Lucky Mom

Feb. 21, 2008

Dying Dad

Hey there. I’m back.

Sorry I’ve been gone but sadly my father has taken terminally ill and I had to go to Yuma, Arizona to assist my stepmother in arranging for an Air Ambulance to transport him ‘home’ (Utah) among many other duties.

As my father (who is 86.5 ) and my stepmother will never read this (they haven’t a clue what a computer is or does- except something to do with the devil I’m advised), don’t have a mobile phone and aren’t into home voice mail or even an answering machine (I know as I bought them one many, many years ago and their phone still rings off the hook or rings busy), I feel pretty confident I can talk freely.

Not to make light of my father being very, very ill but in order to provide something fun to read, I’ll chat about some of the highlights of my trip that I can now laugh about.

First off, does anyone have any idea what it costs to charter your own plane?

My dad wasn’t being transported for medical reasons, he was already in a hospital that was capable of handling his condition. He just wanted to be in a more familiar place and that is Utah.

It’s a lot. Try to avoid it if possible would be my humble recommendation.

The day of my trip was more than exhausting. Starting with my husband telling me about a ‘short-cut’ to the airport (oh, but while possessing my GPS system and walking into a work meeting so I obviously couldn’t call him for help) which caused me to hear 'you're too late, sorry lady' upon racing in from the short-term, highest cost parking area.

I hate to hear those,

After OJ’ing through the airport (security breaching belt, ring and watch in hand) in order to make the first of three flights around the country to only go two states over to Arizona, I begged my way on to the flight only to be seated next to a very drunk New Zealander who was very excited to see me - apparently.

Though I was pleased to have made the flight, my air vessel neighbor’s breath and loud drunk voice were shocking.

She wanted to tell me about her life from second one so I put my neglected book and celebrity rag away as I figured I was not going to be allowed time to read.

Then I did what any sane stay home mom of two kids under age 5 traveling alone for the first time would do.

I got drunker.

She tried to keep her lead but didn’t know who she was competing with.

I had 12 years and two kids on her. I win.

I’m sure the flight attendants developed some special love for us especially since we were sitting in the exit row.

Yeah, we’d be fly at evacuating a plane in an emergency. At least we wouldn’t panic.

Finally got to my destination (oh, a hotel of course as stepmom wasn’t about to have me staying with her and possibly spilling a bread crumb on the floor) at 3:00am.

So, some fun highlights I promised.

My stepmom doesn’t have kids and evidently hates them along with all animals and apparently most people in general. I think my dad may have had a say in that attitude as she seems to channel him.

When I introduced her to Starbucks (I was on three hours sleep that first morning) she shrieked about a baby who let out a cry. “Take that damn kid home” she said before she realized who was sitting with her. Right.

Oh and when she saw a dog owner with his little dog on a leash outside my father’s hospital going poo she freaked again.

By now, I’m done being a silent head nodder and firmly asked her what the problem was with a dog having to take a poop.

Apparently they should ‘only poop at home’, not in public, per stepmom.

I asked her if SHE only pooped at home.

No answer. End of discussion.

Anyway, my stepmom is usually a relatively nice person but sadly got kicked to the back of the line when brain matter was being allocated. Let's just say she's been a bit short-changed.

It’s a bit challenging to communicate with her as she’s also stuck in the 50’s or possibly early 60’s.

She’s insanely old school e.g. drives her bill payments.

Yep, drives to the phone, electric, gas etc. companies to pay her monthly bills. No mail, no internet bill pay, check, nothing.

She refuses to fly, is afraid of everything and moves way too slow for her much-younger-than-my-dad age.

On my last day prior to the air ambulance transfer, stepmom wanted to go to a ‘fancy’ restaurant (with me paying evidently) so we went to RED LOBSTER, per her request.

O.k. fine. But as we were being seated a waitress practically knocked me over.

She thought I was a celebrity and apparently wanted to meet me.

Then I had to tell her, I was NOT Kathy Griffin.


9 Comments Posted (Add Yours)


Are you joking about driving to pay bills? I had no idea. How did they pay them when not in the area? YIKES!


Oh girl, it takes an amazing person to find humor in sad times. You had me laughing out loud, so loud I had to share the dog poop story with the whole office! I'm sorry for the sad times you and your family are experiencing. Take care.


Your stepmom sounds like a real trip. Just what you need! ugh. Hang in there!


So sorry about your Dad!!

You know, you really should write for money$$$$$. You make me laugh! You always have... since 1984 ;-) And I don't think you look anything like Kathy Griffin. Maybe Kathy(Lee) Gifford??


HI KO - sorry to hear the bad news about your dad. Your post did make me laugh though. I miss you girl!


Hi KO....laughing during this time I'm sure is helpful. It takes a special person to see the humor in this. I felt like I wanted to belt your step mom for you after reading her "unique" anecdotes though. Let me know if you need help with that. :) On a serious note, losing a father is one of the most difficult things that I've gone through. Now, ten years later, I still feel the pain, but I also appreciate all that he taught me. I wish you that too through this road you're on. I will be thinking of you.


I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. Your post was hysterical though and I am glad to see that you haven't lost your sense of humor or your positive outlook on life. The world needs more people like you and we need to be able to laugh at crazy step moms. Take care.


Sorry to hear about your dad...


Thanks for all the nice comments.

My dad did in fact pass away less than a week after I came home from seeing him. I'm so glad I was able to see him and vice versa.

To my dad, we'll meet again~

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