Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Outfit for 1-27-15 - Casual with Jeans & The Death of my Father

Jacket - Guess
Top - Guess
Pants - Guess
Boots - Nine West

On the morning that I chose to wear this outfit, I started off the day by waking up in a run down hotel in Las Vegas.  I wasn't even sure that I was going to dress up that day, as I really didn't know what I was going to do.

So seriously, am I going to tell this story, here and now?  Here after starting off a post about an outfit?
I suppose that this is the here and the now.  The story has rolled out and landed on my keyboard.  So it is what it is folks and this is what we get:

This was about the fourth or fifth day that I was in Vegas and I had not had any other opportunities to dress.  I brought enough clothes with me to dress in either mode for everyday that I had been there, but things were just so crazy that by the end of each day when I finally made it back to my hotel room, I just felt like showering and crashing into my bed!

So... I brief recap of events of my world: My mom died in '95 from complications due to a brain aneurysm in '88.  A year later my dad remarried.  Yay for him!  Boo, she didn't like his children.  (We were 25 & 28 years old at the time.)  Things slowly went downhill between my dad and my sister and I.  My sis and I are super close but my dad's wife drove a wedge between him and us.  It resulted in neither of us having much contact with him.  People say, well yeah, but he is family, and you don't just drop family.  Okay, well it is pretty tough when she blocked our phone numbers.  And he never bothered to EVER call either of us.  And when we would go to Vegas and he would not accept our calls it was pretty tough to get into his gated community to even see him.

Okay so then back in July I get a phone call where he tells me she divorced him.  Oh and yeah, they got a reverse mortgage and pulled out a lump sum and it is all gone.  Oh and he cashed in his retirement and it is all gone.  Oh and yeah they claimed bankruptcy about 6 months before she divorced him.  Oh and yeah, he is experiencing memory problems and mobility difficulties.  Oh and yeah, he needs help.  So, being who I am, I go out, check on him, and get him help.  I pay for daily care to begin, and I pay for him to be assessed physically and financially.  My team tells me to hire a lawyer to separate his still connected finances from his ex-wife's.  His social security and retirement are still being deposited into an account that she has control over because they made a deal that she retained power of attorney and he would send her his bills and she would then pay him.  Only she was only paying the bills she wanted to.  So I am about to drop down about $5000 to hire a lawyer and that very day my dad tells me he won't agree to it.  I had him tested and he proved to have dementia but still was legally competent.  He wanted me to continue to pay for his care, but did not want his money taken from his ex-wife.  I told him that in essence I was then supporting her and I would not agree to do that.  He then told me basically to go fuck off because she was going to come back to him and I was pissing her off and he would not tolerate that from his insubordinate son.

So... I stopped my support.  What do you all suppose happened then?

I didn't hear from him again for another couple of months.  Then I got a phone call letting me know he had been hospitalized.  I phoned him.  He has okay, but they would not let him out.  The hospital then phoned me and let me know that they would not release him without someone being willing to care for him full time.  I am not able to do that, and nobody else can either.  He also had no money and his ex-wife, who still had control over any monthly money he had, refused to accept the hospital's calls and refused to pay any bills.  So... he stayed in the hospital.

I went out to Vegas again near the middle of December and began to wrestle control over the events unfolding before me.  I signed papers for my dad's proper care to begin.  I got him a state guardian and signed papers to get him back his money.  I also went to his house and tried to collect his personal items from his house.  His ex was now living in Gulf Shores AL with her next victim and was having the neighbors and the maid box up everything in the house and ship it to her.  I was able to get some of our families mementos, but she ended up getting many of them.  I left Vegas with plans in place to move my dad to a group home and to get him therapy for his increasing dementia.

I went home.  Did Christmas.  Did New Years.  Took phone calls.  Explained things to the extended family.  Was berated by an ignorant neighbor of my dad's who explained to me how horrible I was.  Then I got a phone call explaining that my dad's doctor has recommended him for hospice care.  Within a week I was back in Vegas to move my dad into hospice care.

The strong, proud man I had grown up with as my father was now an emaciated, broken, shell of a man.  He could barely talk.  He could barely move.  His body was failing him.  His mind was blurring any sense of sanity.

We were able to talk.  He told me that he wanted to tell me one last time how much he loved me and how proud he was of me.

It absolutely broke my heart.

It was some of the hardest time I have ever spent on this planet.

At this time about the fourth person explained to me that since my dad's ex wife still had power of attorney that they didn't know if I could make any care decisions for my dad.  And it was about this time that I almost completely lost my shit and went ape-shit bananas on this poor hospice admission adviser.   But lucky for me, she knew what to do and by the end of the day, got my dad moved out of the shitty hospital he was in and placed him into a great hospice care facility.

The hospice facility medicated him for his discomfort.  He became non-responsive.  And it was obvious that his body was shutting down.  They advised me that instead of looking for a hospice care home he would stay in the acute care facility and I needed to locate a mortuary.

Jules and I did that.  We made all of the arrangements that needed to be done.  We visited my dad again.  He was still non-responsive.  His breathing was shallow and erratic.

We left and tried to find a hotel room.  We couldn't extend our stay at out current hotel as CES had rolled into town and everything was booked.  We ended up at some shit hole at Stateline.  We got shit faced drunk, ate some dinner, and passed the fuck out.

The next morning, I knew what was coming.  But I couldn't go back.  I couldn't sit by his bedside and watch him die.  Already I had the image of this frail, barely their dying man burned into my consciousness and I just couldn't hold up anymore.

I did what I could.  I tried to help.  And there was nothing left for me there.

I decided to care for myself.  I reluctantly dressed in some comfy clothes for the drive home.  We made it back to our place.  Jules went to pick up our dog.  I went outside and took pictures.

When I came inside, the little blue light was blinking on my phone.  I knew what it was.  I didn't need to make the call, but I called the hospice facility.

My dad had died.


  1. A hard tale to tell, my thoughts are with you and Jules.

  2. Having been through the process of caring for my mother through dementia and then the progressive failure of her physical functions, I know just how difficult that is, without having to deal with such a complicated and shitty situation, and all the anger and frustration that must have provoked. Hopefully in time you can make some peace with your memories of a man who is part of you. Best wishes Nadine.

    1. Daria-

      Thanks so much for the thoughts. Sorry to hear that you too had to go through assisting someone through this horrible dementia thing. I had no idea that it is what it is.

      Thanks again!

  3. So sorry for your loss.

  4. Nadine,

    I'm extremely sad for you. It's hard to say goodbye to a loved one, no matter the circumstances. At least he died with you taking care of him and not that horrible stepmother. Take care of yourself, Jules, and your sister. Know that you are in my prayers.


    1. Thank you Alana. I appreciate the concern. I am happy that I was able to at provide him with at least a bit of comfort. Hopefully it helped.

  5. Nadine
    My thoughts and prayers are with you at this tough time. All the best.
    I hope that with his passing that the bad memories will fade and only the good ones will survive. I also hope that the bad tie up of his old finances with the second wife will be quickly resolved.


    1. Thanks Pat. Yeah the finances suck. Basically the main asset of his was his house and they owned it in joint tenancy and it was never mentioned in the divorce, so it is hers alone now. So currently I am investigating the life insurance and his pension, but it does not look good. She was quite adept at her job.

      Such is life! Oh well!

      I appreciate the thoughts; thanks.

  6. Nadine
    What a contrast between your two last posts. You spent a wonderful girl's night and had a great time. Some times later you told us that your dad had died! I'm so sad for you. Please try to look forward. All the best to house!

    Love Feli

    1. Thanks Feli. I know what dramatically contrasting posts, huh? The thing that sucked was that the great dinner out was about a week and a half after my dad died. I just really didn't know if or when I was going to write about it here. But when I went to write about this outfit, all I could think of was about how this was the outfit that I wore on the day my dad died. Thus we got the post I wrote.

      Hmmm.... Oh well!

      Thanks for the concern; I appreciate it.

  7. Hi Nadine,
    Yours is an all-too common story. Here in the UK, dementia is starting to get mentioned in the press - it's seen as a looming problem for state care, to which everyone is (in theory) entitled once they have spent all their money.
    My father-in-law has dementia and it's no fun. His wife cares for him but how much longer she can cope I do not know. Like you say, it's so sad to see a capable comassionate man decaying away.
    Regarding the wife - my brother-in-law has been likewise estranged from all his family (my wife included). 'She' has taken him to France where she is spending his money breeding horses. I think she is a serial offender too; when the money runs out we expect to see him land up at our door. My wife promised their dad that we'd look after him if that happens.
    You are not alone. Though I am sure your troubles are bad, many others have similar experiences. Be kind to yourself.

    1. Thanks Penny. It is so sad that these issues are so common. My relatives keep asking me about if there is something we can do; saying that we should call some reporters or investigators or something. And I keep trying to let them know, that unfortunately what has happened isn't all that unusual or newsworthy. Oh well.

      Thanks for the kind thoughts, and it is good to hear from you! Take care!

  8. So sorry about your loss, Nadine. May his soul Rest in peace. Prayers to you and Jules

  9. wow! what a post! nadine, i am deeply sorry about the loss of your father. i truly hope you are able to be comforted even today!

  10. I'm so sorry, hon. And I'm sorry it's taken me so long to post a comment. I do hope you can take comfort in knowing that you not only did everything you possibly could, but far, far more than many would (and quite justifiably, given the circumstances).

    Sending major hugs and love, sweetie. xoxoxo

    == Cass