Just Pray You Live To Learn

, , , , , | Related | January 5, 2021

Here in Australia, we have a fairly low infection rate during the health crisis compared to many other countries, mainly due to our fairly strict but not infallible quarantine methods. As a result, most of us do not know anyone who has been affected by the illness. Many of my friends are conspiracy theorists and spout drivel about how it’s just a hoax to control the masses.

It just reminds me of a discussion I had about another disease with my father after I discovered that he buried building rubble in the backyard.

Me: “I dug up some fibro pieces in the yard today. That has asbestos in it, hasn’t it?”

Dad: “Yeah, probably. It’s nothing to worry about.”

Me: “It is worrying, especially seeing as it causes asbestosis.”

Dad: “I don’t believe in that. I’ve worked with that stuff for years and don’t have any lung problems. It’s just a hoax, probably made up by lawyers to get money.”

Me: “Really? What about all those people who die from it?”

Dad: “I’ve never met anyone who has it, so it can’t be true, and just about everyone I know has worked with it at some time in the past.”

Within a few months, Dad’s best friend, who was in his late seventies, was diagnosed with incurable lung disease linked to asbestos. He had last worked with it at the age of nineteen. A friend of Mum’s was also diagnosed; hers was from a childhood game of using asbestos products as chalk. The final straw was Dad’s sister passing due to the disease. A couple of years after her passing, it was discovered that an insulation company had pumped loose asbestos into her ceiling illegally, after advertising that they used a clean paper waste product. Her house and many others had to be demolished; my poor cousin lost his mother, house, and all of her belongings due to this.  

I only hope that my conspiracy theory friends don’t find out the hard way, too, though it would have to take that to convince some of them. Dad definitely is a believer now.

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Um. How Cute?

, , , , , | Related | December 13, 2020

I am five years old. My little sister is two. My paternal grandfather has just died of a heart attack and we are attending his funeral. I spend the majority of the funeral in another room with my maternal grandmother, overwhelmed. My sister, on the other hand, is being held by my father, who is standing by the coffin.

As people file past to pay their respects, she delivers this gem. She keeps pointing at the coffin, addressing each person who passes.

Sister: “That’s my grandpa. He’s dead!”

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He May Be Dead, But His Credit Score Is Phenomenal

, , | Working | December 10, 2020

My dad died in 2015, but we are still getting non-stop credit card offers for him. I decide to call up the company and get them to stop sending my dad mail.

Me: “Hi. My father is dead, but you keep sending him mail. I want you to take his name off your mailing list.”

Representative: “I’m sorry, but I need to speak to the person to whom the mailings are addressed, or I need a copy of a death certificate.”

Me: “Ma’am, he is dead. He keeps receiving offers from you. He has no credit card with your company. And I am certainly under no obligation to send a death certificate in order to stop receiving junk mail.”

This same conversation keeps going in circles. Finally, I get fed up.

Me: “Fine! I’d like to open this credit card under his name, then.”

Representative: “But you just said he was deceased.”

Me: “Yes.”

The representative was silent for a few seconds before transferring me to the correct helpers.

Source: Reddit (Credit: ChloroformScented, Original Story)

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I… M… D… E… A… D…

, , , , , | Working | November 3, 2020

My aunt is handling my grandfather’s affairs after he passed away. Most of it goes smoothly except when she tries to close one of his accounts. They always say that they need to speak to the account holder to close the account. She sends in a copy of the death certificate and they still can’t comprehend that he is dead!

Finally, after several months of this, she’s had enough. 

Rep: “We’ll need to speak to the account holder. “

Aunt: “Then get a Ouija board!”

Rep: *Long pause* “Pardon?”

Aunt: “He’s dead! So if you really need to talk to him, get a Ouija board.”

Rep: “Uh… I’ll just close this out for you.”

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So Much For No Child Left Behind, Part 2

, , , , , , | Related | September 1, 2020

I am the author of So Much For No Child Left Behind. I thought I would let the readers know that despite everything, I turned out okay and don’t hold grudges.

My dad and step-mom separated when I was fourteen and were legally divorced a year later. Right after they separated, his mother died rather traumatically. My mom decided that without my step-mom around, my dad may become unpredictable, and she suspended my visits with him.

About six months later, I started visiting him after school on Fridays and he dropped me off at home by the time my mom left for her third-shift job at nine. Things were going well, and he was acting like a dad, though I figured it was a phase.

Everything is fine for a while. He has a string of girlfriends that are okay, but most don’t really want to date a man who has his issues. I start staying all weekend with him and teach him basic domestic tasks he was never taught. Then, his new girlfriend shows up.

She seems nice, but she has three grown children and five grandchildren. They immediately begin spending their weekends with him, and before I know what’s happened, the oldest and her boyfriend have moved in with my dad and take over the tiny bedroom that belongs to me.

I get fed up and stop going over because her family is taking over the household and suddenly I’m not allowed to listen to heavy metal because it’s “got too many messages her grandchildren can’t hear.” Mind you, I always wear headphones anyway. Eventually, he moves with her two hours away without telling me. I don’t hear from him except once at Christmas wanting to know what I want. I forget about it and move on.

Years later, I am married and in college, and I have a brand-new baby. I’m starting college belatedly due to lots of issues regarding money and general family things, but I’m rocking it.

My world falls apart. I get a call from my dad’s sister saying she just found out that my dad is in the local hospital, possibly dying. The reality ends up being far worse. He has cirrhosis of the liver and there may be neurological issues. I find out that, because of improper medical and dental care, an abscess has formed on his brain, and if he lives, he will be nearly helpless.

Because we have not seen one another or spoken to one another in years, a patient advocate has to mediate. He agrees to let me handle everything and signs forms, and they have to test him to make certain he is capable of making the decision.

I spend time with him as often as I can, but at each visit, he is worse and worse. He knows me but he sometimes talks about me like I am someone else he is speaking to about me. Once, he begins to cry and beg for forgiveness. I can’t not forgive him, but I am still hurting from a lifetime of rejection and broken promises.

One day, he simply lapses into a coma and doesn’t wake up. I arrange as much as I can and deal with it. If you want to know where the girlfriend was, she’s the one who ditched him at the hospital and contacted friends who set out to find me through various people.  

Before he died, I asked him if he remembered leaving me behind to go to Mexico. He told me he does and that it was really stupid for him to leave me since it ended up making our relationship worse.  

I looked at him and said, “You remember how you told Grandma you knew it was a ‘hassle’ to keep me? Well, apparently, your girlfriend thought it was a hassle to keep you, so she dropped you off here.”

He looked at me with his mouth open and said, “SHE DID!”

Petty of me? Sure. Correct? Absolutely. Did I do the right thing in showing up and making the calls? Yes. Do I regret it? Nope. Do I take my kids on all of my vacations? Yep.

So Much For No Child Left Behind

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