A Late Start on a Snowy New York Day

Wednesday 4th February 2015

I went to bed at midnight, when I got up 1.5 hours later to pee, Bev and Dickie were watching TV.   A whole different way of being.

Have just had a conversation with Ann, Peter's wife, who she says did not even tell her I rang.  I asked her about any plans for the weekend, and if they got my msg last night.  She heard my msg come in, and asked Peter why he hadn't answered the phone.  Busy, he said, and has not responded.   She advises I make my plans, and do what I want to, as he will 'string you along' and she does not think he wishes to drive in, nor use the train.   So I will make a plan for Saturday, without him.  He was sweet and thoughtful on the phone a couple of days ago, saying "You've come thousands of kms I can come a hundred!"  But it doesn't look like its going happen.  Peter had not invited her to join us, and says "He is embarrassed by me, and doesn't want to push me in a wheelchair."   Oh my, what a life, what a miserable and unhappy existence, and I feel sad for their lives.  And a clear realisation that this is not our problem, Gerald has spent days with them both, and hours and hours on the telephone, coaching and counselling, supporting and guiding.  Ann wont have surgery, Peter will not have counselling.  She says he sits for hours in the dark, watching TV (porn, she has told Gerald) - is antisocial and will not come here if he thinks others are coming, and clinically depressed.   She adds that she is depressed, too.  Then laughs.   I wait, and ask "So what are you going to do?"  A short silence, then a list of things she is waiting for, doctors appointments etc.  I wonder how much suffering one human being is willing to endure, she says they are living associates, not partners, and that his story of booking a ticket to Australia is just not true, which bears out Gerald not knowing a thing about it, despite Peter insisting he told Gerald. My sister did say Peter was a pathological liar, but my sister said a lot of things that I question.

So now I am calling Carla, Dan, and Cathy and Mark, to invite them here on Saturday.  Turns out Carla is leading the Communications Course at Landmark all weekend, but may come tomorrow.  Lisa Rock and I have just spoken and they are unable to come as Lisa is leading a training program this weekend, but they love their lives in New York, despite the fact they are enduring "Founders Syndrome" - trying to get good management and establish their coaching business here.  She says David has a brain unlike any other, is optimistic and upbeat, and needs to "change a lot of things" but is resistant.  I think I hear a few small cracks, I do hope not.

Today, Beverly is in a lot of pain, which I do not realise until later, as a result of a fall she had in a store a couple of years ago - she lays on the sofa, and I think she may just be tired.  She had a long, challenging conversation with her lawyer on the phone last night, I could hear the man thinking "Oh My God!  This woman is full on and is never going to back down!" - she said "I am prepared to TAKE NOTHING and go to court over this, rather than accept $8000 - but you wont be paid either.”  But our trip to Louis Armstrong's home is postponed, and she says her back and her ankle are killing her.  Not a word before this.   Stoic woman.  So Dickie and I head out to the local shops, where he is trying to collect his wedding ring which has been repaired, and I need to get money to pay him back for my coat he paid for yesterday, when my credit card was not accepted by Macy's.  He guides me through the snow, gently into the car, and out again at the other end, taking me into the store, finding a 'cart' and bringing it to me, I wander for 40 minutes, its called the Liquidators, and is largely full of cheap, Chinese products, but I find a few small gifts which will bring pleasure, especially to my Christmas Box next year, an animal hat for Koen, a butterfly for June, an insect magnifier for Sam, and some hand cream for me.

On our return, I have breakfast, at some emotional expense, as Bev and Dickie are 'shooting' each other. There is an undercurrent in this house today.  Dickie has made bacon, its taken some while, and he stores it in a container in the fridge.  I make toast, slice a tomato, and place bacon, as Dickie carefully washes every item of fruit and veg he has brought home, and I feel a little 'in the way'.  A lot actually, as the kitchen is tiny, and includes a full size top loading washing machine, but is meticulous, and has the planning of a military unit.  Dickie is amazing.

We go to visit Patricia, Beverly's 67 year old sister in the nursing home she now lives in, after suffering a stroke four years ago.   She lays motionless under a crocheted rug, her open mouth exposes her tongue, her hands are clawed, yet her eyes light up and follow her family - I kiss her cheek and she has the smoothest skin.  I am privileged to be here, and so moved to observe the love and care Bev and Dickie shower on their sister.  This is a Master Class in Love.  They stroke her face gently, moving her limbs, encouraging her and sharing all the family news. Who would be there for Gerald and I, I wonder?

Later, there is cause to celebrate - the lawyer phones and says Bev will receive $20,000 in compensation - so that phone call last night, and her unwillingness to give in - paid off.  I am reminded of how hard and how long, the months and months I fought for that $32,000 compensation for my own Mother, after she slipped on grapes in Coles on Christmas Eve a few years before she died, and how John, our Nowra lawyer worked for us to get that sum.  How elated my mother was to know her pain had been acknowledged.  It was all she had left in her bank account when she died, and it was split between my sister, brother and I, as our inheritance.