Monday, August 25, 2008

'The Man' Tales - Expectations

Enough years have gone by in my life, enough experiences – good and bad, that I should have learned that ‘expecting’ should be the last choice you make. And Cid should have known that as well. He knew his mother and his uncle. He should have known. Perhaps he had chosen ‘hope’ over ‘expect’ – but he had made the wrong choice. Let me explain.

As I gathered my belongings that had accumulated over the last six weeks, his uncle approached me and asked if Cid’s mother could have a few things. She wanted a couple of his suits to keep for herself and I couldn’t see why not. Cid had been very specific about what suit he wanted to be buried in and I explained that to them. His mother glared at me while I did so and shut her eyes to block me out. I was adamant that I go by Cid’s wishes and that he be buried in the suit he had selected. I left them to it.

When I came into the bedroom much later to collect the last of my belongings, I found Cid’s mother frantically searching all of his suits for his gold cuff links. She wanted those gold cuff links and I helped her search for them but we couldn’t find them. In the end I just shrugged my shoulders and finished packing my bag.

Before I left I gave them my phone number so they could inform me of the day and time of the funeral. They were leaving to make arrangements to transport Cid’s body to Lethbridge and then following it. I spoke with the neighbours as I exited the building and they informed me they were arranging for a memorial in Edmonton and would let me know of the time and date.

When I finally arrived home, I threw myself into D’s arms and we both sobbed until we were cried out. I just couldn’t imagine our lives without Cid in them and the pain was almost too much to bear. But there was D – waiting patiently for me and sharing my pain – easing the burden. When I told him about the horrors that occurred in the seconds following Cid’s last breath – he said “They must have been hurting so much”. I leaned my head on his huge chest and closed my eyes – only to have that scene replay itself over and over. It certainly hadn’t been what I expected.

I attended the memorial service in Edmonton by myself and it was lovely. The service was quiet and the priest spoke so wonderfully about Cid. Many strangers came up to me and hugged me once the service was over. Afterwards I returned to Cid’s condo and let myself in with the key I still had. I discovered that his mother had ‘helped’ herself to most of Cid’s best items – even though he had said (right in front of her) that I was to get all his belongings. He had even told her that she didn’t need anything of his – she had enough. My first reaction was fury which gave way to resignation. I wasn’t going to fight her for her son’s belongings. But I did question Cid’s expectations once more.

31 comments:

Leatherdykeuk said...

*hugs*

Family go a little mad after a death. My eldest sister ignored my father for the last ten years of his life, but the day after he died she was at his house, sticking labels on the things she wanted.

aims said...

Rachel - I know exactly what you mean!

rosiero said...

I have an awful feeling I can guess what is coming, but I hope I am wrong.

Lehners in France said...

What a terrible thing to do, but it's grief and we will never understand it.

When my brother died Mum and Dad tried to give me and my sister some of his money. He had been saving for a new car. We both said we didn't want his money, Mum asked what we did want and we both said in unison "Boo-Boo" (his teddy bear). Mum started crying and said that she too wanted Boo-Boo. We left him with Mum. Debs x

Daryl said...

you know that in the end you had the best of his 'stuff' you had him. materials possessions are just that and really arent what its all about .. she was (is?) a hag and I am sure she has pushed away everyone who might have cared about/for her ... sad ..

d.

travelling, but not in love said...

Aims, sounds like you don;t have the best of luck when it comes to mothers!

Stinking Billy said...

I go with Daryl. What wouldn't his mother have given for the time and happiness he gave you? She never earned those aspects, never fully appreciated him while he was still alive. Let her go.

aims said...

Rosiero - I'm thinking you might be right on the mark.

Debs - Oh! Boo-boo - what a great name for a bear! And leaving him with your mom was so sweet of you both. I can understand your wanting the bear and only that. Because your brother loved him. Yup.

Daryl - why is it that people think material possessions are more valuable than love? I don't understand that. She was just so impossible to deal with. I truly didn't understand why and just wanted to run away from her and her ass-kissing brother.

TBNIL - seems that way doesn't it? Wait until you read the rest of the story though! OMG!

Billy - I imagine because she did miss out on this and was terribly jealous of the love we shared - that she just had to be mean. In the end I just didn't care. All I wanted was to have Cid back.

Lehners in France said...

Aims, my sister had Yogi and I had Teddy Edward. Debs x

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Catching up on this one and your previous post.

The loss of someone dear shatters a world of hope.

I know this was hard for you to write.
CJ xx

aims said...

Debs - What wonderful names for bears. Can I borrow them?

Crystal - catching up? Where have you been? But yes indeed - it does shatter so much hope - so many dreams. And it was extremely hard to write these - that's why my lack of comments on so many previous posts.

BT said...

You were a saint aims. I'm sure I would have throttled the woman. Jim's sister in law wanted various bits of jewellery belonging to his wife. She didn't get them! People are odd about 'things'.

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

My brother is incredibly mean and when my father died he came home with his grasping wife looking to see what he could get. My father had made a will leaving his money to the boys in the family that needed it more because they had children. When my tight brother saw he had been left nothing he and his wife got straight into their car and drove back down south without attending the funeral! How's that for being a tight fisted git eh?

aims said...

Gina - your story just reminded me of my 89 yr. old aunt who stayed with me last year while she attended a funeral in Calgary. She wanted so many things of my mothers.....I was furious with her!
People just get weird don't they?

Mob - People just get weird don't they? I would probably never have spoken to that brother again - knowing me. I think death shows people's true colours.

lisaschaos said...

I see no reason to fight over someone's objects. I like to keep one item of theirs and don't mind letting other people tell me what that is. For my grandmother, she passed about 2 years ago, I kept a decorative bottle - they had many of them on their walls in the kitchen when I was growing up and any of the bottle remind me of her and my grandfather.

Lane said...

I'm glad D was waiting for you. What an awful, awful time you had.

BT said...

It beggars belief, doesn't it aims? I hope you didn't give her too much! My brother and I had the job of clearing out my parents' house and it all worked brilliantly. We felt guilty saying 'I'd quite like that' and joked about us 'vulturising', though we weren't really.

I still have their piano in the UK and the dining suite I did have has now gone to my elder son Jason, so it's still in the family.

I don't understand how people can fall out over 'things'.

Joy T. said...

I'm with lisa on this, I can't imagine fighting over someone's material things. Good grief what the trauma of death will do to people.

Brett said...

Just read your last few post, i knew what was coming and sill it shocked me. Just added your link to my blog, i really thought i had done it ages ago and only noticed as i compared the list of links with my book marks, sorry.

Irene said...

These ar e the kind of situations under which people behave at their worst. When my sun died, I wanted to take a crate of his belongings, because I was his mother, after all, but I knew i could not. I was just another person in his life along with other people who mattered. I was jealous of everything that I did not get and mourned it, but understood it at the same time, but I wanted everything that belonged to him, to keep hanging on to him forever. In the end, you just have the memories anyway and those have to be good enough.

aims said...

Lisa - I don't see the reason either. It's just stuff! Good grief. However - at the time - I did want to hold tightly to things of his and just smell them. Hold them close to me.

Lane - It was a true nightmare. If Cid had known.....he wouldn't have let it happen. I know that. But - he was so sick and so weak and so battered over his lifetime from his mother at him all the time. I was indeed lucky to have a safe haven waiting for me when I returned home.

Gina - How I wish things could have been like that and could be like that for everyone. Just able to joke about distributing the remains of the day.

Joy - It's horrible what happens. Shameful! I've experienced a few like this and OMG! Why??

Brett - Not a problem. I'm honoured you have! Glad to see you here again. I know my posts are hard to read on a daily basis. I can't remember when I wrote something 'fun'.

Irene - Oh my friend. How hard that had to be for you. I do understand the mourning the things. I do. But yes - in the end - just memories. And they really are the best aren't they?

Melanie said...

Hia Aims, I think that maybe as she didn't invest time and effort in having a real relationship with Cid, she had to have a lot of his "things" as a replacement.
Maybe it was still a testament to his sweet nature that even as ill as he was he still hoped that she and the enabler uncle could play nice?
I don't think I've heard the last about those cuff links sadly.

Retiredandcrazy said...

Why is it that some people don't seem to have any human feelings?

TSannie said...

You had him...as much as the material "stuff" might have brought you comfort - temporary at best - YOU HAD CID!

We don't choose the family we're dealt, unfortunately, and Cid's was certainly far from ideal.

You're always always in my thoughts. If nothing more, you have told Cid's story eloquently. I know he is so very PROUD of you.

BBBW, rest long and easy....

Biddie said...

Grief seems to bring out the worst in people.
When Shawns sister passed away a few months ago, another sister remarked (within weeks of the passing) that her kids would have to `just deal with it`.It infuriated me then and still does now. Her boys are 19 and 21.
Thank God that sister only has a rabbit,and no kids.
When my Dad was dying, my eldest bro ignored him. Wouldn``t even call him on the phone.
Then, when he died, brother dear made a point of being grief stricken - mostly in public.
You are a real gem, Aims.

aims said...

Melanie - They 'seemed' to have a great relationship. He called her every single day - sometimes twice a day. But he did remark that he did it for her. I know what you mean - 'things' making up for the person. Sad isn't it?

Retiredandcrazy - I truly don't know. Boggles the brain doesn't it!

Tsannie - Absolutely true! 'Things' are just temporary. Their meaning fades as time passes. But memories. They are everlasting and always fresh. Thank you for your extremely kind words.

Biddie - What an incredibly cruel and jealous thing to say. Those poor boys will always be affected. Perhaps if rabbit stew was on the menu at her house she'd think differently? As for your brother. Sounds like he could not deal with your father's illness and approaching death. Afterwards he was able to release it - but couldn't before? What do you think about that?

Millennium Housewife said...

How awful for you, you did the best thing by resigning to it, fighting only injures you too. I hope you are finding strength in those around you and those messaging you MH

dawn said...

What a horrible time for you and it is difficult to deal with people who obviously didn't respect Cid when he was living and would be hard pressed to respect his wishes when he was gone. I am sorry you had to go through that.

A Mother's Place is in the Wrong said...

How sad that she wanted her Son's gold cuff-links. Surely his love would have been the treasure! M xx

bichonpawz said...

It is very strange how some people react to death. I'm so sorry you had to endure that. You must be a saint, aims, as I never would have been able to deal with that woman. Although we all know that you did it out of love for Cid.

TSannie said...

Peace...that's what you have...peace. Cid loved you and you loved him. That's all that really matters.

Hugs -