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What Happened To Mary

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Here we go again. If you're new you really need to catch up. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6. You'll love me for it. 

Jeff scooped up poor Scooter the dog, wrapped her in towels and put her in the freezer. It was late at night and I had a feeling dealing with Scooter could wait until morning.

Bright and early the next morning Jeff called Mary with the news that Scooter was chillin’ in the freezer. She didn’t seem to be upset, as a matter of fact, she was matter of fact.

“Just bury her in the back yard under the apple tree.”

Jeff and a couple of our employees took the task seriously. They gathered shovels, rubber gloves and the pooch pop. They solemnly walked out into the back yard that was filled with old machine parts, wheels and forgotten appliances.

There had been showers that morning; the ground was damp. The cat litter that had been strewn about the yard through the years was also damp. One of the guys forgot to dodge the cat litter. In a flash he was down. Not only was he down, he slid down an entire hill layered by hundreds of pounds of old, used kitty litter.

He tried to jump to his feet, but slipped again. The words coming out of his mouth could have thawed poor Scooter on the spot. Poor guy was slippin’ and slidin’ all alone. Not one man was going to chance getting the slimy soup on themselves, even with rubber gloves and work clothes.

He finally made it to his feet and over to the gravesite. Three men were digging and he stood there mumbling under his breath about old ladies, garbage and cat shit. Finally Scooter was laid to rest and work on the house could begin for real.

The house was spotless. All four 40 yard dumpsters filled with years of garbage were gone. Carpets and furniture had been steam cleaned and there was not one plastic spoon in site. The smell, well, it was almost gone.

During the next few weeks sub contractors came and went. Soon the job was finished. It was beautiful. No one could believe the transformation. It was time for Mary to come home.

Weeks before, while Mary was in the hospital, I had called Adult Protective Services and was able to get Mary assigned to a case worker. The case worker picked Mary up from the nursing home and brought her back to her house.

We were all there nervously waiting for her to come through the new doors. No one knew what to expect. Everything Mary had known was gone. In it’s place was a clean, new home. Dirty clothes had been washed and put in drawers, papers had been filed and the remodel had been finished.

The case worker helped Mary in with her walker. Mary looked around. She didn’t say a word. She went from room to room not speaking. She ended up in her bedroom sitting on the side of the bed.

She happened to look in the drawer of the bedside table and saw that her “toys” had been put back, along with new packs of batteries.

Suddenly she barked, “Where’s my coffee pot?”

You’ve got to be freaking kidding me! Her house was beautiful and she wanted her 10 year old, corroded, stalactite growing coffee pot?

“I threw it away,” Jeff said, “It wasn’t safe. I bought you a new one.”

“I want the old one.”

That’s about all we got out of Mary after that. Her world was upside down and she didn’t know what to do with it.

The reverse mortgage was granted and she was allowed to keep her house providing she kept up with the property taxes. All of the money from her collectibles that were sold was in a trust account for her taxes.

That’s where our story with Mary ended. Through public records I was able to find out that the state took guardianship over her and placed her in a State home several years ago.

Last night I did a search of the Social Security Master Death File. Mary died September 2, 2010. 


Furry Bottoms December 28, 2010 at 11:07 AM  


I wish I knew what she thought when she walked into that clean fixed up home. Must have been very hard for a hoarder, but it was for her own good!

Seriously, she just threw cat litter outside whenever it was time to change it? Oy.

The Bipolar Diva December 28, 2010 at 11:09 AM  

She did, if she chose to change it. There were filled cat boxes everywhere in that house!

Unknown December 28, 2010 at 11:27 AM  

Mary's story was gripping from beginning to end. I love to read about someone else's hard work.

Anonymous,  December 28, 2010 at 11:36 AM  

Wow, just wow. That was some story from start to finish. I realize it's hard for people to change, but you'd like to think that she realized what a help you all were and was grateful for it.

Unknown December 28, 2010 at 11:47 AM  

Part of me is unsure how to react to the finale.

I was laughing about the coffee pot, because of course we knew something like that was coming.

But then the whole 'she died' thing made me shut up.

Mental illness can be so frightening. This poor woman surely didn't know how to be any different.

You're an angel for getting involved.

Gucci Mama December 28, 2010 at 12:16 PM  

I'm still laughing at "pooch pop".

Poor Mary. What an incredible story.

Beryl December 28, 2010 at 12:42 PM  

Still the last part of her life, she knew what it was like to be taken care of. She wasn't surrounded by filth and chaos. Even in an altered mind...gosh, what a gift. May she rest in peace.
And you all recieved much grace in helping her the way you did.

Monkey Man December 28, 2010 at 1:13 PM  

....Sept 2, 2010....and just when did you get the urge to write this series? Coincidence or psychic connection. Perhaps on that day a strangely disgusting, yet familiar smell wafted under your nose and began the process.

Great story, Diva darling. Thanks for sharing. I knew you would find an appropriate close.

Anonymous,  December 28, 2010 at 1:50 PM  

The ending of your Mary story was strangely anti climactic..much like death often is to a chaotic life.
Thanks for sharing the story. Very well written, insightful and entertaining. (pooch pop, hehehe)

Babes Mami December 28, 2010 at 3:02 PM  

RIP Mary, it was wonderful to peek into your crazy!

Christy December 28, 2010 at 3:58 PM  

At least she's finally at peace. It is tough for hoarders to let go and now she doesn't have to worry about it.

Cheeseboy December 28, 2010 at 3:59 PM  

I don't know if I could ever eat food out of that freezer again. Good thing Mary didn't know, not that it would have mattered.

That must have been one great old coffee maker.

MissCrystal December 28, 2010 at 4:45 PM  

I see that a lot on Hoarders too. They don't know how to react.
I went back and read through each one again.. It's an amazing story.
Brought tears to my eyes to know she is gone.

Mrs. Indecisive December 28, 2010 at 4:53 PM  

thanks for finally finishing this story!!!!! Thanks also for following up about her death, because I would have wondered. You're a brave woman!

Dazee Dreamer December 28, 2010 at 5:05 PM  

That is so sad you weren't informed of her death. With everything you had done to the house.

I just had a feeling she was going to be upset about the new and improved house. You guys did a wonderful thing.

Jessica Warrick December 28, 2010 at 5:34 PM  

This is such a sad story of how a life is changed by one tragic loss of a spouse.

Pat December 28, 2010 at 8:09 PM  

I have to commend you and your family for working under those hazardous and stinking conditions. Unbelievable!

Sorry about Mary, but hopefully she's in a better place. She probably couldn't handle the cleanliness.

Classic NYer December 28, 2010 at 9:25 PM  

Interesting that of all the old things which were thrown away and replaced, the first thing that came to her mind was the coffee pot... kind of makes me wonder what was the significance of that coffee pot...

Classic NYer December 28, 2010 at 9:30 PM  

I don't know why I just felt compelled to look up where I was on sept 2 2010, but I did, and it was a bubble thought thursday.

MarkD60 December 29, 2010 at 3:15 AM  

Well, it was an interesting tale. I didn't realize she was already dead though, I thought it was very recent.

The Bipolar Diva December 29, 2010 at 11:49 AM  

Yeah Mark, she died 3 months ago.

MarkD60 December 31, 2010 at 5:11 AM  

Wishing you a HEALTHY, HAPPY, and PROSPEROUS 2011!

Claudya Martinez January 3, 2011 at 8:42 PM  

Oh Mary, Mary, quite contrary.

I wonder how long the place stayed clean.

You guys put in so much work.

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