Monday, April 14, 2008

Death and Taxes

Death and taxes: the only sure things. And I don't mind when they come one at a time so I can properly deal with them, but today they both needed to be dealt with at the same time.

My uncle died this past week and his funeral was today. He and his first wife were married in a double ceremony with my dad and my mom (his wife's sister). His wife died at 42, my mom at 55, making my dad the last person alive who stood at the altar that day, December 23, 1950.

The funeral took place in Wilmington and of course I wanted to be there. The only problem was that we had left our taxes to be dealt with today and tomorrow. Going to the funeral meant that I had tomorrow only. I am a person who likes to be finished ahead of time, slapping the chalk off my hands with a "glad that's over" expression on my face. I panicked.

I had some choices to make. First one came yesterday. We had gone to Oriental to spend the weekend on the boat. It was surprisingly beautiful. Sunday, I could either leave early and go into the office or stay and enjoy the day. I asked myself if I were to die tomorrow, would I rather have spent my last day on the boat in the sun with my husband and friends, or doing taxes. We stayed.

Second one came when we got home last night. Did I want to stay home so I could go to the office and do taxes or drive to Wilmington to be with my dad and my uncle's family? Again, I asked myself if I died tomorrow would I want to be remembered by the IRS or my family. I went to the funeral.

When I got back from the funeral today, I was just about physically, emotionally and intellectually spent. I came into the office and my husband told me that one of our daughters had called with a relationship problem. And a friend had written to say that a couple of things were going wrong in her life: a death and a separation. Another choice: Should I work on taxes or talk to my daughter and friend? I called them both.

Tomorrow the taxes will be waiting for me, inevitable as they are. And should I die peacefully in my sleep tonight, I know that there are some people who feel better for knowing me because I let the paperwork wait.

This may seem to be a post that talks alot with dying, but to me it's really a post about living.

2 comments:

G Liz said...

Oh...and I thought I was the only one who had not completed their taxes...in fact, I'm filing an extension. I sooooo understand the unexpected.

I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. And I am so understanding of what you are going through.

I love you.

mamie said...

I love you too, girl. I've had you on my mind and know you understand EXACTLY what I'm saying in this post.