Posted in Uncategorized, tagged grief, life, stuff on April 21, 2010 |
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I have been incredibly busy lately. Last weekend was live music where I had the honor and privilege of being able to sell the merch (I’m so hip using that term!) Saturday we celebrated a friend’s birthday with dinner and a fun raunchy muppets show and on Sunday I celebrated my son turning eighteen with a family gathering at a greek cafe and another musical at his college. This week my sisters and I had a 2 hour conference call about dealing with some of my Dad’s things. Today I met with the attorney to sign off on the paperwork for the lawsuit. The funny thing is just when I was leaving I got back on the interstate that runs through a very residential and congested part of the city and saw a wild turkey. The wild turkey is significant as that represents my Dad to me. Exhausting time at work and I’m ready to stop this crazy ride and get off for a while. Sadly, I don’t see it stopping any time soon.
This weekend I’ve got nothing scheduled so I hope to take some down time and do some cleaning or organizing in my house. I want to stay on top of all that has been done so far.
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My Dad was killed a couple of years ago. He was diabetic so he was never eligible for life insurance but he was very frugal. When he died the money he had saved to live on for the rest of his life went to his daughters. This means I receive a good chunk of change every year for probably another couple or three years. I hate receiving this money. I hate that we get these stupid checks because of his death. It feels like blood money. The financial planner who my Dad worked with said that most people will go through any kind of inheritance within the first 8 years after receiving it. This will not be me. Most of the money is put away for retirement and emergencies. I did start a Roth IRA even though I’ve got a relatively good retirement through my current job and the other sizable chunk goes into another investment IRA. I also receive three monthly checks that goes into my larger liquid savings. I try to act as if I don’t really have this money because I don’t want to waste it or spend it frivolously as I feel that would dis-honor my Dad . What it has done is allowed me to spend a little more freely the money that I do make. I’m also slowly finally replacing old appliances (including this old Montgomery Wards stove I replaced last year – notice the handle on the oven is missing) around my house, doing the fix up projects that I’ve put off and provided my son with a trip overseas. I’m not driving a big fancy car (although I did buy my Dad’s truck from the estate because I couldn’t bear to part with it). My other car is being repaired right now, it’s a ’92 honda. Yikes, I just found out the bill is nearly $1200 but I expect to get another 70k miles from it at almost 50 mpg (really! see here) it’s certainly worth it! The mechanic said most major things have been repaired so the only other problems would be electrical.
I suppose that I still operate like money is an issue. I’m not very materialistic but money does represent security to me and it also provides me with the feeling that I’ve got a choice in the world. Choice is such an empowering feeling. I do want to start paying more attention to money again, I want to start saving money that I actually make instead of relying on the built-in savings from my Dad’s money. Very soon, the child support will stop but the child will still be here and I’ll be the one paying all of the health insurance premiums/expenses and a likely increase in car insurance without any help from the child’s father. Despite that, I’m grateful for the consistent child support even if his parenting has been more like a buddy than a father.
I also learned today that the insurance company has agreed to pay the policy limit for the insurance coverage for the driver that killed my Dad. This likely means more money and my son’s college tuition will be covered. There is a potential for more money through my Dad’s insurance company under his policy’s under insured motorist coverage. The whole family is really ambivalent about the money issue, it will never replace him and we don’t want to make the situation worse for the driver but if we do nothing it will only benefit the insurance company.
This also changed me in the way that I’ve got an umbrella liability policy. It’s not very expensive (less than a couple hundred a year) but if (god-forbid) I was to ever seriously injury or kill someone, I’d want them to have as much money as I could give them, not that money can replace your loved one but perhaps covering living expenses or medical bills. Oh and yeah, my dark gallows humor is also (insert comment about living life to the fullest or not putting off what you can do today and etc) “……you never know when you might be hit by a truck”
My Dad didn’t have anyone financially dependent (intertwined but not dependent – sadly his partner has no legal standing despite their twelve plus year relationship and her emotional trauma from being in the accident too) but it sure made the emotional impact on us all. He was who I went to for direction and advice with raising my son, that loss has been felt daily since his death. Funny, the weekend before he was killed, I recall looking at him and realizing he was the patriarch of our family and then what seemed like seconds later, he’s gone. He would always tell me that he loved me and call me “sweet tart” which I would respond by telling him I loved him and call him “pop tart”.
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