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Linda

mcgrew (92797) writes | more than 4 years ago

User Journal 15

"I know for sure I don't live today. No sun comin' through my windows, feel like Im livin' at the bottom of a grave." -Jimi hendrix, "I don't Live Today" (Are You Experienced)

"I know for sure I don't live today. No sun comin' through my windows, feel like Im livin' at the bottom of a grave." -Jimi hendrix, "I don't Live Today" (Are You Experienced)

Linda had been living with me since Ralph died. She and Charlie had been the eighty six year old man's caretakers for years. His elderly daughters had never liked Charlie, and threw her out as soon as Ralph went in the hospital. They didn't want any of his furniture and stuff, so it wound up in my basement and garage when Linda moved back in with me.

Linda had given birth to her abusive husband's thirteen children before she left him. One of her children drowned at age eight.

Linda had been staying at Ralph's since she'd left her husband, with the exception of the few months she lived with me before I found that her divorce hadn't been final.

Her husband found another woman to beat on and filed for divorce. One bright Sunday two weeks after Ralph's death, I took her to visit her daughter's grave. Linda had been angry with God for taking her daughter away, for over a decade.

"You need to make your peace," I'd told her. "Or you'll not wind up where she is."

"I already have," she said. This gladdened my heart.

Then we went to visit Ralph's grave.

Linda had been complaining of stomach pains for months, but none of us could talk her into seeing a doctor. Finally the pain got so bad last November she went to the emergency room and was admitted immediately. She had a tumor on her gall bladder bigger than the gall bladder itself, and more tumors in her intestines. It was inoperable, and the doctor gave her four to six months to live. A year after she had gone to prison for a drug charge she was condemmed to death. Of course, we're all condemned to death.

Most of us are also condemned to live with the death of loved ones as well. And I had loved Linda; she was a dear friend, and before I found out she hadn't been divorced we were more than friends.

If you make love to a woman you don't know is married, I wonder if that counts as adultery?

I visited her in the hospital nearly every day. One day when I went up there, there was a "no visitors" sign. The nurse told me it was ok.

"It was my ex husband," Linda said. "That son of a bitch came up here demanding that I sign the divorce papers. Here I am in the hospital dying and that asshole wants me to sign papers! I told him 'fuck off' and he raised a stink. They banned him, he can't come here any more."

"Holy shit," I said. "Why in the hell... HOW in the hell could anyone do that?"

"He doesn't want to get stuck with the hospital bills. If I die before the divorce is final, he's obligated to pay my bills." She smiled at that thought.

And here I'd been trying to help her get the divorce finalized, before she'd found out about the cancer.

He continued to harass her, through her children. He threatened to not let the children see her unless she signed.

The last time I spoke with her she could barely talk. That was about three weeks ago.

Then Amy called. "I tried to call Linda, but they said she wasn't in the hospital. I'm afraid she's dead!"

Charlie called Thursday afternoon, but I missed the call. Amy heard from another friend that Linda had been transferred to St. John's Hospital. We couldn't figure out why, maybe because it was a Catholic hospital and Linda was Catholic (which is why she had all those kids).

Friday morning there was a message on my work phone from Charlie - Linda had been in a coma for a week. She was in St. John's because they have a hospice.

A place to die.

She called back that morning, and I told her I'd pick her up after work and visit Linda.

It wasn't a happy visit. She seemed to me a warm, breathing corpse. Both Charlie and I thought she felt like she had a fever. We cried, and we prayed, and we went to Felber's to have a drink in Linda's honor.

Saturday I went to visit friends in Columbia and Cahokia, and while down there my phone rang. It was Charlie, and she was crying. "Linda died. She passed away at 12:45 this afternoon".

Then Connor called with the news. I could hear Amy in the background, bawling her eyes out. He'd taken her to see Linda, but by the time she got there Linda had already died. They let Amy see her anyway.

I shut off the phone, and after I got home I went into hermit mode for the rest of the weekend and didn't bother turning the phone back on. Charlie had left a box of tissues when she'd stayed there last, and I used them all.

We all miss her very much. But at least she's no longer in pain.

And her ex husband is now a widower who owes hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills. Linda had the last laugh, getting her revenge on her husband's abuse from beyond the pale of death itself!

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I'm sorry for your loss (1)

Slashdot Parent (995749) | more than 4 years ago | (#26697015)

I'm sorry for your loss.

But why does ex-hubby think he needs to pay his late wife's medical bills? Did he sign anything obligating him to be responsible?

It seems to me that Linda incurred these costs, not the ex hubby.

Re:I'm sorry for your loss (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#26697235)

Thank you.

The divorce was never finalized, and since they're legally married, he's responsible for her debts. If he'd gotten her to signe before she died, it would be the taxpayers' dime. Connor is having the same problem, his divorce isn't final either, and his wages are being garnished for her debts (she doesn't stay employed long enough for them to catch up with her) even though they've been apart for over two years. Hell, Amy's been with him for a year.

Re:I'm sorry for your loss (1)

Slashdot Parent (995749) | more than 4 years ago | (#26697357)

The divorce was never finalized, and since they're legally married, he's responsible for her debts. If he'd gotten her to signe before she died, it would be the taxpayers' dime. Connor is having the same problem, his divorce isn't final either, and his wages are being garnished for her debts (she doesn't stay employed long enough for them to catch up with her) even though they've been apart for over two years. Hell, Amy's been with him for a year.

This is state-specific, and may or not be true in IL.

If the dollars involved are in the hundreds of thousands, and the potential debtor has assets, it would definitely be worth an hour of a competent attorney's time to sort out their legal responsibility.

If they have no assets, then it don't much matter now, does it.

Re:I'm sorry for your loss (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#26698237)

I never met her ex and have no idea how much money he has, but I seriously doubt he's rich. But assets or no, it will be a headache involving lawyers, most likely bankrupcy lawyers.

Illinois has some fucked up marriage laws, one of which is a pension is a marital asset. If you and your wife both work and she gets no pension and you do, when you divorce she gets half of any pension you earned while you were married.

Re:I'm sorry for your loss (1)

Slashdot Parent (995749) | more than 4 years ago | (#26698431)

Illinois has some fucked up marriage laws, one of which is a pension is a marital asset. If you and your wife both work and she gets no pension and you do, when you divorce she gets half of any pension you earned while you were married.

That's actually pretty standard. Why would a pension not be a marital asset? If it's any consolation, he would be entitled to half of her 401(k)--whatever that's worth now. ;)

Most people who get married have no fucking idea what they are getting themselves into.

Anyhow, the bigger headache would be not involving lawyers. I hate lawyers too, but when the dollar values get into the 6 figures, it's worth a few hundred to make sure shit doesn't get fucked up.

Re:I'm sorry for your loss (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#26698935)

You don't have to have a six figure income or assets to need a lwayer. If you're getting a divorce, bankrupcy, or even if you get a DUI a lawyer will save you tons of cash.

Loss (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 4 years ago | (#26697101)

I'm sorry for your loss, man. Cancer is a bitch, I lost a co-worker who I considered a friend to cancer this week. One of my fellow techs is having to watch his mom slowly die of cancer right now. Horrible disease. I hope you and all Linda's friends are as well as you can be.

Re:Loss (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#26697315)

Thank you. A horrible disease indeed, there can't be but one or two ways worse to go. I'm happy for her, but damned sad for myself and the rest of us she left behind.

Sorry to hear this. (1)

Doctor O (549663) | more than 4 years ago | (#26700759)

I'm sorry to hear this. I am not the Christian type, so I don't pray, but I'm sending some warm thoughts and energy over the big pond anyway.

McGrew (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 4 years ago | (#26700789)

This is a book, somehow. Write yer damned book.

Re:McGrew (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#26708475)

I did turn many of the Paxil Diaries I wrote a few years ago at K5 into a two volume book, but I have no idea how to go about getting it published.

Sad to hear (1)

The Gaytriot (1254048) | more than 4 years ago | (#26701169)

Sorry to hear about Linda.

My grandma is not doing to well right now, it's very frustrating that I can't see her since she's in Colombia. It's especially frustrating that I can barely speak Spanish anymore and have trouble conversing on the phone.

I hope for the best for you and your friends.

)-: loss (1)

Falconhell (1289630) | more than 5 years ago | (#26704543)

Hi McGrew,

My sympathy for your loss, cancer is a bastard. I have lost my brother and 3 friends to it in the last 3 years. It can really get you down after a while.

JC has got it right, you really should write a book, it would have a surreal feel to it.

All the best.

Falc.

Sympathy (1)

Abreu (173023) | more than 5 years ago | (#26713723)

McGrew, I am sorry for your loss, my condolences.

Re:Sympathy (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#26714915)

Thank you

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