So, I’ve had a lot on my mind for the past few weeks, and feel like I just need to vent a bit. I’ve taken the liberty of putting everything behind LJ cuts so that folks can skip to the more positive stuff if they so choose.
With that said, yesterday was the funeral of a good friend of the family. Our close friend Kathy’s mom died last Thursday night. Kathy’s been a very close friend to us for some twenty odd years. She was around when I was still a baby, and used to live with us for quite a few years. My mom was there through everything with her, from the time that Kathy was single, to when she got married, and had her two kids, and even still when she eventually moved about an hour away to Oshawa. We always kept in touch, in fact she’s rather like a God Mother to us, I guess. We’ve always gone to their family gatherings, birthdays, Christmas, Thanksgiving, whatever special occasion.
Kathy’s mom, Anne, died shortly after arriving at the hospital… They all thought that she was going to be okay. Her dad, Ross, was driving late at night, with Kathy and Anne in the car with him. He apparently ran a red light, according to a witness they had, and was hit head on by an oncoming car. Kathy had no major injuries, her dad had to get his arm stitched up… and the last time they saw her mom she seemed to be okay, and was asking if Ross was all right. She told her mom that he was fine, and said that she was going to go call her brother and let them know what happened. Five minutes later when Kathy went back to see her mom, she was gone.
She was a very wonderful woman. She was always full of cheer, extremely upbeat and full of energy for a lady in her 80’s. She liked to smile and talk, and give big hugs. She was always supportive to friends and family, and she always went out of her way to help out, even if the person she was helping was a total stranger. She lived to give, and I honestly really wish that I had been able to see her one last time… The last time I was able to make it out to their place for a visit was at Christmas. -.- The last time I talked with her, seems like so long ago… and she was always happy to hear about how I was doing with my job, and artwork and stuff. I can’t believe I’ll never be able to sit down and talk with her again…
The family is pulling together… there were quite a lot of people at the service, a lot of faces that I didn’t know. Most I did, though. Kathy is still in a lot of shock. Ross, I think, has been having the hardest time with it all, as he blames himself, saying that he killed his wife… He knows that he shouldn’t have been driving that night, as he’s had his driver’s license revoked once before because of an accident, since his vision was becoming poor. He could barely walk around by himself, when I saw him at the burial. My mom and I gave him a big hug and asked if he was going to be okay, and he said, “Yeah… I have to be... she’d want me to. Heck, I know she’d give me hell even now if I were to give up… I still have my kids and grandkids to live for.” I’m glad that he can find the strength in his family to make it through this hard time.
This was the first funeral I’ve ever been to, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. It was very emotional… and psychically draining. Even members of the family who normally didn’t get along at all, set all of their differences aside for awhile. Four sisters who all didn’t really get along, finally all got together yesterday for the first time in years. The kids all stopped being brats. Even Kathy’s husband, Jerry, (whom I absolutely can’t stand, as he’s an arrogant bastard who’s been mostly a negative and emotionally/verbally/physically abusive influence on his wife and kids for years now, and Kathy almost left him twice…) came and sat next to me, and we exchanged all of maybe four words, all while avoiding eye contact. It felt like he wanted to say something to me, but he didn’t.
I guess overall, it was a nice funeral, if you can call a funeral “nice.” I mean, it started off very sad, but by the time the reception had started, a lot of family members who hadn’t seen each other in years were catching up on old times, chatting about new stuff, and laughing together, and remembering. We had a small scare, as one of Kathy’s sisters who was very upset about the whole situation decided to take a walk by herself, and she got lost, and no one knew where she was, so everyone went out looking for her. Turned out she got confused and all turned around, and they found her wandering around in someone’s backyard. At least they found her before it started to pour. We ended up driving home in the pouring rain, but it cleared up rather quickly.
I just want to say, thank you very much to all of you who gave your well-wishes. It really means a lot to me. Yesterday left quite a bit on my mind… about how you just never know what will happen tomorrow. People tend to put things off until the next day, and the next day… but you just never know if that next day will come around. I really should take more time to see my friends more often… I’ll be heading over to iron_raptor’s place on Saturday, to help him clean up the basement apartment, as his mom’s needed the help around the house for a while now. Maybe the following weekend I can get together with some friends, like torrle, or rexxwolfe, l337_0n1, Marlos, Hiker, and others. I’m really sorry I haven’t been around, you guys… *ears flatten*
In other news, I found out about a month or so ago that my dad had plans to move to Japan and get married. Apparently he’s had a girlfriend in Japan for goodness knows how long… and we had to find this out through my sister, since she’s about the only family member who actually keeps in touch with my dad on a semi-regular basis. But no warning to me, or to my mom. No nothing. Just an e-mail one day saying, “Hey girls, I’m moving to Japan and getting married near the end of June.” Wonderful.
My mom was pissed when she found out, and I don’t blame her. My dad’s got off scot free from giving her support for us for *years* and now he’s suddenly just picked up and left - he says because he can’t find work in Toronto - so he’s moved to Japan to try and teach English, like my cousin Rachel did.
Of course, before he left he decided to leave my sister and I as his powers of attorney, in the case of when he finds a job in Japan, he can still send money to Canada, and Amara and I are supposed to do his banking for him, for some reason. He says that it’s so if we should ever need money (for school, or whatever) we can have access to this account, jointly, or separately.
Now, the problem with this scenario was that, since my dad owes me money still, ($1500) I really had no interest in doing him the favor of banking for him. I don’t care about additional funds; I just want the money he bloody well owes me, and that’s that. I don’t want the responsibility of being his power of attorney, especially when he never even asked me to begin with! And I had *thought* that I had made that clear when I last talked with him, and said that I’d rather let Amara deal with that stuff, but I guess I wasn’t as clear as I could have been on that matter.
So when the time came that my dad e-mailed us, asking if we could close some account for him, I assumed that Amara would take care of it, and she assumed that I would take care of it. Then he sent a second e-mail to us a week later when neither of us had responded to him:
How are you? Hope well.
Did either of you close the account for me? Please, could you do it before the end of the month? Otherwise I have to pay another month's service fee of $17.50 needlessly. Could someone get back to me? Thanks.
So, I figured that Amara wasn’t going to get to this, so I sent dad an e-mail back asking how I would go about it:
“How do we do this...? I don't have either of the papers you left with us...
I told Amara to give me a copy but she hasn't yet. I don't know if mom has
them or what. I don't even know which bank is yours or how to get to it. O.o Need
more info, if I'm going to be able to do anything to help.
Apparently he had sent instructions in a previous e-mail, which I must have missed, (my inbox gets so cluttered, it’s not even funny!) and his reply to me seemed just a *tad* bit harsh for my liking:
It's not that difficult. I sent you an email with all the details on June 22. I will write to Aster and ask her to deposit the chq. to my account, so forget that part. Neither your mother nor Aster can close the other account - only you or Amara, since you have power of attorney. You and Amara live in the same house, how is it not possible for you two to communicate? How rediculous is that? If neither of you want to do it, just let me know and I'll try to make alternative arrangements. The power of attorney becomes useless if neither of you will exercise it. Maybe I will send Aster my bank card and she can take the money from my account at a bank machine.
My bank is at Eglinton and Brimley. Its the BMO Bank of Montreal. The account to be closed is my business account # *******. How difficult is it to walk into the bank and show them the power of attorney and tell them to close the account and transfer the balance to account # ****-***?
Let me know if you will do it or not.
Oh, I really liked the “Love, Dad” part. With all of the crap that I’ve had to deal with from him over the past 24 years of my life, this e-mail just had to come on a day where I was already at my wit’s end, after having worked until 10pm at the vet clinic as we had an emergency surgery to do that night. I also had to walk home in the pouring rain, without a jacket or umbrella, as I wasn’t expecting to be at work so very late, so that didn’t make matters any better. Getting home to that e-mail was finally the straw that broke the camel’s back, and I must admit that I wasn’t too nice about my reply to him:
“You know what… maybe just chalk it up to the fact that I’ve had a shitty day… I stayed at work until 10pm, and had to walk home alone, in the dark, in the pouring rain… I’m tired, and I’m feeling sick, and I’m really sick of the BS I’ve had to endure for the past few months… And on TOP off all of that, I really don’t appreciate getting a mail from you in such a harsh tone, as to question how “difficult” it is to close YOUR bank account. Honestly, maybe you should have even bothered to ask me before just tacking me on as your power of attorney. What even made you think that I’d be interested? Why should _I_ have to take responsibility for YOUR stuff, and why should even Amara have to either? Yes, she and I live in the same house, and NO we don’t communicate. We just BARELY get along, dad. I really don’t like having to go out of my way to talk banking issues with Amara, okay? You know what, e-mail her, and bug her to do your work for you, because I really don’t feel like taking time out of my already hectic schedule to have to bus all the way to your bank because you couldn’t close your account before you moved. I really don’t want to have anything to do with it, to be quite honest. All I want is the money you owe me. That’s it. That’s ALL I’ve ever wanted. So please, until you can do something for me, don’t ask me to do anything else for you.
I haven’t had any reply back from him since, and I’m kind of hoping that the next reply will simply be to say that he has my money, and will never bother me again. >.<
My mom seemed rather surprised that I finally snapped. I never thought that I’d be the type to have such abandonment issues when it comes to the issue of the Father Figure I never really had. My mom and dad were never married, he left us when I was six years old, yet still fought with my mom about his rights to be able to see my sister and I. We used to do the alternate weekend thing, where we’d stay with him, and he’d usually drag us off to some Jazz festival in the park that would bore us to tears at the young age that we were.
Even through my school years, he was always nagging at me about something… seemed that no matter what I did, or how well I did, nothing was ever enough to satisfy him, and he’d always be pushing for more. Just felt like I could never make him happy, and I feel like I’ve wasted a lot of my years trying to make him proud of me. Even my spiritual beliefs he’s always criticized, and yet he’d talk to me about reading over the many pamphlets that he’d saved for me over the years about the friggin’ Rosecrusions, and how I was sworn into some order when I was a baby!! *clenches teeth!*
My mom swears up and down that I was always his favorite, as his first born… yet it never looked that way to me… seemed more like Amara was the favorite. Anything she wanted, she got. If she wanted new clothes, she’d ask dad for money, and bam, she’d get what she wanted. She needed a new cell phone? No problem! Let’s ask dad… he paid for her plan for a good few months. I very rarely ever asked dad for anything, and the couple of times I did were for school materials, and even that was difficult, as he had such a limited income by then after splurging everything on Amara… instead of, like, helping out my mom. >.< Cripes, let my sister get a damned JOB and pay for her own crap!
So yes, I’m bitter. Extremely so. Dad’s run off to start his new life, and who the hell knows if he ever plans on sending us diddly-shit for what he owes us. My sister will still be the first to defend my dad to this day, for whatever bloody reason I will never understand. She really doesn’t see the damage that he’s caused this family, just as she doesn’t see the way she treats her own mother. And my aunt was joking around that we might have new siblings on the way. Hah! New siblings my ass! The day I hear that dad has a new kid with some chick I never even heard of until just a few months ago is the day I permanently disown myself from any type of relative association of the Davis family tree. And in any case, when I get married, my name will be changed to Jessica Albee, and I will be damned proud indeed! *firm nods*
And of course the latest crap to stain my life is the worry that if my mom can’t find another decent-paying job soon, we may very well end up having to sell the house in a half year. My mom’s been looking for a steady, well-paying job for going on four years now, and is in a shitload of debt because her current job just doesn’t pay her enough to cover her bills. She’s just barely been scrunching by with borrowing from about four different credit cards, and I’ve been giving her a few hundred every month for the past couple of years, but even I can just barely afford that due to my own bills and whatnot.
We just *might* have actually been okay when my mom was working for the Mirror, until of course, she got laid off. A few months later she sees an ad in the paper for her old job, which pissed her off that they didn’t hire her back once the position became available again. To make matters worse, her current call-center job has cut her hours, and they mess with her schedule on a constant basis, which make scheduling time for interviews for a possible better job that much more difficult. She’s been depressed, and worried, and frustrated that even with all of her experience in business/secretarial/management positions, no one will hire her because she’s an older woman, in her late 50’s.
So she’s now thinking of taking drastic measures, including trying to fix up the room next door to my room, in the hopes that she can possibly rent it out again to make a bit of extra income. Though how we would be able to find anyone in their right mind that would want to live in a place with this many animals is anybody’s guess. But my mom is too nice to get rid of the animals… she doesn’t know anyone who would take them, and she’s not about to turn them into the SPCA where they’ll all just be put to sleep.
So, I’ve started looking for a second job, in the hopes that I can help my mom out… somehow. I really wish that my sister could be even a bit helpful in contributing to this household. Mom should seriously kick her ass out of the house. It would be far easier to rent out her room than to rent out the basement rec room. If I ever become rich, I will buy my mom a house of her own. I really wish that she could just catch a break… She deserves so much more good than what she gets. :(
Finally… on a good note! I’ve decided to enroll Zena into some training classes, with Gemini K-9 Obedience school. The head guy there is a really nice and reliable trainer named Chris, who’s been doing this kind of work for years. He’s had a lot of good referrals by other dog owners I know, and even a girl I used to work at the kennel with had her two dogs trained in Schutzhund with him. Her dogs are some of the *best* behaved beings I have ever known.
I also introduced Chris to the “Please Ask Before Petting” embroidered dog patches that I had designed to put onto Zena’s training vest. He thought that they were a very good idea, (especially since a lot of his clients have dogs with aggressive/behavioral problems…) and bought some off of me about a month ago to see how they would do as a marketing product at his training school. I’ve had a ton of people ask me where I got the patches from whenever I’ve walked Zena, and so I’ve been sending quite a bit of business Chris’ way. :)
Chris was also nice enough to cut me a deal in price for Zena’s classes, as he knows I’m in a bit of a limited financial position at the moment. So he did a partial trade with me; I made a partial payment for her classes, and the rest will be paid in artwork, as Chris really liked my animation art style, and would love to have some posters made to put up around the training area’s walls.
Zena had her evaluation on Monday, to determine which training program would best suit her needs, and she did fairly well in her basic obedience commands. The area in which we’re going to be focusing on the most is her ability to fully respond to commands right away, with distractions, as that seems to be her weakest area. She’ll listen to me no problem in most circumstances, but if there is another dog around, or some other distraction, her focus is lost and she doesn’t respond as well.
So for the next six weeks she’ll be trained to learn extreme focus, and self-control. She’s basically being put through the same type of training methods they use for seeing-eye-dogs. It should be a lot of fun at the same time, though. It will challenge her, and encourage her to think, instead of just reacting. And I know that Zena loves to learn, and keep active, so I think that she’ll do very well with this class.
Eventually, depending on how well she does, I’m even thinking about the possibility of starting her in Schutzhund training as well, because I really like the type of hard work, discipline and control that it teaches. It’s much like martial arts for dogs, and I’m particularly interested in the tracking phase, and more advanced obedience training it offers. I’m hoping that it will help boost her self-confidence, and also help her get over the bit of fear-aggression that she still sometimes portrays. But that’s thinking way into the future. For now though, just one step at a time. She begins her first class this Friday. Wish us luck! :)