Some Savvy and Humble Business

January 2, 2010

The past few days have been full of craziness in every category. Apparently, according to her aunt, Wifebian has a half brother and her biological father was probably gay. Next up on the crazy train, Wifebian’s step-grandparents are getting divorced at 90 and grandma moves out tomorrow. Finally, this is my last night in the home of the mil.

It’s been a nutty month for my clients too:  a house fire, a death, and a looming eviction top the list. It used to be that my most concrete accomplishment was helping a 16 year-old mother of one get an abortion. But now, I can add something less heart-breaking to my resume.

I’m working with a 19 year old whose uncle died a few days ago. The county hospital is paying for the cremation, but they put the ashes in a plastic bag which gets put in a plastic box. Considering that cremation is against the religious beliefs of the family matriarch, signing off on it only to be handed a very heavy plastic box would probably suck. My client and I called everybody: Catholic Charities, the local department of social services, the local health department, city hall, several local funeral homes, the social security office, and the offices of state representatives and elected members of Congress — nobody administered burial assistance funds.

But then, we got a call back from our representative in the state legislature. Four hours later we were meeting her in the parking lot of the local Arby’s picking up two checks for $200.00 which was enough to cover the cost of a real urn. Go-go gadget social worker!

On the cerebral side of things, experiences like this sit the injustices of capitalism right in your lap. When most people think about funerals, they imagine putting a body in a casket and then putting the casket in the ground and then putting a headstone on top of the ground. But that scenario is actually a luxury reserved for rich people because that costs something like 15,000 or 20,000 bucks and I think I’m being generous with that quote because I dont actually know. Poor people, on the other hand, get burned up in furnaces and stuffed into plastic boxes that resemble desk top trash cans. In this neck of the woods, that’ll put you back about 1500 bucks and the local government pays for it, but not anything else. This, I know.

If you want to plant a flower you have to buy it, if you want to grow a vegetable to have to buy it, if you want to eat food, you have to buy it. And if you want to bury a loved one, you have to buy that, too. If you want to have a baby, you might have to buy that too, but thats another post for another day, isnt it?

When my dad died, I had to foot the 2000 dollar cremation bill. The cemetary where his father and three siblings are buried offered to open up his sisters grave for free and just put the ashes in it. I ended up buying the urn off of Etsy for a hundred bucks, I shit you not, and although one of his brothers is worth more than a million dollars, and said he would pay for a foot stone, but he never did, so my dad’s grave remains unmarked. If all goes well, Ill be done paying the funeral home in 8 months — two and a half years after he died.

Le sigh.

So. This brings December to a close. A month of mothers and fathers and aunts and uncles and grandparents, but no son or daughter for me.

I emailed the sperm shop tonight to find out if they have the motility, morphology and sperm count for our donor, as well as the number of unsuccessful cycles with his number on them. I asked if his sperm is IUI ready and found a local fertility clinic that might be able to do the trick. We have enough money for just three tries in 2010, so, with my first try behind me, I’m gonna have to quit it with the naivete and hubris and get down to business.

Some savvy and humble business.


2 Responses to “Some Savvy and Humble Business”

  1. Keely said

    Have you moved yet? I hope 2010 brings more stability and hope to your family.

    P.S. would love the password if you want to share!

  2. Olive said

    I just caught up on your last 3 weeks or so of posts. Wow, you had quite an end to 2009. I hope 2010 treats you right.

    Can I get your password?

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