Jo’s Lament

Dearest Rachel –

I got up early this morning, as I usually do, even on Saturdays. Got to be dressed before Chompers wakes up and demands breakfast, after all. But while waiting for him to wake up, I root around in one batch of papers or another, sifting through what should be kept, and what should be thrown away.

This batch turned out to be a cache of mail sent to your mom back in the day.

Judging from the postmarks, this seems to have been a week’s worth in late 2014

Both of your folks would donate to so many political causes – Senate and Congressional candidates, environmental groups, feminist organizations – and it seems all they would get in return (apart from one Native American tribe that frequently sent them T-shirts, of all things) were requests for that much more money. Which I gather they dutifully sent in turn.

Although, I’ll give your mom credit… she didn’t do it without complaining about it, even as she (in her slipping mental state) treated these requests as though they will actual bills.

And I quote:

“Why do you ask for our business? Nosey.

“We may not need it now, but I may need it as we age & can’t live as we do now. My Father worked hard after he had no job with the S.E.C. office in Cleveland shut down took an available job with Ohio Edison for two years to keep our family of three. Until you give us just cause for poking into our retirement funds, I will just send a copy of out last tax report.”

Thankfully, this note never got sent off, nor, presumably, did her tax reports; identity theft is nothing to sneeze at, not that your mom was much aware of that by this point. But at least she was venting her irritation at being constantly asked for more money from these folks.

Now, once your dad suffered his first stroke, we had their mail re-routed to our house, thus beginning a new era in which we added a whole new household’s worth of junk to ours. But at least these people were no longer getting paid, at least, not by us, our your folks. Nor was your mom ever troubled by these solicitations.

Of course, now that was on us to deal with. And we could have simply ignored everything and thrown it in the waste bin straightaway. But that wasn’t your style, no. You kept everything, fully intending to go through each piece of mail individually whenever you had the chance. And while you did take the time whenever we went on a road trip, such as to your parents’ house, or even to Camp Awana… you never got the chance to get clear through it all. In fact, since we didn’t travel that much in this last year, it just kept building up. So now it falls to me to just… get rid of it all.

Look, I don’t blame you for this; you had no idea when you requested the re-route that you were essentially diverting the postal equivalent of Niagara Falls. But still, there’s something to be said for knowing when to get out of the barrel.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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