenly, (though no one had to travel, she lived near by) and I'd just had a baby and we'd JUST gotten our finances under control and paid off all of our debts and suddenly TENS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS were being racked up on our newly paid off credit cards, and I'm all icked out by burial anyway so I was gently trying to suggest creamation and WHOA! yea, bad idea.

It sucked. A lot. And I am SO SORRY you're having to go through this alone with sick kids and, yea, ACK!

Hotch Potchery said...

ACK, indeed. I'm very sorry that all of this is going on, especially sick kids and you all alone and everything.

Lindsay said...

Ack. Do you think you might talk to Paul? I don't see it as insensitive. It's you supporting him - recognizing what could be going on and having the guts to address it. If he truly is into the expensive option then it's a different situation, and sort of back to Ack. Good luck with the kids and just everything really.

robyn said...

I just saw your announcement, and ... wow.

Did she have a life insurance policy, or savings, or other income that might offset burial costs? Did she own her house? I would hope that she had some assets that would keep it from TOTALLY becoming the responsibility of her kids.

Yikes. I'm so sorry. Fingers are crossed that the barfing portion of your adventure has passed, and that your week alone with the children whizzes by.

Kate @ Life As I Live It said...

Ack indeed.

Jenni said...

ditto, kate.

MW had that nast cold w/fever. fever gone as of a week, but still coughing.

Alicia @ bethsix said...

My fourth little one finally has that (his first!) fever, but with the other three, it only lasted about 24 hours, but then! The coughing! The coughing! The coughing! The! Incessant! Coughing!

It could obviously be worse (the barfing!).

So sorry, Swistle.

Katie said...

oh no. Each of these things ALONE is sucky and not to be endured by one person alone. But combined? HELL. Just hell. Hang in there and this too shall pass. Hopefully they will come to their senses about the money thing.....

Maria said...

Oh Swistle, I'm so sorry you are going through all this. It's kinda got me thinking...are you sure you don't live under a Hellmouth? Check the basement.

SIL Anna said...

Wow, that sounds just awful. Awful. Especially the whole 'cleaning the walls' part. Awful.

d e v a n said...

Oh dear!!! STRESS!!! Big, huge, calming vibes to you!

lisa said...

Oh man.....three sick kids? NOT. FAIR.

aibee said...

Make a list?

I keep telling myself to "make lists! Lists are AWESOME! Successful people MAKE LISTS" and then I add "make a list!" to the first line of my FIRST list and, yes. That ends up being The List ie NO LIST, and my life continues to be a neverending stream of eff words strung reallytighlytogether.

ANYWAY.

Apparently lists solve everything so...make a list?

And here, how about an awkward, internet type hug -> ((((Swistle))))

parkingathome said...

Oh god I have those nightmares as well, i totally feel your pain on that front. I just...I'm sorry you have to go through this!

Christina said...

She didn't have any savings or anything? Can you sell her car or something?? I've never heard of the family paying out of their pockets for a funeral. My relatives had all pre-planned their stuff and it was paid for w/ their life insurance or their savings. Sorry you have to go through that and it might affect you guys financially, b/c WOW that stuff is expensive!!

Also sorry for the sicks kids. I was a huge puker when I was little - I had acid reflux and my poor parents cleaned up puke non-stop. I pray when I have my own kids I'm not punished for that. :(

Farrell said...

First of all, I think any packing is nerve-wracking.
Then the barfing child and the other feverish children - ugh. God bless you, Swistle.

Sarah said...

Yikes! Sounds awful. I hope things start looking up soon -- or the at the very least, the barfing stops.

Kelly said...

Oh gosh dear. I laughed so hard at the barfing thing. I used to walk into my mom and dads room and go mom...mom...and she'd go 'what honey?' and i'd answer "blaaauuuugght" all over the bed. LOL
its like something out of a movie.
and I'm so sorry its your movie. Many many hugs and shots of tequila.

Leeann said...

The whole entire thing is the height of suck

I am mighty surprised you haven't just hit YOURSELF with the plywood and taken yourself out of the misery!

Good vibes being sent your way, dearest Swistle!

Lippy said...

If I lived near you I would come help. Middle of the night barfing is the worst. And to have to do it by yourself? Not cool. When my grandpa died, I packed my mom's stuff and mine. We had pant and shirts, but none of it matched. Not a single coordinated outfit. That takes skillz.

Shelly said...

Oh honey. All that sucks. Yeah, I can see how suggesting cremation might not go over so well right about now. Hopefully, they will make a financially responsible decision. And why is it that children ALWAYS manage to barf in your bed and not their own?! Homing instinct or something? Whatever it is, it sucks, too.

marybt said...

I thought I was the only one who read Existential Pleasures of Engineering! I'm so relieved to learn that someone else is. :)

I hope your kiddos get well soon.

I don't know what to say about the funeral arrangements except that it sucks. Even under the best of circumstances it sucks. Just remember what it's like and be sure you have yours taken care of so your children won't have to go through this. (Is that too morbid? Welll, it's life though.)

Hobo Mama said...

I agree with ack wholeheartedly. Here's my story of packing woes to give you a temporary laugh, and then you're free to go back to fretting, because I know I would be. My brother went on a business trip and blamed his wife for not packing his underwear. Yes, my brother is of age and could have managed his own undies, but he didn't. So my SIL says to him on the phone, Go buy some undies at the store. And my brother, being stubborn as all get out, says, No, he'll make do, she should just bring some from home when they meet up at my parents' house later in the week. So that's what he did. He wore them right side out one day, inside out the next, nothing the third day to let them air out, and then back to the first way, for almost a week total. That's dedication to cheapness, my friend. Here's hoping your family is more sensible and will just go buy the things they need. But not all the things they don't need.

SIL Anna said...

"The existential pleasures of engineering" = aw.

Alexandria SH said...

I am a bad person.
Because, even though I've been meaning to for ages (maybe even years. you'd have to ask AlienBea, she's my sister and the one that's been bugging me to Hurry Up and Read Already Dangit) I just now discovered the awesome that is your blog. Kinda inspires me to put fingers to keyboard and tend to my poor, sad, neglected one.
And also because I was giggling madly by the end of this post.
Bad me!
Bad, bad, me...