• Re: Turning Life Arou 1/2

    From Daryl Stout@VERT/TBOLT to METALHEAD on Tuesday, April 14, 2020 23:25:00
    Too many people need to do that, nowadays. I long for the days when life's pace was slower, and you didn't have folks at each other throats.

    I feel that way all the time! How extreme is it for you?

    OK, you asked for it. <G>

    First, three years ago, I had to become my Mom's caregiver, then ended
    up putting her first into the hospital, and eventually into a nursing
    home. I had to become her Power Of Attorney, and with the help of
    Arkansas Asset Protection Group, got everything financially set up.
    Basically, all of her monetary assets had to be cashed out, and put into
    a Miller Trust...to cover the $5500+ a month nursing home fee. My
    younger brother wanted nothing to do with that, so all of that fell on
    my shoulders.

    Then, I ended up moving out from H.U.D. subsidized housing for the
    disabled in West Little Rock, to move back home. I had moved out from
    home (where I'm back at now...more on that in a moment), when I got
    married in 2003. Tragically, my wife died of a heart attack at 48 years
    old, 3 weeks shy of our 4th anniversary. Since I became disabled during
    our marriage, I was able to stay out there. My Dad had died from
    pancreatic cancer 2 1/2 months before my wife died...it's coming up on
    the 13th anniversary of her passing...and I know I'll be a basket case
    that day.

    But, with the funding I was to get from the Miller Trust after her
    death, I had to move out of there, and move back home...because it
    would've put me over the limit, and I would've been evicted. So, by
    moving out when I did, I do so on my terms, and am welcome to come back
    there to visit residents.

    I had a fellow ham radio operator and his 2 sons, move me with UHaul, basically across town, for $500. However, I lost 95% of my furniture in
    the move, as there was no room for it here...so he, his wife, and his
    sons, got all the stuff I couldn't move over here. Much of the stuff is
    STILL in the garage here. All my friends with my hobbies work, and have
    a family. Medical wise, it's hard to get a driver, because my brother
    was nearly killed in a freak motorcycle wreck nearly 3 months after my
    wife died.

    So, I ended up putting my Mom in a nursing home in Lonoke, about an
    hour east of Little Rock...but it was cheaper than in Pulaski County. In mid-July last year, the staff told me "her body was shutting down", and
    I needed to put her into hospice...3 weeks later, she was gone...less
    than a month before her 93rd birthday.

    The funeral was delayed nearly 2 weeks, as the funeral home was so
    busy with other funerals on the schedule. My brothers former high school classmates being there, was great therapy for him...as he has always had
    a hard time with mortality, his, his friends, animals, or otherwise. He
    didn't recognize one of the women, who had married another classmate.
    She told him "Dank (his nickname), I got fat...and you got old!!" Talk
    about a shot across the bow!! I'll tell of one my late wife did to me
    later in the message.

    Then, 2 months after her death, field rats (rodents) found their way
    in the house...and I had to call Terminix to remove the items soiled by
    the droppings, and to rodent proof the place. Thankfully, I had gotten
    some money upon her death to pay the huge bill...but they are coming by
    weekly to treat things. Rats are smart and cautious, while mice are
    curious and stupid. And, with a lack of winter here the last 3 years,
    many areas are having to deal with them. I haven't seen evidence of them
    in a couple of weeks, but they first showed up 6 months ago. It will
    take awhile to get rid of them, but hopefully, it won't be as bad as
    COVID-19 has been for so many areas.

    If this wasn't enough, I had to have bladder stone removal surgery 3
    days after her death...and again 2 months ago. Plus, back in December,
    2018, they discovered an umbilical hernia...which has grown since then.
    So, once COVID-19 settles out (Arkansas isn't doing as bad as some
    states), I've got laparoscopic surgery on the horizon.

    Then, to add insult to injury (more like salt in the wound), I suspect
    an update from Microsoft Windows crashed Internet Rex, so I had to shut
    the BBS down for 6 weeks...because we then had nearly nonstop
    thunderstorms through March. We've had tornadoes, large hail, high
    winds, and flooding rain (this is the stormiest I've seen in the nearly
    43 years living in Arkansas)...but by comparison to other states, we've
    had "a glancing blow"...especially with the tornado outbreak on Easter.
    I finally got things working again, with a short lull in the weather.

    Basically, "On the extreme, I rest my case". :P

    I find existing to be difficult at times. Sometimes, I swear, people don't M>even want me to exist, so often I'm trying to 'exist less' around people, M>depending on the situation.

    My hopes have been crushed so many times, and some trips I had planned
    to "get away from things for a time", had to be cancelled...because of finances, my Mom's funeral, and now for both COVID-19, and that hernia.
    It is very hard for me to have a positive outlook anymore, and it's only
    by the Grace Of God that I'm even sane right now. The hobbies of the
    BBS, ham radio, and square dance publications, are keeping me busy, but

    (Continued to next message)
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  • From Daryl Stout@VERT/TBOLT to METALHEAD on Tuesday, April 14, 2020 23:25:00
    (Continued from previous message)

    some days, they aren't even a needed diversion.

    There are times I've been angry and depressed. My luck is so bad, it's
    like the song from Hee Haw (if it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck
    at all)...but if I called the suicide, urinary or anal incontinence
    hotline numbers, I'd be asked "Can you hold, please??". :P

    I get absolute love from my kids all the time. That's the best investment I M>ever made.

    My late wife and I never had kids. I contracted chicken pox from my
    brother 40 years ago, who got it from his first wife's kids. His case
    was mild...mine was so severe, that it put me in the hospital for a
    week, and out of work at Burger King, and out of college at the
    University Of Arkansas At Little Rock for 2 months, by order from the
    Arkansas Health Department.

    It was as if someone put me in a barrel of itching powder, and closed
    the lid...even the WaterPik shower massage didn't provide relief. Not
    one part of my body went unscathed...even my genitals and buttocks were covered!! I had to take those nasty oatmeal baths, and it nearly went
    into encephalitis...so, they put me into isolation.

    Then, I worked in Silkscreen printing for 18 years, and absorbed the
    nasty solvent of Methyl-Ethyl-Ketone (very flammable). So, with concern
    about possibly having a child with birth defects...as my late wife so eloquently put it..."they wouldn't spay me, so he volunteered to get
    neutered". <G>

    Ironically, I met her on a BBS run by the local college (the college
    is still there, but the BBS is long gone), and she became my Co-Sysop
    and my wife. In the doorgames, she was a great winner, but she was a
    sore loser!! <G> Her eyesight may have been poor, but she'd find errors
    in the bulletins that I never saw.

    She also had a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Psychology (she said "I
    like a challenge" <G>), and I should've known better than to "mess with
    her". One night, I was being a smart-@$$, and said "My head is so far up
    my butt, that I can see my throat!!". Without missing a beat, grinning
    wryly, she said "That's why your eyes are brown!!" -- <ZING!!> <BG>

    While I have all the wonderful memories that no one can take away, I'm
    so glad that she's not here to see me suffer. I never did remarry, as at
    this stage of life, folks "have too much baggage"...physically,
    mentally, emotionally, financially, etc. If they or their kids are in
    trouble with the law, want someone else to fight their battles, not
    showing the kids "tough love" (the kids cuss their parents out
    repeatedly), and are financially irresponsible, I do NOT want or NEED
    that "drama" in my life.

    To quote the title of a TV show that ran on Animal Planet awhile back,
    now you have seen "The Most Extreme". :P

    Daryl

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  • From Metalhead@VERT/CASTLERO to Daryl Stout on Wednesday, April 15, 2020 20:20:00
    Well Daryl, that's a lot of unfortunate stuff that happened to you all in a short period of time.

    Let all those difficult memories get clouded-up by any positive things that happened during those times. Obviously it will be hard to outweigh all the
    sad stuff, but those few nice things that happened (you didn't mention any
    but there has to be some) are the things you should focus on a bit more.

    I used to work at a casino with a bunch of tough-guy asses, and everyone treated me like garbage there, but there's this xmas ornament I have in my
    car - I keep it there to remember this 1 nice lady from the casino who gave
    it to me as a xmas gift one year - that cheap, modest little xmas ornament makes all the difference when I look back at those memories of when I worked
    at that place. People were asses - but not that sweet lady who gave me the ornament. See how that helps me find comfort after an ordeal? (a smaller
    ordeal than yours - but this is my experience.)

    --- Mystic BBS v1.12 A45 2020/02/18 (Linux/64)
    * Origin: Castle Rock BBS - bbs.castlerockbbs.com
  • From Daryl Stout@VERT/TBOLT to METALHEAD on Thursday, April 16, 2020 09:40:00
    Well Daryl, that's a lot of unfortunate stuff that happened to you all in a M>short period of time.

    What was your first clue??

    Let all those difficult memories get clouded-up by any positive things that M>happened during those times. Obviously it will be hard to outweigh all the M>sad stuff, but those few nice things that happened (you didn't mention any M>but there has to be some) are the things you should focus on a bit more.

    From September, 2006 to September, 2007...I lost my grandmother-in-law (dropped dead), my Dad (pancreatic cancer), my wife (heart attack)...my
    best man (cancer), and nearly lost my brother in a freak motorcycle
    wreck. The only good thing that happened was that I used a deal called HamTestOnline to upgrade my ham radio license from Technician to General
    in 14 days, then General to Amateur Extra 13 days later. It was the best
    money I ever spent in amateur radio. I did it mainly to become what is
    known as a Volunteer Examiner to give and grade the license exams. I did
    this after Morse Code was no longer required for a ham radio license in
    the United States...and it has been the most rewarding thing I've ever
    done in ham radio.

    At one session, a husband, his wife, and their two sons, came in to
    take the entry level exam (the Technician License), and all 4 passed
    their tests!! It was a joy to sign the documents saying they had
    passed...but we joked "they were going to fight over the radio". <G>
    However, the funny part was that Dad and his 2 sons had the right change
    for the exam fee ($15), but all Momma had was a $100 bill. When she said
    that, the liaison at the time, quipped "I think you just passed"...the
    whole room busted out in laughter. But, several others were testing that
    day, and we had petty cash, so we were able to help her out.

    He had been hinting at wanting to get out of being a liaison, and I,
    having being recently accredited as a Volunteer Examiner, asked him if
    he'd like to take over, and he said one word..."PLEASE!!". Sadly, he
    passed away from pancreatic cancer several years ago...the same thing
    that killed my Dad and his sister.

    In the time from the loss of my Dad, until my Mom got sick...we went
    on several trips to the Clive Cussler Collectors Society Convention.
    He's a world famous fiction adventure writer...with titles like Arctic
    Drift, Raise The Titantic, Poseidon's Arrow, among many others...we had
    a ball. Clive established the National Underwater Marine Agency (NUMA),
    looking for and doing research on shipwrecks. He wanted to find the
    wreck of the Bon Homme Richard, the ship used by John Paul Jones, who
    uttered the words "I have not yet begun to fight"...and as far as I
    know, he never did.

    Anyway, for several years (they don't do it anymore), they had a
    raffle for a DOXA divers watch (good to 100 meters)...and rather
    expensive ($2500). Anyway, one of the members, Tom Gwinn, was always
    saying "I still do NOT have a Doxa". Well, with the help of a former
    employer (silkscreen printing), and permission from Dr. Pete Millar, we
    got a picture of a DOXA watch on a T-shirt. Above the watch, it said "I
    had hoped to win a Doxa for my wrist..." -- and below it, "But, this is
    what I ended up with". <G> Only myself, my Mom (we were co-conspirators
    in this <G>), Wayne and Kristi Valero, Bruce and Debbie Canfield, Rob
    and Liz Sansom, and Dr. Pete Millar, knew about this.

    The late Wayne Valero (he died of a rare brain disease a few years
    ago, he was only 58 years old) was long time president of the
    organization, and loved being in the limelight. Well, he really "laid it
    on thick" with leading up to the presentation. It went something like
    this:

    Wayne: A lot of people are going to be very mad, at what I'm about to
    do. But, something happened, that hardly anyone in this room knows
    about. But, a DOXA, did come to this convention!!

    Tom: YO!! THANK YOU!!

    <begin the undertone grumbling> <G>

    Wayne: However, I'm not going to raffle it off. Instead, I've decided to
    give it to one person...the one person in this room, more deserving than
    anyone else of a DOXA. Would Tom Gwinn please come up here??

    By this time, the undertone grumbling was at a fever pitch ("What
    makes him so special??", etc.). Well, there was some laughter and
    applause, then here's Tom...on his hands and kness (looking like an
    absolute fool!), on the well sanded wooden stage (the event had a
    Hawaiian theme, lai's, hula dancers, grass skirts, and all), and he said "Praise The Lord!!". <G>

    He walks toward the podium, grinning like the cat who swallowed the
    canary. Then, the look on his face like "What The Hell??", as Wayne goes
    to get the shirt. Then realizing what it was, Tom turns away, as if to
    say "Oh, $h!+". At this point, Wayne holds up the shirt to the entire room...and it erupts into this loud scream, followed by raucous
    laughter, and a ton of smart-@$$ remarks (guilty as charged)!! <BG>

    As he comes back toward the stage, seemingly emotionally crushed,
    everyone's yelling "Read It!!", and he says "I can't read!!". The room
    gets dead quiet as he read it, and it resulted in another round of

    (Continued to next message)
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  • From Daryl Stout@VERT/TBOLT to METALHEAD on Thursday, April 16, 2020 09:40:00
    (Continued from previous message)

    raucous laughter and smart-@$$ remarks. <G>

    Tom gets back to his seat, and Wayne (making like nothing had even
    happened), said "In keeping with the seriousness of the evening"...it
    was interrupted by a shout from Tom...."IT FITS!!" (we got the size
    right). At the end of the evening, they had given Clive this clock,
    noting "NUMA, BEER, AND ALE...AND GOOD BEER"...Clive, grinning wryly,
    pointed to Tom, and said "Why don't you give it to him?? He needs a
    watch!!" <BG>.

    After the dinner meeting, there was the book signing, and Tom was
    trying to find out who did it. He finally came to my Mom and I, and we confessed. <G>

    Well, I had taken a picture of my Mom and Clive, and Tom took that
    picture (unknown to us), and enlarged it...then had everyone at the next
    years convention, sign it. At that event, Wayne unrolls this thing,
    looking directly at my Mom, "stupidly" asks "Does anyone know who I'm
    supposed to give this to??". My mouth, and my Mom's just dropped in
    surprise!! She was crying tears of joy, and saying "ME!! ME!! ME!!" <G>

    She always treasured that, and I had it on display at her funeral 8
    months ago. Sadly, while typing this, I got teary eyed...the same way
    when I think of so many memories with my late wife. I guess the tears
    are a combination of the loss of them, but also the wonderful memories
    that no one can take away.

    Daryl

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