Chapter Ten: Tock…

 

My father, in case you hadn’t guessed from other clues, has always been oddly old-fashioned about certain things.

 

I wasn’t allowed to get my license when I turned 16 because, according to him, I didn’t need it; I’d have a boyfriend to drive me anywhere I wanted to go anyway.[1]

He objected to my choice to dye my hair, stating that God himself had chosen for my hair to grow a certain color and I couldn’t possibly know better than the almighty.[2]

While he readily admitted (truly, without prompting) that women were free to wear whatever they liked, and should be comfortable in their clothing, he also expressed a strong preference for women—particularly his daughter—in a dress.  Any dress.  He wasn’t fussy about length or neckline or anything, just… a dress.  Skirts were, in his opinion, a poor substitute; I never did figure out why.  I had some damned cute skirts.  But he gave them the same side-eye as my shorts, jeans, or anything else.  Only a dress (mid-thigh or ankle length—he truly had no preference!) would get a genuine compliment out of him.

 

Now we come to two facts about me that are immutable yet have somehow gone unsaid on this blog:

  1. I will never be good enough for my father.
  2. I will go to my grave trying.[3]

 

Don’t stop now – keep reading!

Chapter Nine: Tick…

 

I had a dilemma.

 

Mark—a known liar and universally recognized idiot—thought he had had a medical PoA for my father.  He believed that Marsha had gifted it to him on her deathbed and—like any collectible item—it could be passed in exactly this fashion.

 

 

ME:  He thinks he inherited it.
OFFSPRING:  It’s not… what?!
ME:  Like it’s a fuckin’ brooch or something.  I don’t know…
OFFSPRING:  Okay, but that’s not how legal documents work!
ME:  I KNOW!
OFFSPRING:  Fuuuuuuuck.
ME:  Tell me ‘bout it.
OFFSPRING:  Well, what are we gonna do?
ME:  … I haven’t decided.
OFFSPRING:  Whelp.  You’ve got four and a half days to figure it out.
ME:  (sighs)

 

Don’t stop now – keep reading!

Chapter Eight: Just Like “The Notebook”

 

Let’s talk for a moment about my qualifications as a potential medical proxy:

 

  1. I’m the next of kin[1]
  2. I have no fear of medical personnel or situations, so I’m not afraid to question if something seems off. Loudly, when necessary.
  3. I manage the shit out of any situation I walk into; it’s just my nature.
  4. I have an actual medical background beyond a street pharmacist on speed dial
  5. Fucking all the things
  6. This thing I’m about to tell you in particular.

 

And this thing?  Jesus.  If I did this thing for you in your hour of need you would beg me to take control of your shit.  Which is why I waited until now to talk about it—I needed y’all to understand the kind of stress I’m under, and why I can’t go around performing miracles for all of you.

 

But I did perform a miracle in Colorado, right before I ended my first visit.  And I will likely never get credit for it, because other people are assholes.

 

Don’t stop now – keep reading!

Chapter Seven: Flip!

 

I had the medical PoA!!! 

 

I mean, it wasn’t notarized or anything, but that was going to be done tomorrow, so no worries.  And (bonus!) Dad was now hella suspicious of Mark and wanting to look into his shenanigans with the money.  Hell, even if he turned out to be squeaky clean (which… come on.  The man spent his days in the garage my daddy built, drinking beer and smoking pot;[1] what were the odds he was paying for it himself every time?) the shadow of doubt had been cast.

 

Don’t stop now – keep reading!

Chapter Six: Classic Chase

 

After I sat there—letting four grown-ass men who don’t know me shit all over me, call me a liar and worse—I left the hospital sobbing.

 

I was almost certainly in no condition to drive, but I did so anyway because what I needed more than vehicular safety was distance from the location of that verbal hit-and-run.

 

Wait—no, that’s not the right term.  A hit-and-run would have been quicker.  They stuck around to watch my suffering.  Is there a vehicular equivalent to the torment I’d just silently endured?

 

I called Husband with the report, still kicking myself for not defending myself, not outing Mark as the liar in that room.  I had the proof, why didn’t I use it?

 

Because I was still bleeding internally from the loss of my stepmother.

Because I was reeling at the discovery that she’d hated me.

Because every time I opened my mouth he got more vicious.

Because my father was already weak and suffering and the one thing he’d asked was for there to be no fighting.  So I didn’t fight back.  And Mark used that against me, as proof that I was a liar—only a liar would sit there and let people call her a liar, right?[1]

 

Don’t stop now – keep reading!

Chapter Five: Secrets and Lies

 

Welcome back.

 

When last we saw each other, I’d just found out that the person I loved and admired, with whom I’d traded secrets and kept them, hates me.  Present tense—she might be dead, but I’ve no doubt she wasted her first days in the afterlife lecturing Saint Peter about what a horrible person I am.

 

What made it worse was the realization that literally everyone else knew it.  I was the clueless one, following her around like a golden retriever, thinking we were pals.

 

Don’t stop now – keep reading!

Chapter Four: Gutted

 

This was originally intended to be crammed into the last chapter, but then that one ran long.  Hopefully this one will be shorter for all that?  Who knows!

 

Hey, we’re all experiencing this together, more or less.

 

Now, where were we… Ah, yes.  I was gowning up in the hall and my father was inside his room, bellowing for a priest.

 

Don’t stop now – keep reading!