I was expecting a larger paycheck last week, since I’d worked the Saturday before. The extra day must have put me into a higher withholding bracket, though, because it wasn’t that much bigger than normal. Since then, a couple of unexpected expenses came up that took the extra and more besides. Before I left work Friday, I called my wife and she told me she’d just learned that her oldest brother had died the day before. Cold winds and snow caused a lot of cancelled hauls today (though there was no accumulation), so the dispatcher sent about half of us home after trying for three-and-a-half hours to drum up some business. Looks like a short pay this week, since we may have more bad weather yet.
We’ll slide by with what funds we get, since we have no reserve and became pretty good at pinching pennies during my long stint of having no work. I used the time off today to go get my winter tires put on the truck. At least they were already paid for and in storage.
My wife isn’t going to her brother’s funeral, since funerals are really for the living and most of the living siblings have decided that they don’t like her Christianity. They’ve been giving her a hard time about it lately—trying to make themselves feel safer in their own beliefs, no doubt. I’m sure that the fact that they were raised by an abusive father, who professed to be a devout Christian, had no small influence in them adopting atheism over the years.
Her deceased brother supposedly accepted Jesus when young, before losing his right mind, the latter due either to having a nervous breakdown from the abuse (my suspicion only) or from lack of blood to the brain during a surgery for a bleeding ulcer. He died twice on that operating table, when a teenager. The bright, pleasant, artistic protector of his little sister became a mix of schizophrenic and autistic. He became ill-tempered and unpredictable, and that’s how he’s remembered by the siblings younger than my wife.
She, on the other hand, recalls the times that the two of them arose before daylight to run barefoot around the farm and through the woods on childhood adventures. She prefers to remember him during those times, and as the brother who once saved her from being gored by a mean dairy cow, though he was little bigger than her, despite being two years older. She very much regrets that he wasn’t able to lead a normal adult life, but she believes that he’s with the Lord and that she’ll see him again, when the time is right. I hope she’s right.
In the meanwhile, we’re enjoying a rare normal-length evening together with the dog and the TV. © 2014