Okay. Okay. I am already feeling WAY BETTER than several hours ago. The main thing is that Paul called with an update, and I don't know if you know this about me yet but I tend to PANIC ABOUT THE UNKNOWN, and so while I was here PANICKING ABOUT THE UNKNOWN he was making totally normal and reasonable arrangements with his normal and reasonable sister, and nobody is spending $35,000 on a funeral and everyone is aware that it would be more pleasant to keep that money for themselves and everything is fine.
AND! Someone thought of organ donation! Which I am so glad about, because even though I am an ADAMANT SUPPORTER OF ORGAN DONATION, even I didn't think of it in the shock of the moment. But thank goodness someone else did, so that was taken care of.
They're going with the least expensive burial option because it turns out two things were widely known about my mother-in-law (who, it must be said in her favor, tended to make her views WIDELY KNOWN): (1) she thought cremation was icky (and had bought a plot already), and (2) she thought it was stupid to spend more than the minimum on a funeral. One Budget Funeral, coming right up! AND this is one of those small-town places where everyone in a church takes their business, so there was no slick high-pressure stuff---more like "Okay then! Hey, Frank, it's one Neighborhood Special, no sides!"
ALSO, though so far it appears there is NO WILL NO WILL OMG NO WILL, she did have two small life insurance policies, one of the kind you get free if you have your account at a certain bank and one of the kind you sometimes get as part of your employment benefits. The two policies together will probably cover the funeral.
Also, Paul and his sister turn out to be able to figure things out JUST AS IF THEY WERE ADULTS, and are systematically going through their mom's house tossing junk out and deciding what they want to keep, and so far no one is fighting or biting, and everyone's being all matter-of-fact and just sort of taking care of what needs to be done, rather than sitting around going "huh?" which is what I was picturing.
Also, there was one person we COULD NOT REACH (she was on vacation and no one knew if she even HAD a cell phone) and we REALLY NEEDED TO REACH HER (it's my mother-in-law's only sibling), and I was a complete genius and thought of seeing if her kids were on Facebook, and they were, and I messaged them and within an hour she was calling Paul and his sister. So (1) I was a genius and my efforts were lauded, and (2) I felt like I was HELPING, which made me feel better and less useless.
Also, I caught up on the laundry a bit, and it turned out that even our king-sized quilt fit into the washing machine, so I could stop the endless circular fret-thread about how was I going to take it to a laundromat. And in fact, this little barf situation was for the best because that water was DARK. Kids have been jumping on this quilt with their shoes on for several years.
The children are still sick, but things don't seem quite so grim as they did this morning with no shower and a poor night's sleep and a huge pile of barfy laundry in the hallway and not knowing what was going on in another state. Now it seems more like, "Oh, the kids are sick. Guess they'll have to watch SpongeBob all day while I mess around on the computer."
Life-improving products, part 4 - (Continued from part 1, part 2, and part 3.) Stearns Youth Life Vest (photo from Amazon.com). I’d been too scared to take the kids to any body of water oth...