H and I were actually at a hotel for a new year's eve celebration when we got the call from Dorothy. I knew he was going to die, but i really didn't expect it this quickly. He had gotten sick in August, and died in January. It was hard for me to believe. Dorothy said that she needed me there to help with the burial arrangements and could I come now? I really didn't think that was a good idea, given mine and Dorothy's recent history, and now, sadly.....there was no dad to keep her from going whacko again. But I said I would come now, what else could I do? We drove there as quickly as we could. It was New Years day, remember. But we arrived late in the afternoon. Dorothy had already made all the necessary arrangements, and I was barely included---even in the obituary. She told everyone at the funeral home that I was no kind of daughter at all, and that i didn't care. I hadn't been around in forever. I was stunned when she told me that all things had been handled....she said she had the help of her good friend Kathy, you know the one that owned the funeral home? Do you remember Kathy, readers? She was the "other" woman that my father actually loved. The one that he had carried on with for years, the one woman in town that Dorothy actually hated. She had always hated Kathy, and she had good reason to. I sat down at what had been "their" house and was now "her" house, and looked at my dads empty chair. Dorothy continued to be rude, and I tried to remember that she was ill, and it wasn't her fault, but by morning, I had had enough.
She wasn't ill, she was fucking looney, and hateful. We left. I did not attend my dads funeral because I was not wanted. She could not be the grieving widow-if I was going to be the grieving daughter. I would steal her thunder. I am still so angry at the situation. I have spent the past two and a half years really being angry. It was unfair that I had finally found my dad, only to have him ripped away from me again. I also began to wonder if some of mine and my fathers problems were not partially instigated by her. She had some real problems when it came to me. Serious ones. I couldn't believe that I had never known that before.
On to the last part of the story....Over time I have kept up with Barbara, Dorothy's sister. She has had a rough a time with Dorothy and she has seriously been trying to help her out. Eventually, Dorothy ran her off....she spewed nothing but venom towards her. And guess who Dorothy turned over power of attorney to? You guessed it. Kathy and her husband, Randy. The owners of the funeral home. He was my dad's good buddy, and she was my dad's lover of more than fifteen years. Also, the entire estate has been willed to them. I did not/would not get one little thing. Mostly, I wanted a couple of things that belonged to my dad and to my grandmother. There is a photograph of my father and the late, great Dale Earnhardt that I would give just about anything for. But it is not meant to be.
The very idea of the two of them having my fathers estate makes my blood boil, and I have not let myself think about it for the past two and a half years. I know that the money should mean nothing to me, and really, it is just money.But I never understood the dynamic of what should be "rightfully" mine, until now. I know that sounds selfish....but I am being honest here. NOT necessarily just the money, or some of the money, but some of his things, the ones that meant something to him, or the things that were once MY grandmothers. These people have obviously taken advantage of a mentally deranged human being, that wouldn't give them the time of day if she were in her "right" mind. I am slowly getting over it. Writing it all out here is helping alot. I think the story is quite unique, one that might make a good movie...but like I said before, it is the truth. My dad should have handled things prior to being sick, he should not have been afraid of his wife's wrath, and frankly, if I meant anything to him at all, he would have taken care of it. That's what the real truth is.