Tears of sadness. Tears of rage. Tears for a relationship that never was, and now can never be. Tears for a woman so filled with anger that there was the possibility that only Stu would be at her funeral, and that I think our cousins took pity on him and are attending as well, just so he won't be standing alone at the graveside.
I believe I failed to mention my father's efforts to have my mother buried elsewhere. Seeing as how she was living in TN, my father believed it would be easier to have her buried there. But Stu argued that the pending payout of our mother's life insurance wouldn't cover the purchase of a burial plot. In fact, her policy is so small that Stu will eventually have to shell out money for a headstone. Said policy is only worth $10,000, and the transportation of her body, the service, the casket, and burial service will all cost $9,000. The headstone will cost around $1,100...or more.
Talking with Becky last night, I commented how our biological mother, (and I'm getting a bit tired of typing that one, so "mother" will suffice for now), had really stuck it to him. He took her in when she had no one else willing to tolerate her, and she made herself unwelcome almost immediately. She was, for all intents and purposes, kicked out of their home and forced to live in an apartment. Then, as she grew older and increasingly ill, she was permitted to move back in with Stu and family. She was given a "Life Alert" necklace, and after one of her falls, lay there for over an hour, rather than use it to call for help. He did all in his power to care for her when no one else was even vaguely interested.
Now she's left him with this tiny life insurance policy to cover all of her final arrangements. He has to endure the stressful ordeal alone, physically, emotionally, and financially. No one that I know of is in any position to be of any kind of help. Even if he and I were closer - truly brothers - I couldn't be emotionally supportive, as we're mourning two different things. He's mourning the loss of who she was, and I'm mourning what she should have been.
Odds are pretty good that that's what I'll be mourning every time someone I'm related to passes. I'll end up grieving what could have been. Because I'm the one who made all the efforts in the past. I'm the one who made phone calls to my relations, only to have them reject me as I became ill. "Snap out of it." "Grow up." And then to be treated as though my disabilities were actually some exotic form of laziness. There isn't a drop of tolerance and understanding in my bloodline, save for me.
And so, in about three hours, my mother will be laid to rest. I dunno...Perhaps she will finally have peace. Perhaps Hades isn't keeping a seat warm, and that G-d will be awaiting her to have a long talk about all she did wrong, and then welcome her into Heaven anyway.
But there are no true answers. I'll never know for sure what could truly have been. All I can do is rely upon my imagination, when what I'd rather do is be able to recall a happy childhood...a happy family...happiness in general.