Thursday, July 05, 2007

A Harrowing Week

My brother and I showed up at dad's house last Friday to "finish up" the packing. At most, 45% of dad's household was packed. I immediately ate five doughnuts. I calmed down (or the sugary carbs calmed me down) and we spent 13 hours packing with intermittent, desultory help from dad and his two sisters and his niece (who had come to stay for a few days -- a fact dad failed to share with me). My brother was throwing loads of useful stuff into the dumpster and I was upset with him until I realized he was right -- that was the only way we'd be ready the next morning. The waste was jaw-dropping but it was far too late to sort out things to go to charity or into a yard sale. We left without even a "thank you" from dad. In fact, he and his sisters headed off to dinner without asking if we might possibly be hungry!

We spent Saturday helping him move and unpacking a bit. Monday we spent several hours cleaning and cleaning and cleaning some more. His house is absolutely filthy. I spent two hours scrubbing one bathroom and didn't even finish. I moved on to the walls, which were covered with cat sneeze leavings (disgusting, I know!). The fridge took about five scrubbings to get the caked on vegetable matter, jam, and other mysterious food leavings off. It was truly awful. Yesterday after taking my girls to see T in a parade, I went out again to clear more stuff out -- and the dumpster is almost full again (this is a 10-yard dumpster, which is the size of four pickup truck beds).

Meanwhile, my brother asked dad for his mail and checkbook registers so he can try and figure out how dad will pay his bills. Dad dithered before admitting that he hasn't recorded anything in his checkbook register since mom died, nine months ago. He seems to have completely lost touch with financial reality. He doesn't even have enough money to live one more month in his old house, but was telling my inlaws last night that he's hoping to take a trip to Wales, Scotland, and Ireland next year. I'm deeply disturbed and very worried. We're going to have a "talk" with him before my brother goes back to Seattle, but I don't know that he'll listen. We had a talk with him about finances nine months ago and he seemingly paid little attention to anything we said. I suppose there's only so much you can do. I don't want to be his mom -- and he is certainly not senile.

I suppose the only bright spot is that after the doughnut debacle, I didn't really allow all of it to affect my eating. I probably overate this past weekend some of the time, but I didn't binge because of the stress, and I didn't graze all day to avoid everything.

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