Played some WoW; watched some anime; fed the cats and the birds; did laundry; made a batch of tuna salad; cleaned the cat boxes; went around the house with the Swiffer, getting rid of cobwebs (I even dusted the deer heads); dug into Mom's records in order to get a handle on what bills were due when; called the neighbors to give them the news and tell them when the funeral was; cleared some snow from the back patio; and even read a bit.
Around noonish I finally ran down, and decided I'd hit the hay...only my brother called and told me he was on his way down to finalize the funeral stuff and needed some information from me--stuff about Mom's life insurance policy, how much money was where, etc, etc.
It turned out that CostCo has a casket--a better one than we were going to order through the funeral home--for 1/3 the price of the funeral home casket. My brother tried to give the funeral home an opportunity to match the price (or come close, at least) but the director was unavailable, so he went ahead and ordered the casket on-line.
--this Intartubs thing that Al Gore invented is amazing--
Anyway, you snooze, you lose; too bad, so sad; pick your callous aphorism. My brother then called the cemetery to get information on the plot, and learned that if we buy the vault from the cemetery rather than the funeral home, we A) save markup on the vault; B) save the $300 "handling fee" charged by the cemetery. Total: about $1,000; if you add the $2,000 saved by buying a casket from CostCo, it makes this funeral around $3,000 cheaper than it otherwise would have been.
"That guy isn't going to like me very much," my brother said with a wry laugh.
All of this made me realize that I am not very good at putting aside my emotions. Of course, I have to realize--my brother has been trained to think as clearly as possible at all times, regardless of circumstances, by his years of medical school, internship, and residency. Much is made of how grueling it is for doctors to undergo their training, but they do it that way for a reason: being a doctor means doing the right thing every time, because some mistakes can kill people.
In the swirling wash of emotion that the last few days have been, it simply never occurred to me that you don't have to accept the price they quote and that there are options for everything. Sure, it's easier to go to the funeral home and let them take care of everything; that's how they make their money. But if you can just rise above your primate nature for a few hours of one day, you can save a lot of money on the deal.
My brother and I picked out an outfit for Mom to wear, and I took it to the cleaners; I may be a wreck but at least I can do the little things! We also had a chat about some things and tried to get a handle on how things would be, going forward. My brother doesn't seem to think that the house is going to sell very quickly--his estimate is, in fact, more pessimistic than mine by a factor of two--and we both understand that the place needs about a thousand small repairs before we can even think about listing it. (Plus a super-thorough cleaning.)
After that was all finished, my brother went to the funeral home to finalize the business and deliver the bad news to the guy about his profit margin; and I went to bed around 4-ish. Finally.
I was awakened twice, once by my sister (en route from Louisiana) and once by Sailor V, who saw the post about my aunt and wanted to offer condolences. That was around 6:30; and after that, I fell asleep and slept like a lumber yard for four glorious hours.
I woke up after 10:30, feeling much better than I have since Sunday night. Oh, I know it's temporary; but you can't stay "down" all the time and sleep was what I needed. Real, solid sleep, where I wasn't being woken up every hour by the phone or the cat or the cleaning lady or someone needing information or--
None of that: just me, my happy bed, and four hours of blissful, uninterrupted, restful sleep.
Not to look a gift horse in the mouth or anything, but six or eight hours would have been better. Oh well; I'll take what I can get. Besides, what woke me up (mainly) was my stomach, demanding some solid food. My tuna salad is great stuff, but my stomach wanted a freakin' bacon motherfucker or something, and I wasn't inclined to argue because my stomach and I agree on these matters. "Bring me the whole cow! I'll carve off what I want, and ride the rest home!"
Still to do: make sure my dress clothing is copacetic. I've also got to pick up Mom's clothes tomorrow and get them to the funeral home. It probably wouldn't hurt much to clean out the refrigerator and to do some tidying downstairs; and someone has to locate the family photographs and preselect some pictures. And the cosmetician needs a photograph of Mom to work from, so I should print that out, too.
Well: the hardest part is over. I'm talking about being in that ICU room; that's the worst part of the whole thing, when you're spending a couple of hellish hours there and it feels like a few eternities. The rest of it is just sweeping up, really. It's more work than the hardest part, but it's a hell of a lot easier to get through.
I mean, before, I was thinking about not bothering with the Christmas tree this year--but now I'm starting to reconsider that. WTF, it accomplishes nothing to dress myself in sackcloth and ashes, and Mom sure as hell wouldn't want any of us to do that. So I'll get the Christmas tree out of storage and put it up this weekend, and we'll all have to figure out what to do about the Christmas dinner Mom ordered (cancel it?) and I'll probably go to my brother's house for Christmas this year.
(Heh--I could sneak the QA-50 under his Christmas tree. Wouldn't that be a laugh?)
It's going to be lonely without Mom, but it doesn't fall to us to choose the time and manner of our passing--and Mom herself would have spared us this if she could have.
Kate Dembinski at Eternity Road talks about this kind of stuff--she lost her dad 10 days ago--and like her, I was expecting that Mom was going to be passing on, and in Mom's case sooner rather than later. The suspected metastatic disease, the bladder tumor removal and being hospitalized last summer, the general way she was getting more and more frail as time went on--I was hoping she'd last a couple more years, but I knew that she was not likely to live past age 85 at the best. So I was kind of mentally prepared for this, to some small extent.
There were plenty of times that she didn't get up at her normal time when I'd stand outside her bedroom and listen to hear if she was still breathing. Owing to her general toughness I half expected her to go out that way: just not wake up one morning. She would have preferred to go that way--that, or just one massive, sudden, fatal heart attack, bang and done, like my Aunt Bea, last summer. And in fact, I was hoping that Mom wouldn't linger on, but get the quick death she hoped for--just that it would be as far in the future as possible. I wanted her to have a great quality of life for as long as she could--to 85, 90, 100, whatever--and then drop dead without suffering.
Well--she didn't get to die at home, and she had to endure just one day of suffering in the hospital; but I don't think she'd be displeased with how things worked out. She went out pretty much on her own terms and she did it pretty quickly. 83's not a bad age, either.
* * *
As for the anime--
I put Yawara! on it, because there are a few eps on the machine here that I haven't seen. I wasn't sure where to start, so I looked at a few; finally I decided on ep 42.
Froth-Bite and Live-eviL haven't released a single episode of it since they re-released eps 41-58 as a batch torrent, in the wake of Animeigo's dropping of the license. Ep 59 is reportedly in the works. Am I ever going to get to see the rest of this freaking series?
Ep 40 is around where Yawara starts college and meets Fujiko, the girl who was a ballerina until she simply grew too damn tall to continue. Her association with Yawara gets Fujiko involved with judo; somehow she meets Hanazono and ends up being his wife after he knocks her up. I want to see all this stuff happen, damn it.
In ep 42, Yawara busts a shoulder throw on some poor sap in a disco who gets too fresh with her--Yawara is upset with herself for letting her body act on its own, thinking, "I'm a living weapon!" (wouldn't that make a great anime title?)--and Fujiko twigs to the fact that Yawara looks familiar. Could it be that Yawara is that Yawara Inokuma, the judo sensation sweeping Japan?
Meanwhile Yawara is desperately trying to keep her judo prowess a secret in order to have the normal college life she's always dreamed of. "He just tripped!" Uh, yeah.
...but Fujiko eventually finds out, and gets into judo, and ends up going to the freakin' Barcelona Olympics with Yawara in 1992.
I can't remember the name of Matsuda's photographer, the girl with the big hooters that replaced Kameda. She's portrayed "uncute", the way every non-Yawara girl in the series is drawn, but if Matsuda's not interested in her, I'll take her. Those boobies are malicious; this series was produced back when Ranma-chan's (or Lum's) breasts were considered large, so that photographer's chest is extra-luscious.
(I haven't had a girlfriend since September of 2009. C'mon.)
Speaking of bounteous pontoons, Eris in Asobi ni Iku Yo! is abusing the privelege. You know, they're just too big. (And her commanding officer's breasts are even more huge!)
And it looks like everyday people can buy assistaroids--damn it, I want a couple of 'em myself. It'd be awesome to have a couple of smallish bots around to take care of cleaning and stuff. I wish the catians were real. (Not just because I'd like to have my own catgirl, either.)
Looks like Fairy Tail has gotten to the first major plot arc. Erza has been introduced; and I think Erza's going to get added to my anime harem. I'm still not sure about including Lucy, but Erza's a definite.
Yeah, I'm pathetic.
* * *
Obviously I've had no time or inclination for serious WoW time over the past week, but Vicki managed to add another level and I put one on Mophus last night while waiting for Sailor V to get his act together.
Mophus is supposed to be the toon I level with Sailor V's toon, Chisulm. Problem is, last night his computer insisted on downloading the entire 9 GB client before it would let him play, so we dropped the idea of slaughtering half of Azeroth and instead chatted on the phone for 2.5 hours.
This evening I was looking at the video cable I have for connecting the computer to the blab slab, and I actually considered it for a few minutes. But I need to find the VGA extension cable before it'll reach, so I tabled that notion.
But I'm going to play WoW and watch anime for a while now, because life goes on.