Tuesday, December 28, 2010
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.