Still Too Far To Go

19 July was when we had to call 911 and have mom taken to the hospital by ambulance. We dealt with that crisis. We got her to the Garrison on 25 July. On 31 July, she decided she wanted to sell her house and for us both to go to Carillon, which would involve having an estate sale to clear out the accumulation of 60 years of living in that house, as well as thinning my herd of stuff down to something that would fit into my part of 908 square feet. So, for the whole month of August, I have been dealing with those issues. Carillon has paperwork they want, which meant dealing with the VA, but we got all the Carillon paperwork submitted and approved last Tuesday (17th)

The big stumbling block in the middle of all this has been Merill Lynch. The durable power of attorney we already had was not good enough for them and we had to line up a notary public and get a “non-ML” power of attorney form signed and notarized. Then Carillon needed proof that I was in fact the beneficiary on her accounts, so we had to get a Transfer on Death form filled out to suit Merill Lynch and Carillon. Then, last Thursday, the Merill Lynch board decided they still didn’t like the POA paperwork. When I finally found out what it was they didn’t like, I got it fixed Monday. However, apparently, the board only meets on Thursdays so they haven’t passed judgement on whether they are satisfied with my POA yet. In the meantime, our Carillon paperwork was approved and we needed the rest of the buy-in money so we can get mom out of the Garrison and into Carillon House as soon as possible.

Because the POA issue was not resolved, Friday afternoon, mom phoned her Merill Lynch guy and told him to sell stock to get the money. So now we can get the money, right? Nope. When Merill Lynch sells your stock, you have to wait two days before they will let you have your money.

The two days were up today. But first on the agenda for this morning, the estate sale muscle were coming over between 8:30 and 9:00 to get my washer, dryer and microwave as the estate sale begins tomorrow. They were gone by 9:00. I jumped in the shower, got dressed and just before I walked out the door, I called Merill Lynch to tell them I was coming, was assured I could get a check cut for the requisite amount and I could just pick it up.

Nope. I’m in the car, driving down Indiana, halfway to their offices when the ML guy calls and says, no, I can’t just get the check. Because of the POA issues, I have to get written permission from mom for them to cut the check to Carillon, and for me to pick it up. So I reroute over to the Garrison, get a sheet of copy paper from the receptionist, call ML again to get the ML guy to dictate what they want in the letter, write it out and get mom to sign it. I get to ML, I’m sitting in the guy’s office. I hand him the letter. The secretary comes in and says, no the letter is not good enough. She needs to call my mom on the ML phone so she can record mom saying that I can have the money! For tax purposes or something, mumble mumble.

Well, the way mom holds her cellphone, she has a tendency to press the volume buttons, which are right on the edge of the phone where she puts her fingers, and she had turned the volume of her phone completely off, so she didn’t hear it ring the three times we tried to call her. So the secretary says, she can sign yet another form and that will work. At least the ML guy offered to drive me BACK over to the Garrison in his ginormous pickup. I run in, get the form signed, run back out and we go back to the ML offices and FINALLY get the check cut. Mind you, I left the house at 9:30 this morning. Now it’s sneaking up on noon.

I text the Carillon guy that I’m on my way with the money clutched in my little hot hand, and when I get there, nobody is there. He’s having lunch with another prospective resident. Frankly, by this time, I don’t mind sitting in the nice comfy chair in the lobby in the coolth and quiet. I was probably sitting there for maybe 20 minutes, and here comes the lady who handles getting the apartments ready.

Since the first of August, I’ve been going pedal to the metal trying to sell a house (we close on 9/13), get stuff together for a combined two-household estate sale (26th, 27th and 28th), sell a car (he comes to get it tomorrow), assemble all the Carillon paperwork (approved on the 18th), and futz with Merill Lynch. I wrangled and negotiated to get a packing date of the 30th and a move date of the 31st so I can get out of the duplex before the 1st, the guy I’m expecting to meet to give him a check for a breathtaking amount of money isn’t there, and the Carillon lady tells me the apartment won’t be ready by the 31st, can I get the move-in date changed?

To be fair, it’s not Carillon’s fault. They buy the floor covering from a local store, who’s having a hard time getting it from their supplier because COVID, and scheduling an installer, but flooring is available in Dallas, though . . . . So, now what? No problem. They’ll put me up in a guest room, and stash my stuff in a vacant apartment until ours is ready. Mom will still be in rehab in Carillon House (if we can ever get the paperwork sorted to get her over there!), so that’s not a problem. But apparently, I’ll spend my first few days at Carillon living out of a suitcase waiting for flooring.

Monday I met with the Garrison guy to start the referral paperwork to refer her to Carillon. I reminded him about it yesterday. While I was at Carillon, I did meet with the Carillon House guy about getting mom transferred over. They still haven’t seen any paperwork from the Garrison. I went back over to the Garrison. The guy I needed to see was gone. I got his cell number. Yes, he’s waiting on this paperwork thing and that paperwork thing and he will get the paperwork faxed over as soon as he gets this thing and that thing. . . .

It was closing in on 2 pm by this time, and I was just so thoroughly bummed by then that I just went home. It all just came piling down on me. Too many nights with 5-6 hours sleep, too much running around all over town and not having a whole heck of a lot to show for it. Too much still left to do and not enough time to do it. And then that finish line I’ve been working so hard to cross — that was getting so close! — got moved further away again.

Mom continues to rehab and is making slow but steady progress. This has been a difficult transition for her, but she’s handled it a lot better than most people would. It’s been hard, but she’s tried to remain upbeat through it all.

Things like visits from friends and a visit from a grand niece and great grand niece (!) last week keep her cheerful.

There is a lady who does patients’ hair at the Garrison. She was supposed to do mom’s last week, but didn’t. She finally managed to get to mom yesterday and give her a wash, set, and comb-out. Having her hair done lifted mom’s mood.

Tonight, I’ve got to do a walk-through for the estate sale people, get mom’s mail and, since I currently have no microwave, I think I’m going to make a big bowl of tuna salad to last me till Monday. Then I’ve got a filing cabinet to go through. Tomorrow my cousin-in-law comes to get the car . . .

Author: WOL

My burrow, "La Maison du Hibou Sous Terre" is located on the flatlands of West Texas where I live with my computer, my books, and a lot of yarn waiting to become something.

4 thoughts on “Still Too Far To Go”

  1. Aren’t they just in love with all their little pieces of paper? And never mind the right hand not knowing what the left hand does, it doesn’t know what the right hand does either… I hope you can get all this sorted with less stress going forward.
    Strength and blessings.


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