I received the message that the time of death was 7:20am.
I was just arriving at my desk at the time, and sent hurried emails to various people indicating that I would have to be involved in the final arrangements.
I was first to arrive at the 5-star aged care facility and had to “identify” my mothers body.
(That's an informal identification purely for the bureaucrats)
I have seen many deaths in my lifetime but that I was struck dumb because this was my mother.
I stroked her head and said:
"Goodbye. You had an absolute shit of a life but at least you had a few weeks of pampering to make up for it."
My siblings arrived and we went through the process of saying goodbye, signing forms etc.
We then went to my house and made funeral arrangements.
The funeral people took the necessary steps and my siblings and I evacuated her room so as not to encumber the staff at the facility.
We have now dealt with all the arrangements in a calm orderly way.
Having said that, we’re all a tad shattered by the suddenness of her death.
As such, I will be taking tomorrow off to... well basically... grieve as I have had to keep my emotions in check for the day to ensure a smooth process for all involved.
As have we all.
Tomorrow I will weep.
Somewhat humorously, her passing (and perhaps others) might have happened last week in a explosive fashion.
And I *do* mean explosive as she was caught with a cigarette in one hand and the mouthpiece for an active oxygen cylinder in the other at 1am Friday morning.
I have to say that when I go, I’d like to do it that way.
Ok. I was at work and got a phone call from my other half.
"We're not alone"
My first thought was that alien life had been discovered.
But sadly no.
A swarm of them had invaded the weep holes above the front door and were preparing to nest.
My first thought was to get a bee-keeper in.
Sadly a search proved fruitless in our area and I eventually suggested that Ben find an exterminator.
I reached a logical break point in my work and raced home.
Swarm *partially* under control.
They’re not native ones BTW.
I went out with a half full can of "Nest Control” and sprayed the buggery out of the area infected.
In the weep holes as well until the can ran out.
Neighbours must have thought I was nuts as while doing that as I was dum-de-dumming "Ride of the Valkyries” loudly and shouting at the buggers “I love the smell of insecticide in the afternoon!” all in my currently cracked voice.
Not a complete fix, but it will stop them coming into the house via the light fixtures.
Which they were doing.
Lots of them.
And attacking any light that was on.
The first time I have seen venom dripping from a light bulb.
I swatted about a dozen which had invaded the kitchen.
That’s how I know they’re not native bees.
Fat little European buggers and frackin’ aggressive.
Eventually I managed to scoop up dozens of little bee bodies.
Bucket'o'bees it was.
Like the Marne.
We'll be finding little mummified corpses for days.
I also covered up the light fixtures downstairs with Ice Cream container lids and blu-tack.
Obviously I couldn’t spray liquid into a light fixture!
Several exterminators were called before finding one which would agree to deal with the issue.
(Wow. The number of “Bees? You’re fucking kidding!” responses followed by “click” was a tad disturbing)
We eventually found a dude who would deal with the issue.
"George" said he would come around the next day between 8..9am.
So. It was a dark evening with the incessant buzz of BEES!
Unfortunately Ben can’t deal with the little buggers for two reasons:
1) Since he went diabetic, he’s developed a swathe of allergies and almost certainly one to bee stings and
2) Two of his sisters are strongly allergic to bee stings, which means he probably is as well.
I don’t think I’m allergic to bees and in any case I’m a head first sort of person, and I’m at a point where if ONE MORE FRACKIN' THING happens in my life, I’ll go postal.
Anyway, the dude turned up at 10am the next day.
Pretty laid back kinda guy.
Brought out the biggest frackin' vacuum cleaner I've ever seen.
Size of a 44 gallon drum.
He scooped up a metric-shit-ton of them and fluffed dust into the weep holes.
We're free of the communist-led left-wing all-your-weep-holes-belong-to-us bee-collective for the moment.
This is our 3rd infestation.
I try to do my best and find bee-keepers.
Why? Because... Because... BEEs!
Which you would have thought would be doing a roaring trade given the number of these incidents.
Still. Another story to add to my repertoire. Sigh.