Thursday, January 12, 2006

The family tree is a stump....

Tonight, the brother in law came over for dinner. A very simple dinner, but he so seldom comes over, that it was special, just because he was there.
While getting reacquainted after the holidays, Denny brought up the painful topic of his cousin's New Year's Eve suicide. Of course, this was my husband's cousin as well, and we sort of tip-toed around the topic with our youngest, not wanting to upset her.
The following story is horrifically indicative of where we are as a society:
Mel had committed suicide in his girlfriend's cabin, north of Williamsport. 6 months earlier, her father likewise topped himself in that same cabin.
Mel had always been a drunk. A man whose life is marked by abject failure. It is remarkable that he was born the same month and year as my husband. It all boils down to parentage and personal choices, I am sure.
Even though my husband's upbringing was far from stable, he, himself has made choices and sacrifices in order to provide for his family and to be there for his children.
Not so with Mel. His mother, tired of the physical abuse she received at the hands of her husband, left him...for another woman, with whom she has been living for more than thirty years.
Before you go "Awwwwww" and everything, keep in mind that Mom and her girlfriend are heavy smokers and drinkers, themselves, that their whole family is somewhat dysfunctional...we can argue why later.
The horror of finding out your son has killed himself, I would think, cause you to crumple to your knees and say "NOOOOOOOOOOO!" But you would be giving his mom way too much credit.
Denny paused to collect himself at this point in his story, because he was so angry. "She didn't even want to spend the thousand dollars to cremate him. She wanted him dumped into a pauper's grave. She wouldn't even spend the $250 for a nice obituary in the paper. She put a notice in the Merchandiser, (a classified penny paper) but there was no funeral. When the ashes were delivered to her in a cardboard box, she wanted to pour them out into the yard. The. Yard....where their dog shits.
I was going to send her a card of condolence, but I think I will send her a card that goes something like this:

"Congratulations on your BIG, BIG savings! Human life has never been CHEAPER than NOW! Let us know how we can make your final exit



  1. What a shocker!
    I am speechless!
    I'd say you may just as well skip all communication attempts with Mom.

  2. Yeah. I was speechless when he told me this.

  3. Wow! I am with Felis on this one. Had she always lacked affection for her son or is this the alcohol speaking?


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