Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Death and taxes

Well, so far, I have to say that 2009 has SUCKED. Let me explain...

I have to begin the year knowing that Osama Obama is going to be living in the Black House. That alone is enough to ruin my year. However, a mere 5 days after the inauguration of Bat Shit Obama, I receive that late night call that nobody ever wants to get. My other dad, John, had passed away unexpectedly on January 25 from an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm at the age of only 66. For those of you who don't know me, I refer to John as my "other" dad, rather than my step-dad, because he was just that--my other dad. He was in my life from the age of nine. That makes him my other dad. His wisdom and no-nonsense approach will live on after his passing through his three daughters (my sisters), my brother, and myself. I was very close to John, and for the first time since I can remember, I cried after hearing of his abrupt departure from this world.

I won't go on and on about John, as I could fill pages with all of the things that this man meant to me and did for me. His work wasn't done here, but I suppose he was taken away because someone had a need for him elsewhere. One of a very select few men that I can truly say I loved, John was a great, great man. He loved all of his kids and treated us all as equals, showing no more or less favoritism to any of us, and giving us the same praise across the board. He was a man of very little anger, and had a huge group of friends and acquaintances. For 32 years, John kept my mother company as her husband and her best friend...and her Jeopardy partner. These two lived for each other. If there were ever 'soul mates', these two would be it. But now my mom will have to pick up and go on without our beloved John. He was, indeed, a great man, and I will take his wisdom, his discipline, and his lessons to the grave with me. I miss him every we all do.

Moving on to the day after we arrive back home from John's funeral, I get a call from my step-mom, Jan. After the huge ice storm that hit during our absence, nearly all of the trees on my dad's 200 acre farm were damaged, some of which fell across the fences. While clearing some of the brush off the fence, there was a combination of poor balance, icy conditions and a springy branch--leading to an accident where he nearly severed his left hand just above the wrist with a chainsaw. He was airlifted to the hospital in Springfield, MO, to have his hand reattached, and as of today, it appears as though he'll get 90% of its use back. He'll have a beauty of a scar and a little odd numbness here and there, but for the most part, a functional hand. I have stated numerous times that perhaps THIS is the 'sign' that he needs to take it easy and enjoy his autumn years. He is rapidly nearing 70 years old, and it's time to reap the benefits of retirement. Whether or not that will happen still remains to be seen...but one can hope!

OK, so now we move on to February. My great aunt 'Tillie', whom my father had moved up to be with them, had grown weaker and weaker. She had good days and bad days, but basically was becoming worse and worse. At 98 years old, she didn't have a long way to go. On February 26 (also my son's birthday), Aunt Tillie finally gave up her battle. She died in her sleep, quietly and painlessly, as it should be. Her graveside service was made more surreal by the weather--rain, strong winds, and 35ยบ temperatures. I sleep better knowing that her pain is gone. She can finally be with Uncle Anton, who died 40 years earlier.

We finally made it to March--taxes have to be filed! Yes, they're done, and with no help whatsoever from bailouts and Obama's great "nobody will ever have to work again" plan, my lovely bride and I received over $5000 from our illustrious government. It was almost like our own little stimulus package. Who needs Obama when you can actually PLAN for financial crises?!

All that, and it's only March 4. I shudder to think what lies ahead for the next nine months. I've been told that bad things happen in threes--I hope I've had my 'three' for a long time. Until next time...good bye, John and Aunt will both be missed.

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