Sunday, February 28, 2010

Down, Down, Down

The Old Man's been in Hospice care for several weeks; at the time, the docs gave him 3 to 6 months.

We got a call this morning: they've put him on oxygen; his heart keeps trying to stop; the pneumonia he's been beset with for more than a year isn't getting any better--and the Hospice folks aren't taking him to the hospital.

I've long since accepted that he's going to die; Alzheimer's just does it agonizingly slowly.

I wish his daughter--my step-sister [let's call her "Screech"]--wasn't having such a hard time with it. Her coping mechanism has been denial and shrill accusation: he doesn't have Alzheimer's. He's not going to die. He didn't have a stroke. You've gotten him locked up like that so you could take all his money. You've got him in that place to kill him. At first, she was venting at the top of her lungs over the phone, screaming at my mother, who has Power of Attorney and has been managing all this shit the best she can.

Mom hung up on her ass. Screech called back--"Did you just hang up on me?!?!!!11!1!!?"
Mom said, "Yes." And hung up on her ass again.

So now Screech is doing her screeching by proxy, I think through an aunt.

Funeral's going to be interesting. I've been assigned the task of keeping Screech away from Mom. Not really sure how I'm supposed to do that. Do I loom with amiable menace like a bouncer? Stand hip-shot like a gunslinger, one hand on my trusty Peacemaker? Show off my mad bo-staff skillz like Napoleon Dynamite?

Shit. I don't want to go to the funeral. I don't want to deal with Screech's childish rantings or the other asinine family politics--the cousins who pretend I don't exist at the yearly reunions; I don't want to see my insane step-brother (yeah, I've got some stories about him...the entire neighborhood does).

[ETA: The funeral went quietly, nobody misbehaved.]

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