Monday, February 28, 2011

Home Again

I told my mom the next morning that I had to go home.  She was perfectly fine with whatever I wanted to do.  At any other time in my life I probably could have stayed and savored the water, the views, the solitude but I felt somewhat in limbo, not knowing where I stood in my life.  I am a “have at it” kind of gal.  If there’s a job to be done, I prefer to face it head on and get it over with. 

The boys were okay with going home too.  We packed up our things and left after lunch.  I wrote a thank you to Mary and Bill in the guest book they kept in the house.  It was a beautiful place to be; as I close my eyes and look back I see the yellows of my room, the blueness of the skies and water and dazzling night sky filled with stars.  The worries whirling around in my head could not be calmed by them.  I needed to get my house in order.

The drive back home always seems shorter to me, no matter where I travel.  It only took about an hour and a half.  We missed rush hour and the boys were in the backyard playing in no time.  One of the first things I did was to drive to the medical facility and bring back all the boxes and boxes of medical supplies we had been provided.  There were so many things left unopened.

I called my sister in-law, Christine and asked her about all of the drugs that I had for Rick.  My cupboards were full.  She said she would drop by later with Danny and take a look.  When she arrived and looked, she was astounded at the vast amount of items in “the pharmacy.”  As a pharmacist, she had seen so many sick people or spouses of patients who arrived in her pharmacy looking for medication to counteract the effects of chemo or other symptoms of disease.  She would be so sad to have to tell them that one pill might cost around $300, which they couldn’t pay. One bottle that she had in her hand was an anti-nausea drug that she told me was worth at least $1100.  I had a load of pain-killers which she said was the street addicts’ drug of choice and was worth almost as much.   We took load after load into the bathroom so that she could flush them down.  It was against the law for them to be re-dispensed or given to anyone else.  It just seemed like such a waste.  I also felt extraordinarily fortunate that Rick did not have to suffer without these drugs.

The medical supply company had come and removed the hospital bed, the bedside commode, the wheelchair and walker.  It felt great to reclaim my home.  I needed to do some spring cleaning and when I am in the antsy state of life cleaning is a great outlet for that energy.

I located the insurance policies and tried to contact the companies.  Rick and I had purchased the life insurance almost 15 years before and the company had changed hands several times.  I got out the policies and looked them over.  I almost keeled over when I read the beneficiary clause that  named my brother in-law instead of me.  I went ballistic; I was in a total panic.  How could we have made this mistake?  Oh dear god, tell me it isn’t true.  Tell me that I will have money to raise my boys with.  My mom came in and read it and she said I should call the insurance agent. 

Now this man must have been a hundred because he was quite elderly when we had purchased the policy from him.  When I called the number on the policy, a woman answered the phone and named a different insurance company and told me he had retired 11 years before.  Luckily, she did have his phone number and I was able to get him at his home.  He asked me to look for particular items within the policy and in  about ten minutes, he was able to assure me that I was fine; I would be the only beneficiary of the two policies.

Mom suggested a cup of tea to calm myself with.  We sat down and had a cup and my mom started to tell me about the night that my father died.  It was weird because I had never heard this tale before.  I would think she would have shared this prior to this moment.  I knew I had take it as it was being offered.

Karen and Paul dropped over to visit with my mom and to see the kids.  Michael Sean and Jack were thrilled to see their cousins.  They headed out back.  It seemed too calm and quiet in the house without Rick to concentrate on.  It felt extremely strange.  Karen decided to go with me over to the funeral home to retrieve the death certificates.  I would need them to submit the paperwork for insurance, to close accounts held in his name, to contact Social Security.  We drove over and she was telling me about how things were going over there.  Her children were taking Rick’s loss very hard.  They had known a lot of children who died and now it was their uncle.

I dropped Karen off and told her not to be a stranger and then went home.  My mom was putting dinner on when I arrived home.  The boys were out playing in the backyard.  I had brought in the mail with me.  There was a gigantic envelop for me from the Social Security Administration.  I had spoken to them a week before.  They just happened to call the day after Rick died.  When I got on the line, the woman was telling me that he was approved.  I told her that Rick had died.  She was pleased to tell me that since Rick had been approved, it would only be a case of changing out the form.  I still needed to send an additional thousand documents but at least the ball was rolling.
I was home and looking at getting things together.  I can do this.  None of this would be easy but I could get started on the mountain that was before me.

1 comment:

  1. If the death of a loved one hasn't sent you in a downward spiral, then certainly the forms related to the death will do the trick. I'm glad that it's all behind you.