I went over to mom's house today to hep her clear out some papers she's been saving for years. Old bills, statements, and things like that. Time to go through her desk drawer and the stuff on her desk and shred everything that wasn't current.
About five hours later and some major piles, we'd done pretty good. Gone through old medical bills, mortgage and bank statements, electric bills, phone, etc. Since everything related to dad's final hospital visit was finally paid by insurance, we were able to put those to rest too.
Which brings up something I have to mention. North Florida Regional billed Blue Cross & my folks $100 for discharging dad on the day he died. Well, shit he died at the hospital, what--did they discharge his body? That just gave me the creeps. You have to be kidding--$100 discharge?
I also saw charges for interpreting one of his tests, no, not just the test itself, but the five minutes it took to interpret the result.
It was hard to look at all the paid bills from dad's hospital stay on March 10-11 because it just brought back so much sadness. After I got through that, came the anger on the charges. Just unbelievable!
One of mom's medical statements from her iron infusion back in January (she has Crohn's and has to have infusions every so often) listed some $3100 for drugs. Hmm, is that the iron? We wondered because that's the only "drug" she was given. Also on the statement were charges listed as "other charges" and we both were thinking that hospitals and medical facilities should be REQUIRED to itemize every single charge. I don't think that's too much to ask. This way patients can review the bill and dispute if necessary. I think dad told me once that after before or after his open heart surgery in 2004, some doctor came into his room for a moment, then left. And dad was billed for it. The guy didn't even do anything.
Well I don't want to turn this nice post into a rant so I'll move on.
Anyway, it was a nice day. Driving over to mom's house passing the neighboring farms, the homes of the parents of kids I went to school with, just reminded me what it was like to drive that highway with my folks when I was a kid. My how things have changed. A few more homesteads up, land cleared, and in some areas the old folks moved and new folks are there now. It kind of made me sad as I drove up to the house, I paused at the edge of the long driveway to the house and shed a few tears. I know that when I drive up there, Buddy won't run out of the house to greet me and dad won't be there waiting.
We went into dad's workshop and I cried again. Everything was as dad left it. I remember how many thousands of hours he'd spend out there just piddling around, doing stuff. There are tools and toolboxes in there that go back almost forty years. Just being in that shop brought me back to the days when I lived at home and dad worked in his shop from sunup to sundown on the weekends, building and fixing things, or just cleaning it up. I don't want to touch anything in there because everything there is as he left it. Changing it would be too hard. I guess this is normal?
Mom had cleaned out the carport dad had built right in front of his workshop. It had sawhorses and things dad would use daily. I kind of liked everything there because it was like he was coming back to use it. Only the truth is, and mom knows this all to well, he isn't coming back to use any of it, ever again. Just thinking about it makes me sad. I told mom just when I thought I was handling this, the grief hits me all over again. If I think I miss him, imagine how much Kim, Dave, mom, Aunt Jo Ann and grams miss him. Think about how much dad's mom and sisters and brother in law miss him. Think about how much his friends--Mr. & Mrs. Griffis and Eddie and all the others who loved him miss him. I'm not the only one going through this.
Now I think I know how mom felt when gramps died, how dad felt when papaw died three years ago. When you lose a parent, it's like a part of you dies too. Your parents link you to your past, the life you had with them, the person you were once before you became who you are now. That person is still a part of you always, it never goes away. Having your parents around keeps it all alive.
We've just got to hang in there.