Update – she has died. Additional updates below.
This is what I wrote before she died:
For no other reason than meanness.
I got to hear her voice and she was so sad about not having a way to communicate with all her family and friends. She had talked with and visited with her friends even in the pandemic, at least by phone (so many of us live far away). But Florida does not allow phones for old people apparently.
In this last phone call I had with her, she rushed the call and then said, “wait, call DXXX and tell her why I can’t call right now and tell her I will call her when I get my life back.” And she added, “Call TXXX and LXX too.”
I have spoken with her for a lifetime with usually multiple calls, especially these last couple of years, for the company. As much for me as for her, it is like she has died from my life. The words of love and fun and affection and memories are gone, and I am denied the company of her words in my ears, and the sharing of memories.
We would end long calls with, “well we covered the waterfront.”
Even the preacher won’t go to see her. One might think, even if she is not to be allowed a phone — because she is so well-to-do financially but nothing is to be spent on her — that her minister might carry his phone and help her call her friends. She has been a member of the same Presbyterian church for 40 years.
Oh, the meanness, and justified by claiming, for no good reason, that people are trying to take her money. Anyone in their right mind knows she could not change any Estate Will so it would stand up. What a cheap unbelievable lie. And then apparently, in front of the sitter, telling her this is “all political.”
The assisted-living care home, which was not sufficient for her needs, (she could not transfer or even stand), said they never had a resident that had so many friends to visit.
She did have so many friends and for so long. And kept up with friends and family from many states and at times even living in other countries. To take away her life, her friends, how mean.
She said: “…when I get my life back…”
Even during the pandemic she was thankful, grateful even, for her phone pals as much as the parade of friends she had enjoyed at the weekly church ladies’ meetings, the Sunday lunches at the favorite restaurant, the choir practice and the choir. The family and friends’ outings. She and the girls going to see the Downton Abbey movie in the city. But during the pandemic they all seemed to find a way. Even her dear friend who took her food for ages and ages before she got home care, was denied visits.
“…when I get my life back…” Not even calls. Her friend of 50 years? No, it has to be 60 or more; she moved from up northern way almost 50 years ago and never lost touch. They called and talked to each other for 50 or 60 years? Meanness – to what end?
Not even her minister would advocate that she at least have her phone pal family and friends like she has always had. This was a hope she spoke about for many years. She spoke not only with friends she had for more than 70 years, but also close in-laws were turned away. Why? Nieces for whom she had been an adult signer when they were minors — not allowed to speak to. her Even her son’s first wife, who had remained friends with her through this year. None of us knows how to reach her; the phone she had and her address book were taken away. We cannot even call these many family and friends to tell them that she has lost her life. She is not dead yet; she just doesn’t have her life.
Her minister will not even go and visit her. (He claimed he did a couple of times but the facility said otherwise.) He says he is “friends” with the other party and so he does not want to “get in the middle” by visiting his church’s parishioner of 40 years who is ill and in such distress, and need of prayer, much less help. For her to be told that her friends are hurting someone’s career, and in her last days on earth to be intimidated into saying she does not want any friends or family to visit her?
And since I dared to ask about her weight and food and medical care, I can’t get another call back for anything; my name slandered and poor Miss is left for dead. Where is physical therapy, occupational therapy, the visit to church even in a wheelchair as she had asked? What is this story she cannot be allowed church? We have pictures of those days, in the facility, of her in a wheelchair; she could easily have gone to church. There are so many who saw her enjoy singing along with the service, and watching church from a laptop, sitting in a wheelchair, at the facility, when she could easily have gone there in person. The stolen Easter. She had a ride.
I might have thought, if a minister had a conflict of interest, because he is “friends,” as he said, with the other party (who does not attend his church), that he would call for a substitute from the home office, so that the parishioner of more than 40 years might have prayer and readings from the Good Book for comfort in her time of illness. But, he said to me. he does not want to get in the middle.
Where is middle heaven?
Left for dead.
What a way to go. For decades we have discussed all the ancestors, on countless audio recordings. She and I were present for a number of deaths. I was raised by her parents from the day I came home from the hospital. She and her sisters were there to, as she relayed, “feed you chocolate and watch you giggle…”
For a lifetime, I have learned from her example. Year after year after decade, I have vicariously lived hearing about the neighbors, friends, and fellow parishioners of her home – her life. One would get a stroke and she was there to sit with and read and run errands and carry food. Another needed a break, and she would sit and visit. The ladies of the church, and her at the head of the pack, would co-ordinate folks to support and comfort. Now, she is denied life, even before death.
She viewed care facilities in Jacksonville, St Augustine and more. But as she always said, she wanted to be able to go to church wherever she was, and she wanted to stay close to her home and friends. She wanted to hear the beloved and somewhat famous antique pipe organ. She wanted the countless friends, and lunch, and a life. There was no reason, whatsoever, for her to have had to lose any of her friendships or the many relatives that she dearly loved, near and far.
The last we knew, just a couple of months before she was “taken away” to the home, she said she had passed a brain MRI with better results than my own – normal to light for her age and her memory proved it. Right up until she was taken away from her life full of of friends and activity, the “doctor” or nurse, as it were, was suggesting more activity, not less. Certainly not none.
She did fall a lot and the breaks took away her quality of life. But she was encouraged to stay with physical therapy and occupational therapy because she had such a good bill of health otherwise, and she was told within the last year that she could expect a longer life. She just got the walking aides, wheelchair and hospital bed, and home care way too late. And now just living in a room? And she was saying at the facility that she did not want to go to that room, I am told.
The Home Health nurse was clear that she would not be able to walk again, almost a year ago. She could not transfer or even stand, and she was told even then by Home Health that she would not qualify for an assisted-living facility The nurse was clear that she could continue with as much home health as allowed, but it must be realized that she would benefit from a skilled nursing facility soon. There was no talk or need for Hospice then – she has her own means.
I told this minister all this myself. The minister was made aware that there were discrepancies in what was being said about her condition, and I told him how he could prove that she was not about to die and that she did not need memory care; she needed skilled care for the many falls she has had, and that there have been too many falls and not enough after care. I made the point that the facility was never sufficient since she could not transfer or even stand, and her medical records would verify it. And I sent all this in text messages to the minister. It is a disgrace that he says he did not know.
We are left asking and never to have answers. But, one answer is clear, DCF said she could decide where she wanted to live out her life and she was denied that right. She told countless people, many nurses and friends and helpers. She named the facility. She had been in it before.
Then, she was also taken from the assisted living facility and shut away. Shut away in a room – in that room. That room that has such a story. The Room That Sun Built.
This has been added since she died:
Apparently, the preacher finally went. We know his views, that she was, in his view, so very fortunate that his friend was taking such good care of her. It must have been the final blow to her, realizing … She was dead in six days. If there is any truth to the talk of any visit. Who knows?
UPDATE July 10th: Our minister’s sermon this week in Maryland is from
The “priest or Levite on the road to Jericho” obviously refers to the parable told by the Savior of the Good Samaritan which is found in Luke 10:25-37. In short, the parable tells of a man who is traveling down a road when he is beaten and robbed and left for dead.
Our Maryland minister’s sermon this week is about this passage. It is certainly a remarkable coincidence that my dearest suffers this sadness of neglect, and today this has touched his heart to share this lesson, 700 miles away from this suffering.
Middleham & St. Peter’s Episcopal Church
Can we be a neighbor,
The sermon will be uploaded on YouTube very soon, if not already and one does not have to go through Facebook. Middleham has their own YouTube channel.
The odious behaviors of the ministers are clear in her death. He said he thought he had a pretty good BS detector – whatever his words were. So he decided his “friend” was not BSing him but that all these many people were trying to take advantage. Her neighbors of 20-30 years, of 40 years; her friends of 60 and 70 years from all over the SE; her fellow choir members some of them friends for 20 30 and 40 and more years; her late husband’s youngest brother who was almost like a son to them; the other brother of her late husband who came every year and stayed with her, had just stayed with her; her nieces – C…, T…, all called.
All called – to speak to her – a last hello and what BS detector can explain how all these people were so bad? But this minister and his friend denying this woman her family and friends’ last visits.
What BS is that? Where was my dearest’s Samaritan? Her priest and her Levite walked away from her needs.
Turned away or refused calls or never returned calls – Niece and her husband; niece and her husband; niece and her husband; niece and her daughter; brother-in-law and his wife; brother-in-law and his wife; brother-in-law and his wife. Two friends from Georgia, one from Alabama. Choir friends and spouses, neighbors and spouses; neighbors and daughters; and on
Minister, what is your BS detector saying? That all these couple of dozen people, most whom do not know each other, were all out to steal from your parishioner? Our minister was saying he tries to offer condolences to the family of his dead parishioners.
Minister, almost a dozen different family members called or tried to visit with their dying family and yet everyone was turned away and told no – “she is sleeping” “this is not the best time.”
Minister, you stopped being her Samaritan…
After the fact
My heart has broken for her.
I tried several times to reach her church to ask if this behavior of this man of the cloth was their word. Even now, there are many family and friends beyond the church where she worshipped for more than 40 years, who grieve, not just me. She loved and was loved and her nieces and their husbands were wanting to visit her a last time. No. He late husband’s family called and called and were only a county away and they could have said goodbyes, like they said with Jim and like she said with others of their branch of the family.
He late son’s former wife has remained friends with her for all these years and we do not even know how to find her because of this meanness.
Even her obit is fiction.
She kept saying, “he”, would not let anything unwanted happen. But she wanted Solaris and to be with all her girlfriends and many family and friends. No one tried to take his money, not a dime. Not the friends, not the family – no one. They were too cheap to spend her money on her for a nice place to die. A room with a view and dozens and dozens of friends.
But, the Emeralds are another story.
The art work:
“…In his dictionary, Noah Webster defined meanness as “want of excellence”, “want of rank”, “low estate”, “lowness of mind”, and “sordidness, opposed to liberality or charitableness” pointing out that “meanness is very different from frugality”. These, in particular the final one, largely summarize the aspects of the classical definition of meanness that have been propounded by philosophers, Aristotelian and otherwise, over the centuries…” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meanness
- Public Domain
- File:EOE YBQYM 1887.jpg
- Created: 1 January 1887
By E. O. Excell – Sheet music published by E. O. Excell, Chicago, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=93055809
A few groups who try to help. I have no associations; I have heard of helpers. But none of them have been able to do much
NASGA – more to be added…
COMING: The Stolen Easter
I learned she died. I was told there was an email.
I wrote to her church. They also did not respond. Her Samaritans were blocked by their priest.