01/30/2018: Cat’s In The Cradle (Part 2)

My brother was too broken up to give me all the details over the phone. So, we ended the call and I went outside. My mother was out there again, having a cigarette. I was trying to stop smoking, but given the situation, I wanted one. It was a nasty habit that I had picked up when living with my ex. She smoked at work and at home, so being around it all the time, I ended up giving it a chance. But, before I could ask my mom for one of her’s, she started talking.

As I mentioned in the previous post, the relationship between my mom and I was strained. And, a lot of that was due to the fact that I had found out about her lying and manipulations in order to keep myself and my brother away from our dad for most of our childhood. So, when she started rambling off about how my dad would still be alive if they would have stayed together, I almost lost it. I wanted to say, “he would have killed himself sooner,” but I instead said, “I’m going back to work.” The anger inside me was boiling up so much that I just needed to get away from her. So, I went back to work.

Of course, my supervisor was surprised to see me come back to work. He knew a little about my dad dying, just not all the details. I told him that I just needed to be distracted, so I would like to finish out my shift. He let me know about the company’s policy regarding family deaths and then let me get back to work.

Within a few days, I was boarding a plane from Walla Walla to Seattle. It would be the first time riding a plane. When we would visit our dad as teenagers, we would usually ride the Greyhound bus. It was a lot cheaper traveling that way, but took anywhere from eight to ten hours. I was an adult now and able to afford it, so I decided to take a flight.

My younger brother met me at Sea-Tac airport. His car was not very reliable, so he had left it at home and rode the bus to meet me. I was going to stay with him and his family overnight. During the bus to his apartment in north Seattle, my brother filled me in on what he knew about my dad’s death. It was a long ride, so we had time to talk.

There was no note from my dad, so no one knew exactly why he committed suicide. He had been sick a lot lately and even called in sick to work on the day he did it. The prior year, he had walking pneumonia, which had hit him really hard. We would find out later that he had a doctor’s appointment a few days prior to his suicide. What exactly happened at the appointment, not even his widow knows. We came to find out that there was talk about him having Guillain-Barré syndrome. Later, the neighbors told my brother and I that they heard him and his widow fighting a lot, right before his death. I also know that he had been battling depression all his life. So, it could have been that he was facing both a divorce and a debilitating disease, he finally gave in to his depression. But, without a note, we’ll never know for certain.

Most of the funeral was a blur. I remember my brother breaking down during the viewing. Remember getting up and speaking to a room full of strangers. I remember all the people, most of them I never met before, coming up to me and telling me how much I looked like my dad. And, I remembered that I did not cry. I would not cry over my dad’s death for almost ten years.

I can’t remember which one it was, but one of my dad’s widow’s kids offered to give my brother and I a ride to the funeral and to the gathering back at my dad’s house. After my mom and dad split, my dad married another woman who had kids. The kids were about ten years older than me. Despite them all living together, my did never legally adopted any of the kids. They had all moved out of the house by the time my brother and I reconnected with our dad. Yet, I remember my dad and his wife sometimes fighting, because she said that he treated my bother and I much better than her kids. But, there was much more going on there that I would rather not go into.

On the ride to our dad’s house, the eldest daughter of my dad’s widow told us that there was $5,000 missing from one of the bank accounts. She asked if my brother or I knew where the money went. My brother and I were dumbfounded by the question. Not only because neither of us knew about the money, but that we just left our father’s funeral and this was what she was focused on. We both told her that we had no knowledge of the money. This prompted her to talk about how her mom needed that money, so they needed to find out what happened to it. And, it prompted more questions. By the time we got to my dad’s house, I told my brother that I would rather walk than take another ride like that.

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About Thomas J. Brown

I am the last true Saiyan...wait, that can't be right...
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