Thursday, January 03, 2008

Our Inge

As the New starts, I find my heart aching. We lost a dear, dear friend, just 2 days before Christmas. Inge was a neighbor of my mom's for almost 30 years. As my mom has said, " Inge was like a sister!"

Mom found Inge, in her family room. We are not sure when she passed..My mom and she spent the evening together and that was the last time they had a conversation. Inge had a bad heart and at 87 years old, we all knew that her time would be near.

We shared many, many years together. Family outings, weddings, funerals, graduations, even the recent birth of our great-nephew, Henry.
Inge and my mom have been going to the YMCA, for almost 20 years. There are senior citizens days for stretching and exercising...that was 3 times a week and a joy for the two of them.

Inge had no family, here in the U.S. Her sister and niece are in Germany and they were notified. Because of the holiday's, there were things that needed to be done for the family. Inge did have a living will and her next door neighbor was first in line, to be Inge's executor...my mom the second.

Inge's late husband has been buried at our local cemetery, since 1977. Being in the military, he had full honors. My mom and Inge had discussed death, because of their ages. It was her wishes to be cremated. So, with that and the consent of her niece and sister, they asked that we take care of that and the services. So, on Christmas Eve morning, that is what we did. Helga asked me to be with her and we picked the Urn. We scheduled the services and I called everyone, with Inge's address book, at hand. Helga did the Obituary and with the holiday's, it was not in until Thursday...the services were the next day.

My brother and I did eulogy's for Inge. I know she would have loved that. Days have passed and yesterday, we all went to the grave site and witnessed the box/with Urn, were to buried with her late husband.

We have done some things, in and out of the house, to help the niece and husband, when they arrive to finish things in the house. I have spent everyday, cleaning out cupboards, willing to take canned goods to the local food bank, put dishes in boxes, even went through the purses, to make sure there was nothing in them, Bill helped with the garage and took everything down from the over-head, cleaned the bathrooms of cosmetics, cleaned-out the freezer and the fridge....what ever we could do to help the niece and her husband, so they would not have to deal with that. Again, all was with the concent of she and her mother. My mom would let them know, when things were done.

Just yesterday my mom received a call from Inge's sister, and she was very angry with all of us doing what we did, for them. It is strange, to me, to hear from a family to, " do what ever, with the body and services," without the wishes to be here for the services and burial...very cold, to all of us! I spent the afternoon with my mom; as she was very hurt, for all we were asked and then yelled at for the graciousness of my family. We know that Inge would have wanted what we did for them.
The niece and husband arrived, yesterday and I hope to talk with them. I am angry, for their coldness, but not for what we did, for Inge.

My mom had saved Inge's life, more than once. Inge was not the type of women to go to the Drs. She and my mom went to the same Drs., for years. Mom would see that she was ill and insisted she take her to the Dr. Even the Dr. had told my mom and Inge, if she was not taken care of, she would not be here. I know that Inge's sister would call my mom and see how she was...many times, in the past. So, I am puzzled with what has taken place since yesterday.

In Germany, apparently a dumpster is brought to the house and all the remaining things, in the house and out, are just thrown out. It was brought to their attention, that with the need of food, clothing and other household goods, that things can be sold at the cancer thrift shop; with that for the monies going to the researsh to cure cancers. I'm not sure what will happen in the days that these people are here. I do know that I am glad that I am how I am and not like the coldness of others.

All we all wanted to do, was for the love of Inge and to help her family, being that they were so far away and have so much more to do with the estate. I still have faith in people, but have been hurt for what has taken place and the hurt that was said to my mom. She and Inge shared their lives together and loved each other, like two sisters should. Inge told me many times how she cared for my mom and I could see when they were together, that they both had an ever-lasting friendship. I have reminded my mom, in these past days, that not everyone had/has that.

It was hard when my mom found Inge...sitting up , with the phone in her hand and the passing.
It was not easy to hear the message, my mom left, saying to come over ASAP because she found Inge, dead in the family room.
It was not easy when the police questioned her, in length; making her feel like she killed her...those were words from my mom.
It was not easy to find out about Inge, call her sister and niece, with the news of her passing.
It was not easy to go to the funeral home, sit for more than an hour, talking about what was going to take place in the days ahead.
It was not easy to pick out the Urn.
It was not easy to go through Inge's belongings.
It is not easy to put together a uology and speak before others.
It is not easy to go to the cemetary; making sure that Inge's remains will be buried.
It has been VERY difficult to see the hurt, my mom has been given by her family.
But, even with all that has come to us....I know I would do it all over again...for Inge!!!!!!

Our mom is doing well, considering what has happened. She will turn 85, in February. We will look after her, as her routine of being with Inge, on a daily basis, has changed.


Love to all....

3 Comments:

Blogger Terry said...

Joyce, I'm so thankful that we have each other and that your mom and Inge had each other. I, also, do not understand the coldness of her "family". But in reality those people are strangers and you and yours were all Inge's real family. I love you and hate that you are hurting so much. Terry

8:01 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

I know that Inge would have appreciated all that you all did for her and her family. Know that you are the ones who hold the special times with her and that is more precious than the belongings her family were interested in.

10:35 PM  
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