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Monday, December 11, 2006

Catching up on the last few days

Let's see. . .Thursday I had to do a radio interview at 2 pm (I must have sounded lovely with my cold), then went to the doctor at 3:30 to get some cold meds and more cough syrup. Picked up my meds, came home, ate and went to bed.

Friday morning I had to do a phone interview with the Social Security Administration. The woman was nice, asked a lot of questions and because of my age, I am only eligible for a $255 one-time death benefit. I can start collecting on Chris' SS when I turn 60. That's a way aways. Okay.

At 3:30 I went to my lawyer's office and got the official word that the workshop at Chris' parents house does come to me. I made arrangements with his mom and some friends to get the book collection out of the basement on Saturday. I also had to sign a bunch of paperwork - for the life insurance, the title of the Jeep so that it's now mine, etc. My eyes began to cross at the end. Took a hot bubble bath and went to bed early.

Bandit has been getting me up at around 5 am to let him out, but let me sleep in until 8:30. Good doggie.

Headed over to Mom2's house and met Dick and Bob there. Between my Jeep, Dick's van and Bob's truck, we figured we could do it all in two trips at the most. We went through each book to see if any belong to the American Marine Model Gallery, who claims that a lot of items in the basement were theirs or "jointly owned." A whopping eight books belonged to them.

We ended up fitting most of the books in the one trip, got them back to my house and put on shelves in the library here. Turned out we just needed to fill up the Jeep one more time. Hugs all around and I gave Bob and Dick a special something as a thank you, plus a little Christmas gift bag with candy inside. Hugged Mom2 and told her I'd call her when I went on my next trip Monday (today).

I got home, exhausted, called a local restaurant to do takeout, ate, then collapsed in bed early and put the heating pad on. Man, was I sore (and still am).

Sunday took the dogs for their morning run to get the papers (Boston Globe and Maine Sunday Telegram) and to listen to Doc in the morning on WHEB - he plays blues every Sunday - Bandit's favorite music.

Got home, finished my presentations, then packed the dogs in the car and drove to Portsmouth to do some shopping for the trip and odds and ends. Got home, made dinner, then steeled myself for an unpleasant task.

It turns out no one remembered to call Dad's brother or his granddaughter, Kathy about Dad and Chris dying. I got the phone numbers from Mom2 and made my first call. I got Kathy on her cell phone (she is Chris' oldest brother's daughter). I asked her if she was somewhere that she could talk. She was kind of cold at first and said if it concerned her dad, yes. I hesitated, told her no, but it might be a good idea to call me back. She told me to tell her. So I did.

She was very quiet, then said, "My grandfather and uncle died and no one told me?"

She was pissed. I don't blame her. I apologized and said I was a bit of a mess that first couple of weeks and only remembered to ask Mom2 this past weekend. She started to cry. I started to cry. I gave her my phone number and hope to talk to her today. She has it in her head that all of Chris' family hates her. I know there have been problems in the past, but they need to be put aside at this time.

I called Dad's brother in Florida. At first he didn't believe me and almost hung up on me. When I got it through his head that his brother who lived in Dover, NH had died and that his nephew, my husband was also dead, he took a moment to pause and think. He told me he was so sorry for my loss and thanked me for calling him. Then he said he wasn't surprised no one called him as they weren't the most communicative family. I didn't know what to say to that. What do you say? I asked if he wanted my number, but he said he wanted to talk with Mom2 first.

I cried a lot after those calls. I feel so bad no one called them. I'm just glad I finally did. They needed to know.

So, today, the dogs and I go on a road trip up north. I'm speaking at a school tomorrow. A friend is housesitting for me (bless her). It should be interesting on the road - it's a four hour+ drive and with Bandit blind and grumpy and Guin not the smartest dog, well, at least they'll keep me busy.

The school has a room I can put them in while I do my talks tomorrow morning, which is good.

Well, off to pack and get the heck out of here.

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