Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Lessons I Thought I Learned

My neighbor died the other night. He was in his jammies, sitting on the edge of the bed, laid down and was gone. There was no sign that he struggled at all. Just the way I want to go some day, decades from now. We called 911 of course, and they tried to resuscitate him. I understand that they did get him breathing, briefly, but he was pronounced dead later.
His wife is coping, but she has some difficult times coming up, not just the loss of the husband that she loves. Bob handled all of the finances for the family, and he did it online. I'm not sure she knows how to turn on the computer; she definitely doesn't know any of his passwords. She has a friend who promised to teach her how to use it, and of course, Ronald darling volunteered me to do it. lol
He took her to the funeral home today to get everything straightened out, she had prepaid for cremation for the two of them last year. She's gotten meals from a couple of friends, including Ronald darling. Her best friend was over today, helping to clean up Bob's bedroom; her son is coming up from North Carolina. I helped move the area rug in while I was there.
So, these are the lessons that I thought I learned when daddy died, and again when mama died.
But I look around and talk to Ronald darling and realize that I ain't learned nothin' yet.
  • Husband and wife should know how to pay the bills.
  • Husband and wife should know where the policies are.
  • Passwords should not be secrets in a marriage.
  • Declutter, sort and pitch.
  • Declutter, sort and pitch.*
  • Clean, sweep and mop.
  • Make sure the laundry is done and put away.
  • Keep the dishes done and put away.

If I don't do these things, someone else will when the time comes. It may be family, which will be bad enough. They know you pretty well. But it might be the Relief Society, and even though they love you, they will find out they didn't know you as well as they thought. They will ask "Why on earth was she keeping this?" and "How did she ever find anything?" and "Why didn't she ask for help?" and (maybe) "Why didn't her visiting teachers tell us she needed help?". And if it is the he who is gone, they will put the questions in present tense, but whisper.

I also need to learn how to make funeral potatoes; they taste great and I won't get any when I'm gone. If you've got a good recipe, let me know.

*This item is listed twice on purpose because it takes twice as long as anything else you have to do.


Mommo said...

So sorry about your neighbor. His wife is fortunate to have you and "Ronald Darling" as friends.
I have a good recipe for funeral potatoes.
1 2lb frozen shredded hashbrowns
1/2-3/4 stick melted margarine
3/4 cup chopped onions
1 can cream of chicken soup
3/4 cup sour cream
2 cup cheddar cheese, grated

Slightly thaw potatoes. In a large mixing bowl mix all ingredients and place in a casserole dish. Use 1 cup of cheese for mixing and add last cup to top during last 30 minutes of baking. Bake 1 to 1 12/ hours at 350 degrees.

Cynthiana said...

hey mom,

Sorry to hear about Bob. Also don't forget to put your passwords and all in a sealed envelope for you oldest child, in the event you both go at the same time. I like mommo's recipe for funeral potatoes. If you're feeling experimental you might try cream of celery soup instead of chicken. Don't forget to put a post-it note on stuff that you want Chris to have so I don't keep it or throw it in the goodwill truck. (is it too soon to joke?)

Debbie said...

Sounds like your neighbor is surrounded by a lot of love. I'm glad you posted those lessons learned - in today's 'tech' world, we definitely need to make sure our spouses are in the know. BTW - I'm blogging again :)