Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The Move

Lent is in full bloom. We had 9 services the first seven days of Lent and 4 a week since. We managed somehow to get my father in law to most of them...well, we really didn't have much choice, either he went or the Reader or Choir Director stayed home. Since we were really the only two people in the Mission that knew the Lenten services, music and rubrics that really wasn't much of an option. It became increasingly clear that her decision to let go of trying to care for him in our home was correct.

My wife and her brother had found a couple places to move their father into, but there were no vacancies. Hospice gave her a list of some other places to look and she found one with an opening. All the arrangements were made for the move. Two days before the move the State's "indigent health care" agency called and said they only pay for a semi-private room, the one we were moving him to was a private room and we'd need to supplement 1,000/month for the room. We cancelled the move and looked at another place run by the same company. Not quite as nice, but nice. A room with a complete jerk in the next bed, but a room. The staff was experienced and the "lead lady", a large black woman with a contagious good nature has been doing this as a ministry for 12 years. Gil will have some personal attitudinal challenges being ministered to by a Black and Phillipino staff.

We moved him Saturday. We picked him up for Church Sunday and my wife said, "They didn't put him to bed right last night...his feet and head weren't raised, they didn't hook him up to his oxygen or put his nitro patch on...." She went there that evening to teach them how to do it right. Needless to say, guilt is no small issue right now. But the sense of relief and the prospect of sleeping all night is no small issue either.

Saturday afternoon after dropping Gil at the Home, we went shopping. My wife said, "We can go anywhere and be home any time." We went to the Chinese market and bought lots of goofy fasting stuff, I bought a whole octopus for stir fry. I didn't buy the squid jerky, however. We looked at used cabinets to remodel the kitchen, we talked about remodeling our master bedroom that Gil has occupied for the last 3 years, before we move back into it. I sent pictures to an architect friend about knocking a wall or two out. No problem. I had bought my wife queen sized sheets and a comforter for her birthday earlier that week. They will go on our new bigger bed (because we're both getting bigger) in our new bedroom...with a new mattress that has not been soaked four times from Gil's bathroom floods. Welllll...that was until she went to the dentist today for her toothache. The proposed work is about 4,000.00, the down payment the price of either kitchen cabinets or the tile and bathroom remodel of our bedroom....or our new bedroom set.

It is official. I've been screwed by the last lawyer I worked for. It will take me a few months to recover from the setback. We can't refinance the house again to cover the loss like I did with the last one. Funny thing...after thinking about it, both these people were devout "spiritual" people. A friend of mine asked what do you do in a situation like that. I told him, I sat down with my accountant and did a cost analysis of my soul and decided it was worth more than 20,000.00. So I let it go. I've even managed to pray for them a few times between the bouts of resentment. I have one more crazy client on my books that I'm trying to get finished and paid from in the next week or so.

All in all... I have work. I can work. I come home, the lights are on. My computer runs, there's an octopus in the refrigerator and some bok choy and fish sauce. And even some liquid bread (beer in the Greek fasting tradition). And when I go to bed tonight I will not hear the hum of the baby monitor and the gagging and choking of a man whose life is now slipping inexorably away among strangers and people who are paid to change his diapers, feed him, and suction his phlegm. I don't know which is worse, the silence or.......