So, first, my apologies that I’ve been AWOL. Between my son Max’s birthday last week, buying him a new car for graduation, and graduation THIS WEEKEND, I’ve had to schedule/reschedule my own bathroom breaks.
And this post is not a short TALE, so grab your Red Bull, and put your feet up cuz it’ll be a LONG RIDE down a really fucked up rabbit hole…and… Today, I’m going to divulge a little backstory, which ignited Danny’s wrath and/or loathing of yours truly.
It all started when our dad died in November 2009. My brother, Ben, his wife, Alicia, my friend, Calista, Danny and I went to a funeral home in Virginia where we all grew up (well, not Alicia…she’s from Chicago, but anyway) to make arrangements for Dad’s funeral/burial. Btw, Calista has been one of my best friends since high school, which is why I asked her to go with me/us, and she WAS a good friend of Danny’s, but that is NO MORE…
THEN, Alicia, Ben and I went to the cemetery where Mom was buried. Danny and Calista didn’t go with us, most likely because Danny KNEW the cemetery folks would ask for CASH up front, and Danny, of course, was once again, unemployed.
As soon as we sat down with Beth, the manager of the cemetery, she said, “It’s my understanding that your father wanted to be cremated.”
We were all rather shocked to hear this because Dad was a devout Catholic, and the Catholic Church REALLY frowns upon cremation.
However, I assumed he changed his mind because Mom’s funeral in ‘07 cost over $11,000. She had NO life insurance. Dad emptied his savings account and sold the last of his stock portfolio to come up with around $3,000, which broke my heart b/c his stocks were worth around $200K when he retired in ‘97. Anyway, Ben and I paid the remainder of the fees. Luckily, Charlie and I had gotten an awesome tax refund that year, so it was no problem to help out.
I’m sure the cost of Mom’s funeral influenced Dad’s decision to be cremated. PLUS, Beth also told us, “All of the plots around your mother’s grave were sold years before she died. I have notes on my computer where he called me right after she died, and he left explicit instructions that he WANTED to be buried with her.”
At that point, we altered our plans. Ben and Alicia, Danny, Calista and I went back to the funeral home the NEXT day and chose another casket since the green one we’d previously chosen was not one they could use for cremation.
Danny seemed unhappy about buying a cheaper casket, but Ben and I felt it was ridiculous to spend mega cash on a box that was GOING TO BE BURNED. However, Mom and Dad both went to Marshall University, and were both FANATIC fans of MU’s football team, so we draped a Marshall blanket over the casket, and you really couldn’t see much of it during the visitation. Despite Danny’s grumblings, he finally agreed, and he, Ben, and I all signed the contract to have Dad cremated.
So, why am I telling you ALL of this? Am I EVER going to get to the point? Yes, and here it is.
Six months later, Danny emailed me asking when the closing was going to be to sell Mom and Dad’s house. I explained that Dad owed around $115K on the house b/c of the liens from the $40,000+ in credit card debt (and Danny fraudulently racked up about $33,000 of that), the two mortgages from Danny’s damned trailers (see Blog #4), which were around $65K.
The prospective buyers had agreed to a $72,000 price tag, and they’d obtained a home equity loan of $20,000 to repair the foundation. So, when you add in the real-tor fee of $5000 (the usual 7%) thereabouts…the closing obviously had to be canceled because the house had only been appraised for $69,500. Do the math: the total loan amount of $97K wasn’t enough to cover $115K in debt.
An hour later…ON the two-year anniversary of Mom’s death and coincidentally on the day BEFORE the closing had been scheduled, CRACK BRAIN replied:
From: danny smith [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Sunday, XXX, 2010 9:13 PM
Subject: RE: Sale of dad’s house…
IS THAT ALL YOU CARE ABOUT IS MAKING MONEY ON THE HOUSE? CALISTA TOLD ME SHE CONFRONTED YOU AND YOU SAI CREMATED OUR FATHER BECAUSE WE COULDN’T AFFORD TO BURY HIM….BUT, HE HAD A LOT OF LIFE INSURANCE. WHY DID YOU ALL LIE TO ME? I TALKED TO THE LADY IN THE CEMETARY. DAD DIDN’T LEAVE ANY INSTRUCTIONS WITH HER LIKE YOU TOLD ME…ID HAVE GLADLY GIVEN UP MY SHARE OF LIFE INSURANCE TO BURY HIM, OUR FATHER DID NOT BELIEVE IN CREMATION , YOU AND BEN AND ALICIA LIED TO ME at THE FUNERAL HOME, WHAT IN THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU,, YOU OWE ME AND DAD AN APOLOGY , AND YOUN NEED TO ADMIT YOUR SNIS TO THE PREIST.YOU NEED TO SEEK FORGIVENESS.
After I read this fabricated load of CA CA, I was completely stunned. Then, I started crying, then sobbing LOUDLY. I was at Mom/Dad’s house in Virginia gathering up the last few boxes of their junk, and still desperately trying to cope with the fact that we couldn’t sell our childhood home.
Then, I did what ALL the women in my family do to alleviate their misery. I went SHOPPING, and I bought 2-shirts I didn’t need, the movie: Sixteen Candles (LOVE John Hughes), a gallon of vanilla bean ice cream and ate almost half of it with chocolate syrup.
Then, I spent a good bit of time THINKING. First of all, Danny SIGNED the contract to cremate Dad, so WHY were me and Ben in the hot seat? We didn’t COERCE him. He didn’t say ONE WORD at the time. If he had objected, maybe, we would’ve buried him, but WHERE? He wanted to be buried with MOM. And we didn’t tell him AT the funeral home. We told him AT Dad’s house, so obviously, his memory is a tad skewed.
Secondly, Calista did NOT confront me. And I NEVER told her that we couldn’t afford to bury Dad. Danny twisted what I said, and Calista actually TRIED to explain to Danny that he was WRONG, but he wouldn’t LISTEN.
On the MORNING Dad died, I told Calista that I was concerned that the cost of a full burial would preclude us from repairing the foundation at Mom/Dad’s house, which had been sinking for years. And with the two mortgages on the house, I was afraid my childhood home would go into foreclosure because I knew Ben and I couldn’t pay two mortgages forever. There was enough in Dad’s savings and checking to pay the mortgages for about two months.
And after that…the truth was we really STRUGGLED to pay the mortgage and utilities until it sold. I remember Ben being ETERNALLY grateful that I, unlike Danny, am an HONEST person, and I sent him $800 from the estate sale I had a month after Dad died to pay the mortgages, etc. I only kept enough to cover the cost of advertising and my gas down to Virginia and back. So, why would I have lied to save the $2010.49 by cremating Dad, which came out to around $670 each?
My Dad’s last wishes are worth a HELLUVA lot more to me than $670. And Charlie and I make good money. It takes him about 11 hours to make that, so Danny can just FUCK OFF.
Aside from that, I didn’t know you could buy a house “as is”. When I was in junior high, I remember Mom saying that no bank would approve a loan from a perspective buyer unless we fixed the basement. Mom wanted to move, but Dad refused, so the basement continued to descend into the earth.
However, TODAY with the current foreclosure mess, obviously a house in need of structural repairs doesn’t bar anyone from getting a loan because a very nice man who owned two insurance agencies got approved to buy my parents’ house.
And correction, COKE JERK, Dad did NOT have “A LOT” of life insurance. He had a grand total of $20,000. Maybe, if you’re homeless/mooching off your family, that’s A LOT of money, but the almost $4K we received after the funeral costs were paid just barely covered our vacation to Pensacola in June last year. So, GET A LIFE, you COKE-ASSED MORON!
Now, there are those who might think that, perhaps, I was mistaken, that Beth didn’t say that Dad wanted to be cremated. After all, grief can definitely color your perception of things.
However, since Ben and Alicia live in California, Alicia had only met my Dad THREE times, so she wasn’t going through any grief really. Not that she wasn’t saddened by Dad’s passing because she liked him. Everybody did. And Alicia also contends that Beth stated unequivocally that my Dad led her to believe that he wanted to be cremated!
And wouldn’t you know it… I found a BROCHURE from the funeral home in Dad’s closet at Nana’s house when I boxing up the remainder of his clothes, etc., to bring home when Nana moved in with me and Charlie… and INSIDE the brochure were notes on letterhead STATIONARY from the funeral home with price quotes for cremation and various URNS…I thought about sending it to Danny, but I didn’t know where he was living, and he’d probably just tell himself/anyone who would listen that I’d somehow faked it…
I also called Beth and explained Danny’s delusional email, and she said they have to LOG all calls b/c of this kind of issue, and that DANNY had NOT called. So, that was yet ANOTHER example of Danny spewing BULLSHIT.
That said, CONSIDER THIS, the cemetery lost around $2K by cremating dad. So, WHY would Beth tell us Dad wanted to be cremated if he didn’t?
Aside from that, during one of his BRIEF stints of sobriety, Danny told Calista that if “his lips were moving while he’s using, then he’s LYING.” So, there ya go…I found out later from one of his friends that he drank a case of beer the day he wrote that email b/c he DRUNK-dialed him (our mutual friend). Later, Danny told this same friend that he also bought an 8-ball of Coke that SAME day, and stated that it wasn’t the “best blow” he’d ever had… so THERE YA GO…..
THEREFORE, we didn’t cremate Dad against his WILL. And I feel no GUILT for his cremation, and IF Beth was mistaken about Dad’s intentions, or we did misinterpret what she said, it was an HONEST mistake. And he would have FORGIVEN us.
However, shortly after Dad’s funeral, I remembered that Dad had said that we could, “bury him in a coffee can for all I care” as we were leaving the funeral home the day we bought Mom’s casket. I had COMPLETELY forgotten he’d said that.
At the time, I thought Dad was joking, and Ben even remembered my TELLING him about the coffee can comment. I also remembered Dad saying that since Mom had no life insurance, he would’ve had her cremated because he KNEW she wouldn’t care and would’ve hated the financial burden her funeral put on all of us. Mom and Dad were married for 49 YEARS. I think Dad knew her pretty well!
And Mom was a science teacher, and despite the fact that she was also Catholic, she was a little weird, and I remember her telling me how she got into mega trouble when she was 10 or 11 when Nana Maude came home from work to find her kitchen was lightly salted with sawdust. And she found bird guts in one side of the sink and some UGLY stuffed crow in the other. So, I’m thinking anyone who was into taxidermy in junior high probably wouldn’t care the least about cremation.
That said, the last thing Dad EVER said about possibly cremating Mom was, “But your Nana Maude wouldn’t HEAR of it.” I guess folks in the Pentecostal church don’t COTTON to cremation either… hard to say…
And that whole accusatory tone in Danny’s email regarding money is a defense mechanism. I think it’s his crackbrained way of directing the rage on me and Ben instead of being angry at himself for all his SINS.
I was so hurt by Danny’s brain-mushed theory from the COKE dimension that I couldn’t work for two days. If I hadn’t mentioned it, I’m an editor, and I occasionally do script consulting, both of which requires a good bit of focus to make sure you’re catching ALL of people’s errors in their work, etc.
Therefore, you can imagine since Danny has been riding this crazy cremation train for almost two years that he really wanted to strangle me after I allegedly STOLE his car and sold it, and I’m sure he tells people I just bought lots of Dom Perignon and new clothes and God knows WHAT else with the profits from selling the BMW (see Blog #15-The Money Drop) instead of paying all the debts left in his wake of chaos.
And that’s my $670’s worth…and for those who AREN’T aware, all the EVENTS in my posts are TRUE, but everyone’s names have been CHANGED to protect the innocent from the CRACKHEADS… 🙂
OVER AND OUT from the Geriatric SWAMP…