Originally when I gave my mother my graves (the plots where Ronnie and I planned to be
buried) they were out in a field and far too far for my mother to walk to with her walker. My partner met with the cemetery people and had the grave moved closer to the road so when my mother exited the car with her walker she would be right next to my father’s grave. We did everything we could to make this as convenient as possible for my mother. My brothers weren’t involved in the running around that my partner and I had to do at the last-minute to make sure that we could transfer the graves in time for my father to be buried.
After my father was buried his urn was stolen. It seems that it has become prosperous for thieves to steal these urns for scrap, I guess in the same way they started stealing light poles for scrap metal. People SUCK! Anyway immediately after the urn was stolen my mother started bitching about the grave. It wasn’t good enough, it was too close to the road, people stole things of the grave, etc, etc, etc. My brothers knew she was not happy but did any of them offer to have bought my mother a new grave. No. Why should they, my mother was alive and they graves were paid for, by me. So over the years my younger brother and his wife or me and my partner would take my mother to my father’s grave and would listen to her complain about the location, but never did her German children take her to the grave. Her eldest was too far away and the Thor was too busy being unemployed, doing handyman work and raising his children. So we would take either our weekends or evening hours to drive my her to the grave. My mother used to get on us because we never went to the grave unless she wanted to go. For me personally I can’t understand going to the plot of ground where people are buried. It makes no sense to stare at a rock with a name engraved in it, but it made my mother happy. As the years went by we would trek up to the graveyard less and less, and over time my mother stopped asking to go.
My mother continued to go to the casinos as long as she could but as I indicated in “Mien Wundervoller Bruder – Part 1” as she aged it started getting harder and harder for her to get ready, so for the last 3 or 4 years of her life she stopped going. My mother reached a point where she would sit in her house waiting for death. If you asked her to go anywhere she would say it was too much trouble. Even if you planned to take her out days ahead of time so she would have no excuse for getting ready… it was too much trouble. Instead she preferred to sit in her house with her little dog that would crap all over and chew up her furniture, adding even more stink and filth to her house.
On one occasion my mother’s dog destroyed her couch, literally ripped apart every piece of cushion and padding. My partner and I gave her a newer set that we had stored in our basement. A pretty white set that even my mother’s friend Carol (her helpful neighbor) was envious of and said she would have liked to own… but that couch was short-lived. The dog destroyed it too so I said “No more, until the dog was gone”. Thor came to the rescue however and brought her a couple of couches over the years, but they too fell victim to my mother’s dog. Whenever I would visit my mother I would have to clean up any amount from 2 to 10 piles of dog crap from her living-room, her hallway, or some other area in the house. I wasn’t the only one doing this… Carol, my younger brother and his wife and possible even Thor on his rare and in frequent visits would clean up what ever piles the dog strategically placed throughout the house. My mother’s house was becoming intolerable and I told her I wanted her to move in with me but I couldn’t have it with that dog. I mean I’m an animal lover but this dog was simply too far gone. What’s sad is that my brother found another home for the dog when it was younger but my mother cried so badly that the guy that had it returned it to her. So here she was with a dog in a house that was dirty and stank to high heaven. None of us wanted to go visit her anymore, it was a horrific experience.
My sister-in-law and I got together and pulled our money to hire a cleaning lady to work at my mother’s house. We were each going to pay $50 per week for a one day visit however after the first day the lady quit, not only was the house far to gone for her she said that my mother followed her around in her wheelchair and wouldn’t allow her to throw away garbage. Thor rarely visited her anymore. My younger brother would go mow her lawn but hardly ever spent more than a few minutes inside because the smell was so bad. I too would limit the amount of time I spent there but would deliver her groceries and out of obligation would stay for a short period. My mother was too afraid to leave her house for fear of losing her independence (and her dog). I told her on many occasions she should move in with me but she wouldn’t. I suggested selling her house and getting an assisted living apartment but in her mind she thought that was a nursing home and pictured herself sitting in a hospital somewhere rotting in a wheelchair, which ironically is what she was doing now.
My mother hated her kitchen, a gift from Thor. When my father was still alive and during one of his bouts of happiness Thor showed up with cabinetry than he had removed from a house. The cabinets were better than what had come with my mother’s house but they were still old, hence the removal from the home where my brother had obtained them. Anyway my brother put the cabinets up and stopped working on them at about 80% completion. If I remember the story right my mother started complaining to him that she didn’t like them and instead of finishing the work he left the house and until my mother died the kitchen remain in its 80% unfinished state. Later, after my father had died my mother and I spoke of the kitchen and she reiterated her hatred of it to me. I remember that Christmas in an effort to improve things for her I bought new kitchen tile and spent one Saturday afternoon on my hands and knees at her home apply them (they were the peel and stick type, not the ceramic stuff that required grouting). My mother’s kitchen looked so much better with the white tile against the dark wood of the cabinets she hated so much. My mother complained of the stove as well and this was when she told me more about the true colors of Thor. She told me that when my father was alive, before my brother had walked out on her unfinished kitchen she told him she hated the stove and he told her to give him $1,000 and he would by her a new stove. She said they never did see the stove nor was the $1,000 ever returned. She told me that my father had actually said to her “When is YOUR son going to come back with our stove”. That was the first time she said he (my father) ever referred to Thor as “HER” son and not his.
This is why it’s so funny that later, after my mother died, he said he was carrying out her wishes, wishes she never told her American sons. Why would her German son care so much about her wishes in death? He walked out on her in life never giving a thought to her wishes for a new and improved kitchen. In stead of honoring her wishes he further imprisoned her (and my father) in a situation that left them with a far worse and far uglier kitchen… and I will say that if anyone that remembers my mother’s kitchen after he was done with it liked that floor to ceiling monstrosity of cabinets that darkened my mother’s world then you are probably as cold and rigid as the man who installed them. My mother went to her grave with these cabinets she hated still attached to her kitchen walls.
Thor was never there for my mother unless he was there with his children enjoying a meal for which my mother generally reimbursed him. When I paid for a dinner for my mother, or took her out I did not ask her to pay me the money for the meal, he on the other hand did, and this came straight from the horse’s mouth…my mother. So if this is part of German culture then I would expect my cousin Angelika to ask her mother to pay her back for every dinner and every item of food she purchases for her mother… or is she more like the Americans that she criticizes and “treats” her mother. Are you more like Thor, Gela? Or are you more like me?
After Thor quit his job and would do handyman work my mother would pay for more and more of Thor’s personal expenses. Thor volunteered on his own to my partner that my mother paid for his gray van that he used while performing the $39,000 worth of work that he would not have had, had it not been for my partner. Again, straight for the horses mouth… directly from Thor. Also my mother told both me and my younger brother that she was becoming frightened of Thor. His demeanor and anger, as well as treating her badly verbally resulted our state of panic one weekend when out of no where Thor picked up my mother from her house and took her to his home. My younger brother and I called my mother’s house continuously, then my younger brother’s wife drove to my mother’s home, only to find no one there. I memory becomes foggy here, but I recall that we worried that my mother fell victim to my brother’s ire when my younger brother heard my mother screaming in the background when either listening to a voicemail or live conversation. I would need to ask him for more detail however both of us became determined that if our mother was not returned home soon we would be calling the police. Later my mother was returned home and told us that Thor had taken her to his house for the weekend. Both my younger brother and I at this point became concerned that we too felt that our brother might be capable of causing harm to our mother. We were not sure that at this point he was stable.
So here we were, fearing the brother we had loved and adored for so much of our lives. Whatever had transpired recently in my brother’s life he was no longer the same man that I knew as a child or the German’s worshipped as a Godlike figure.
My mother had so many health issues. I took her to doctor’s appointments continuously but my mother never listened to her doctors, regardless of their instructions or prescribed medications when we would get home she would say “Those damn doctors don’t know what they are talking about” if my mother could not get an instant cure then she wanted nothing of their advice or pills that would require time to take effect. I would constantly ask my mother why she didn’t ask her unemployed son to take her to the doctor and she would respond that he was so busy with his kids and had so many problems that she didn’t want to bother him, so Thor was off the hook. My younger brother’s wife or I were the two that were obligated to make sure that my mother made her appointments.
About two months before my mother died I was supposed to take her to the doctor. I remember telling my boss that I was going to leave work early when my mother called but my mother never called. I tried to call her but didn’t get an answer but that wasn’t unusual and I just figured maybe she got my sister-in-law to take her or cancelled or something, I didn’t think any more of it, but later that night when I talked to her she told me that she was so ill that morning that she called Thor and he came over and helped her wash up and take her to the doctor. I was so pissed. I asked her why she would call him when she and I had already made arrangements that I would take her. Well, my mother loved drama and it turns out that my brother had called her and wanting sometime with this ass, she told him she needed to go to the doctor and had no one to take her. OH MY GOD! No one to take her!! I was so pissed off. I actually yelled at her and told her that whenever I asked her about her “SON” she didn’t want to bother him but now here she was, despite my having told her I would take her to the doctor and telling my boss I would leave early, told him a lie at my expense. I pretty much told her to go to hell and hung up the phone. I wouldn’t speak to my mother for over two months at this point.
Two months had passed and I hadn’t called my mother. Finally one evening I came home from work and thought to myself, “Well enough is enough, I better call my mother.” I dialed her home and a strange female voice answered, my cousin Corina… I said “Who’s this?” and she responded “Corina”. I was shocked, a cousin from Georgia I hadn’t seen in years, I didn’t know how to react so I hung up. Don’t ask me why, it was just my first reaction. After a few minutes I composed myself and called back, this time another voice answered, my Aunt Renate and this time I asked to speak to my mother and Renate surprised me by saying “She’s not here”. She’s not here??? What the fuck? “Well where is she?” I asked… “In the hospital” my Aunt responded.
It turns out that my mother had been in the hospital a couple of days. Instead of bothering any of her sons to let them know she was sick she called her sister in Georgia and said she had no one to help her. What crap. Apparently Mein Wundervoller Bruder did nothing to help my mother after I got pissed at her for calling him when she and I had already planned that I was taking her to the doctor. So rather than call me, rather than call my partner Ronnie, rather than call my younger brother, rather than call my sister-in-law, rather than call Carol her neighbor, rather than call the wonderful Thor or his girlfriend, rather than call anyone in Maryland she calls Georgia and tells her sister that no one will help her. I love my mother and she was sick however talk about drama. My mother was a wonderful woman but she always played the victim when so often she didn’t need to, all she had to do was call me, but she didn’t. I don’t think she truly expected my aunt would show up. My mother loved her sister but never spoke fondly of her in private but that’s a whole different story.
Okay so somehow my German aunt contacts the German SUPERSTAR THOR to show up, the man that took responsibility for my mother and obviously neglected her for the two months I didn’t speak to her, and you are DAMN right! I am angry! I am angry because if it weren’t for this man of whom his entire immediate family was losing respect divided me and my mother, and I know that it was my own anger that caused this, my mother would not have been neglected, and not have gotten as ill as she had and would most likely be alive today. My brother should have been there for her, when he showed up that day and I stopped talking to my mother, he should have made DAMNED sure that he was there for her, he had not only alienated himself from me and my younger brother but he had alienated our mother from us and then left her to die.
But wouldn’t you know he shows up and for three for four days while my mother was in the hospital he helps clean my mothers house. The house that suddenly no one remembers being dirty. They worked their asses off to put that house back in a wonderful condition and what did my mother say about all this? She told me she didn’t feel like it was her home anymore. Not that my mother preferred filth but come on, this is the way she lived and had lived for most her life, granted it got worse in the end. So everyone in Georgia and Germany raised their hands in hallelujah to the great Thor. No one called me to tell me my mother was ill, no they called Thor. I remember when a few years prior my mother gave me a clock that had been in her family for generations. My mother gave me the clock because she loved me, she wanted me to have something special and it had been stored in her clutter for so many years, but do you know what the GREAT THOR said to her about her giving me the clock? He told her she was stupid for giving it to me, that it should have “remained in the family”!!! What the hell?? Now I wasn’t a member of the family. No, what he meant was by giving it to me she had given it to the Americans and it was no longer part of the German family’s possessions. When my mother told me what he said I was so angry I wanted to smash the clock and send it to him in pieces. Who was he to say I wasn’t part of the family, this man who was supported by MY AMERICAN father, who never even met his father. He felt he was more entitled to that which was German than I.
My mother was moved from the hospital to a rehabilitation center. She knew this to be a nursing home despite our assurances that she would be returning home when she was better but she saw the writing on the wall. She didn’t believe her home was her house anymore and the final indignity to her independence was when against her wishes her sister had her dog collected by the human society to be put to sleep. My mother cried to me so much that her sweet “Puppy” as she named his was gone. I felt her sorrow but also agreed with my aunt that my mother was no longer capable of caring for her self let alone an animal, but my mother was losing her will to live as she was seeing her life being taken out of her hands and decisions that she felt she was still capable of making were being decided by her sister and the GREAT Thor. My younger brother and I has spoken many times and we both feel in our hearts that if my mother would have simply been allowed to return home she might be alive today, but all the changes were just too much for her. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming my aunt, she did what she felt was right, but I had already over the last year been talking to my mother about moving in with me or at the very least getting an assisted living apartment. My mother wanted nothing to do with the latter because in her mind that was a nursing home and now matter how many times I told her she would have the type that would be an apartment where she could live independently, she didn’t believe it.
While my aunt was in Maryland I tried to show her a good time, we took her to dinner and took her to party that my friends were throwing. I had always loved Renate, I thought was a very cool aunt and I appreciated the fact that she had given up her life in Georgia to come care for my mother. I think what my mother really wanted though was to see her sister when she told her she had no one caring for her. I don’t care what anyone says of thinks but I know that my mother had alternatives, she did not have to bring people from across the country to her home when I lived not even 5 minutes away.
My mother was at her worst while in the rehabilitation center suffering a yeast infection (if I recall correctly). She was hallucinating and saying odd things. Thor would visit her quite often now, especially when he had a show to put on for his admirers. It took a week or so for her to get back to normal mentally, from asking such odd things as if she left the water on in the basement when her house didn’t have a basement. My younger brother and I had so little trust for Thor at this point, I would even say that whatever love there was for his was fading. We were both suspicious that our unemployed handyman brother was anticipating reaping the rewards from our mother’s demise and my younger brother spoke with my mother asking her to please not sign anything that Thor might bring to her, however she told him it was too late, he had already asked her to sign something, but she didn’t know what it was. We didn’t know either, and we never did find out. Whether it was an insurance policy, whether it was a power of attorney, whatever it might have been my brother was now armed with some document that he would either use against his siblings or perhaps ensure income beyond the loss of my mother, you see for our mother divulged to us that she was paying Thor’s mortgage frequently as well as his electric bill and in fact in an investment property he had purchased some years earlier when he was working, the electric was in my mother’s name, not even in Thor’s name. My mother was funding my brother financially and his free ride was coming to an end.
My mother was getting better, every time I would see her she looked better and better. Her color was coming back and at the rehabilitation center they moved her from her dark room to a bed next to a window. I remember her smile when I arrived the last day I would see her alive. She was so happy, the doctor had told her that she would be going home any day but definitely within two weeks. I told her this was great news but that things had to change. I told her I wanted her to move from her house and move in with me and my partner, I told her that she couldn’t be alone anymore and now that Puppy was gone there was nothing keeping her from staying in her house. I had space in my house where she could have a living area, a bedroom, and her own bathroom. You could have knocked me over with a feather when she told me okay. I said good, then when she got out we would move her to my home. For the rest of the visit we talked about this and that and I remember in particular we talked about the fact that we would have either a woman or a black man as our next President. She had so much to look forward to now and actually seemed excited about coming home. I kissed her good-bye and left. As I left the rehabilitation center the lady at the desk said to me “See you next time” and I remember very clearly responding “I don’t think so, my mother just told me she’s going home soon”. The woman responded that this was great news and that she would miss my visits. This surprised me because I didn’t even think she remembered me from visit to visit.
Later that day I was sitting with two friends at a coffee shop when my phone rang, it was my partner (now husband) he asked “How was your mother when you saw her?” I said “Great, she’s coming home soon” his response was “Well your brother just called, they took her to the emergency room”. Thor had arrived to visit my mother after I had left and at some point either during his visit or after he left she took a turn for the worst. The next time I would see her was in the hospital where the very caring and alert Thor was ever vigilant, making sure the covers were securely around her shoulder and watching her every breath. I don’t know why but but his actions and concern disturbed me to the core. (See: “Did Thor Kill Jord?“) My mother was lying in bed and for a lack of better words “cooing”. She was making a strange “cooing” sound. I left the hospital. That night Thor’s girlfriend (he was back with her again at this point) called me after midnight to tell me my mother had passed away.
See “Mien Wundervoller Bruder – Part 3”