Tuesday, January 03, 2006

1/3/06 Tuesday
We are still sick. Cherie is a trooper and went to work anyway. Of course missing a week of work puts us in a bind. I am bothered by the fact I can’t work. I suppose I could do something but it would have to be something I could do from home or could do when I am mentally clear. The three people I help know there are times I can’t be there or even drive. Adding to that is the effect stress has on me, freezing this brain up, and the lack of emotional control. That is better since I married Cherie but I still fly off and get angry. This has not helped me get along with my brother.
I am running at a five now and have a fever so am sweating. At least the runs have slowed down. Whether I want to or not I must go to the VA and get my medication refilled. I am almost out of the seizure medicine and evidently used up the migraine pills. I used them only when I had to but they are gone now. The doctors would always ask me how many migraines I would have in a given time period and I would guess the answer because I really don’t remember. Now I can tell from the amount of medication I take.
I called Fred to let him know I will use his car to go to the VA. I asked if he needed anything while I was out and explained that I wouldn’t see him because the last thing he needs is to catch what I have. It could easily kill him with his emphysema. I will call Wayne to get his monthly groceries. Doesn’t matter how bad I feel cause he’s got to have food, especially with his diabetes.
Can’t believe it is already 11:00. I stayed in bed the last two days. Last night I was up till 1:00 fixing this journal. I found and removed over two hundred pages of duplications. Only screwed up a half dozen times but fortunately had the back up on CD. I’m not stupid, just lose track of what I am doing. That doesn’t affect my judgment at all. Just takes longer to come to a conclusion. That is why writing is so good for me cause I can go back and recover my train of thought.
I took Wayne to the grocery store after I went to the VA to renew my prescriptions. While there I went to see Mary at the homeless department and got a phone number I can call from Ohio. She had to call Cleveland to get it. The number was busy so I called a few minutes ago and left a message.
Taking Wayne to Kroger was rough. The light headed disorientation was worse than usual this time. Got a little weak and dizzy so I held on to the cart. This always scares me as I fear a seizure but as usual it subsided when I got to the car. Wayne was grateful for me taking him as he was almost out of food. I have a headache coming and am still running about a five. As I look around I see two bags of things of Lee’s we got while in Texas that I have not even opened yet. Am not doing well so will go to bed. Tired and sad. Wondering about my family, how they are doing and what do they think of me. Cherie will have to help me remember what happened down there as much of it is dim at the moment. The memories are there just need triggers to access them.
I laid down for a short time but decided to get something done. Washed the dishes but that tired me out. At least I’m not coughing up as much crap. I called Cherie to see if I can start something for dinner. She said she was going to do something with the leftover chicken she had put in the freezer before we left for Texas so I peeled the meat off the bone. This headache is bad. It’s a turn off the lights and anything that makes noise migraine. Took the last pill for it but doesn’t seem to do much.
Cherie came home and whipped up something out of the chicken that was real good. When I told her how good it was she said “I’m getting good at these quickie meals, aren’t I”. I agreed and told her that was what married life does when you’re in love.
After dinner we called Aunt Virginia. The main reason for calling was we wanted to know what happened to the butterfly I had carved for Minnie Lee at her 98th birthday.

I had whipped it up while we were there and she had kept it with her, even putting it on display when she was at Marcy house.
When she answered I could hear something in her voice that said something was amiss. Come to find out she had just gotten home from the hospital. There was an infection or spider bite on her elbow and when a coworker saw how bad it was getting he insisted she go to the emergency room. She had a fever that got up to 104, which is serious. Come to find out it was some kind of bacterial infection and she was hospitalized. We talked for quite a while about a variety of things.
I asked her about the butterfly and she said she thought it might be with the stuff they had boxed up and placed in the garage at the farm. She asked me if we had gotten the television. This was a surprise. I never knew the stuff of Lee’s from the Marcy house had been taken there. She then said that Larry had told her he didn’t want the TV because he already had six TV’s. “Why does he have to lie like that, Robbie?” Virginia asked me. I told her I didn’t know but lying is a habit for many. I told her about when he told me he bought an air conditioner for every room in his house he was buying. That brought up how Virginia’s brother laughed when he saw the address of that house in Fort Worth, the one Larry was bragging about being in such a nice area. He knew the area and it is a crime ridden slum.
When I called Larry a while back he was in the middle of moving out of that house. I asked him about it and he told me he was still buying the house but doing it through his friend to whom he would make payments. Why he would move out of the house he was buying I don’t know, especially considering he is not on top of the world financially. As we talked Virginia said others have commented on how Larry always tries to impress everyone with how much of a big shot he is. Always talking about his big parties and successes in business. It is sad, especially when so many see through him so easily.
Then Virginia told of the time she was going to see the lawyer who handles Minnie Lee’s affairs and Larry insisted on going with her. As they sat in the lawyers office discussing Minnie Lee’s wishes regarding how things were to be handled Larry spoke up with his “I’m in charge” voice. “How can I take care of this? What do I need to do?”. Virginia said the lawyer, who is an elderly gentleman and has seen much, just looked at Larry, leaned back in his chair and putting his feet on the desk said simply with a wry grin on his face “You have to bury her”. At this it was all she could do to hold back her laughter, especially from the look on Larry’s face.
She also told me about the conversation she had with Lee’s brother, Delmer, regarding Larry’s behavior when he came down for the funeral. He came in and bought four steaks, three big porterhouses and one ribeye and cooked three of them at Delmer’s. Then he downed a bottle of wine and nine beers as they ate them.
Delmer said Larry went out to the farm that day and the following morning, which was the day of the funeral. He had gone and turned on the well because he wanted water at the house and told me that there still was no water. “Larry, the pipes under the house leak” I told him and he then turned to Delmer (This was at the funeral as we sat in the front row as immediate family) and asked him to go out to the farm and turn off the pump. I called Delmer after the funeral and told him Cherie and I were heading out to the farm and I would turn the pump off. Delmer said he already went out there and the switch box was fried.
Now that I am writing about all this the memories of that day are returning so I might as well keep recording these recollections. Cherie and I stayed at the funeral home to greet those who came to view Minnie Lee’s body and pay their respects. I had already done my crying a couple of times when I first walked in. This is the woman who took me in and raised me when no one else would. Virginia told me that my dad had asked her mom or another relative, I'm not sure at the moment, to take me and when she said she couldn't passed me off to Minnie Lee and Rudy because he would not allow me to return home.
For those of you who don’t know this story I ran away when for the first time I swung back at dad during one of my regular beatings. I took the only thing I valued, my radio, and broke into the high school gym where I lived and still attended classes. When my dad made arrangements for me to go to my grandmother, Minnie Lee, he sent Larry out to find me and put me on a bus to Big Spring.
Anyway, to not wander off the subject, when Larry arrived at the funeral home he seemed quite surprised to see Cherie and I. He told Virginia that he had a gift for her daughter, Deena (Hey Virginia, I’m sorry if I didn’t spell it right) and went out to his car to get it. Virginia looked at us and said “Why is he getting a gift for Deena?”. Bringing the gift Larry stayed as far from us as he could so he wouldn’t have to talk to us. It was time to go to the cemetery so we got into our car and headed out for the graveside service.
It was a typical West Texas day with high winds and a bit of blowing sand. Fortunately they were holding the service in an open structure at the cemetery made for this. There was already a fair number of folks there with more coming. I didn’t recognize anyone though many knew me. Delmer was there and he looked vaguely familiar so I asked him “What’s your name”. Facial recognition is one of the areas damaged in my brain injury so this is a common question for me. He looked at me and said “Robbie, you know who I am” and then said he was Delmer.
I saw Larry walking up from the road outside the cemetery. Why he parked so far away when everyone else had driven in I don’t know but I have my suspicions. We were asked to come in and sit in the front row where the padded seats reserved for family were. No one sat on the front row so Larry, Delmer, and Cherie and I sat on the second row.
Now Larry had to talk to me. Cherie and I had gone out to the farm that morning and found the house unlocked and totally ransacked with everything pulled out of the drawers and shelves and thrown on the ground.

I told Larry about the house being unlocked but I didn’t mention the mess. Larry looked at us with a puzzled expression and said “I don’t know why it’s unlocked. No ones been there”. Then, seeing Delmer giving him a look he said “Oh, I did go out there this morning. I don’t think I did but maybe I left it unlocked”. That was when the conversation about the water pump came up. I asked Larry “How’s my family Larry? Is everyone doing OK?”. With this he stiffened right up and said uncomfortably “Everyone’s fine. Mom and dad are getting old. Robin (my sister) is fine but her husband has the flu so we drove over there for Christmas”. That was it. All he would say. Larry said he had to go and left the second the service was over. Delmer later told Virginia Larry had a case of beer for the trip back to Fort Worth. Despite our problems I love my brother and understand alcoholism though he denies he has a problem in the way typical of those with this addiction.
We visited with those who attended the funeral and then went back to the funeral home and picked up the registry so we can send thank you cards. Then we returned to the farm to make sure it was secure and to take pictures of the mess. After that Cherie and I went back to the hotel. I sent out some E mails and we called the Pinkerton’s to set up a time to visit the next day. The Pinkerton’s are one of the families I met when I got out of prison in 1978. They attend the Baptist church I went to and Billie Pinkerton handled Minnie Lee’s taxes. We had a nice visit the next day and I caught them up a little on what has happened in my life and they did the same. I asked questions about the few folks I could remember from Stanton. Charlie Pinkerton is a great guy and heads up the Pinkerton clan along with his wife Billie. Their daughter, Rita, came buy and I remembered meeting her one time. Charlie gave us a bucket of pecans from the trees in his yard and we headed back to the hotel.
Virginia said that there was someone already inquiring about buying the farm. I told her the farm was not for sale. I had promised Minnie Lee to keep it intact and will do so. Besides that Cherie and I may come down and settle there. This will probably be a battle with Larry. I am not looking forward to that. I may be wrong but I expect him to want to sell everything and cash out.

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