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!

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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.

 

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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]

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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Chapter Three: Oh, Brother!

 

We left off with the will stuff and I want to clarify one thing before we get cracking today on some high[1] fuckin’ drama:

 

It does not and did not surprise me in the slightest that their wills were different.  I was a little surprised that he admitted it in open company, and that they left it that way for so long… but oh, to have been a fly on the wall the day that shit went down.  See, it’s actually a long-standing disagreement between my father and stepmother, the way their spawn should be treated.  Each thinks the other should embrace their maritally acquired children as their own without having to do the same themselves.  On Dad’s side we have the your children were grown-ass adults with substance abuse problems by the time we met so why should I adopt them and bail them out financially with my hard-earned money? argument; on Marsha’s side there’s the classic whatever we do for one child we should do for the others because that’s the only way it’s fair gambit.  To give a real-life example, when my father cosigned a student loan for us mere months after refusing to loan Kenny several thousand dollars, it nearly ended their marriage.[2]  Marsha felt that if he wasn’t willing to “help” Kenny he should also refuse to “help” me; Dad saw it as two different issues in that I wasn’t borrowing money from him and also I was a significantly better credit risk than my stepbrother.  The debate rages on.[3]

 

Now, let’s move on to our main character in this chapter: Fucking Mark.

 

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Chapter Two: Will They/Won’t They?

 

When we left off, I promised that I would be moving forward with the story and telling you about my return to (my) Oz and my father’s return to very critical condition.

 

Instead, I think it’s important that we circle around to the issue I’d been avoiding for some time: the wills.

 

This is partly for story reasons, because telling the whole thing in a day-by-day recap would become overwhelming very quickly and also because I’m personally ready to examine some things.

 

That’s right, y’all are here to walk me through some free therapy. Hey, I’d do the same for you!

 

Don’t stop now – keep reading!