Tuesday, September 05, 2006

continuation of the in-laws saga

(for part one, see archive from July 19)

A while after Obbie's death, her two sisters started coming around. They would ride around town with Joe in his convertibe, all three in the front seat with the top down. The one we'll call Gimlet started going to Florida with Joe every summer. She was the youngest one, and had always been homely. She was never married. She spent her life cooking for her brothers and caring for her sister, who eventually died of hepatitis that she got on a cruise. She had worked for the state and retired with some money put away. Joe was bad with money. All his property was mortgaged at least twice. The local banks, where his name used to be like gold, turned him away. So he started borrowing Gimlet's life savings. He spent it all in very little time. People started asking Joe and Gimlet when they were getting married. Gimlet had been waiting for this all her life. Joe was pressured into a marriage he didn't particularly want for the second time in his life.

j. reluctantly made the trip to his father's second wedding, hoping to talk him out of a second marriage at his age. Joe was closeted away, refusing to talk to anyone. Turns out he was not only reclusive, but ill. He went through with it, though. How could he not marry her after he spent all her money? Gimlet moved into the family house on Ocean Avenue and she's never left. She has been systematically giving away or throwing away Obbie's things.

I forget how long Joe and Gimlet were married. Joe had a swallowing problem that was giving him increasing trouble. His daughter Patience made an appointment for him to see a specialist. Gimlet couldn't wait for the appointment though. She made her own appointment for Joe with a lesser local doctor. Joe went in for an outpatient procedure on his esophagus. When he came home that night, he complained of pain. Gimlet told him not to be such a baby. She started giving him antacids, disregarding the doctor's instruction to take such an event seriously. Finally, Joe returned to the hospital. His esophagus hadn't stopped bleeding. He bled out on the operating table, full of liters and liters of fluid that made him unnaturally bloated in his coffin.

In his will Joe had made Gimlet trustee of all that he had, given her the house outright, and cut out j. completely. She is mismanaging it to this very day.


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