Talked to my sister the other day. Totally out of the blue. For me anyway. She calls me...
Me and my sisters...I have two. They both live in north Florida. We're not that close. We try. But we've had a lot of years apart. And there are a lot of miles and other shit between us.
I try to get over there every few years. They haven't really wanted to come out here. And of course, given the situation I am in, I don't blame them.
And. They are busy. My youngest sister, Beth is 10 years younger than I am. She was 5 when I left home. Jeanne, who is (I think) 6 years younger than me, is the one whom I have the closer relationship with. It's not because of anything in particular, other than we finally reached out. They both have families with children ranging in age from 5 to 14. So they are busy.
Well, Jeanne called me earlier this week.
Our Mother died years ago. Over 20 years ago. She was 58. She died of cancer. She was ate up with the shit when she finally died. Born in the same year as The Great Depression. She had seen a lot and knew a lot. And she had lived a lot.
She and I were estranged for many years. And in mid 1986 or early '87 at the urging of my girlfriend at the time, we were attempting a reconcilliation. She lived in Florida as well. I was already in Texas.
And then. She. Got. Sick.
For the second time. She was one tough woman and through therapy and shear orneryness had beaten cancer back once before. By the time I had any idea just how sick she really was, it was too late.
The next time I saw her it was at her funeral.
Those of you that have been with me (here) a while, know that I feel we were robbed. I WAS ROBBED.
The last time I saw her I cried over her open casket, while holding her stiff waxy feeling hand.
Earlier in the year (this year) Jeanne called to tell me she was entering into the class action lawsuit the state of Florida had with one or two of the major tobacco companies. It wasn't going to cost her much, if anything to do so and if there was a judgement she would split the money (less any expenses incurred) with the other two of us.
We kind of joked about it at the time. She didn't think anything would come of it, and I tended to agree.
As I said, Jeanne called me earlier this week. To tell me she was sending me a check...
Now what do you think the courts in Florida think the life of a fifty-eight year old woman was worth?...Hmmm?
About $3,300 and change.
Jeanne said there may be more, but I'm not sure if I'll take it. It feels like blood money.
And it ain't enough. It will NEVER BE ENOUGH.
So most of y'all, I agree with. The value of a human life is incalcuable.