It was over a piece of paper. Well. Not really. The paper was but the trigger. Not even the paper itself, just mere mention of it.
We have a family investment club. It is the brainchild of my recently deceased stepfather. Only one of us, my stepbrother, shows any deep interest. He really gets into it. But the rest of us keep plugging along because it is supposedly good for us to learn about the stock market and it helps our geographically-challenged family maintain regular contact. That's a good thing. But mostly we participate because it
Much work is involved. Officers have administrative assignments and everyone is supposed to contribute to stock evaluations and tracking. Since his death, the club has been in a holding pattern. We tried to have a meeting but couldn't do any real business because the Treasurer did not produce the required reports. It was decided we should take a month off to give everyone a chance adjust to our new situation.
So everyone got a month off. Except for the Treasurer, who not only needs to catch up on the reports but also must file the club's federal tax return. The members cannot file their own personal tax returns until the individual K-1 forms, part of the club's return, are provided by the Treasurer.
(You folks bored yet? Still awake? Nothing like a dull recitation about taxes to turn off an audience, that's what I always say. I should hurry and get to the good part. And I would. If there was a good part.)
If you haven't surmised by now, I will clue you in that I am our club's Treasurer. When my mother asked me for the trillionth, quadrillionth, megazillionth time if I had her K-1 done because she absolutely positively had to have it immediately, well, I lost it. "The fucking thing is not even due until March 15!" I screamed with a quavering voice as tears threatened to overwhelm me.
Verbatim. From my mouth into my mother's one good ear. I used the word "fuck" in various forms several times during my diatribe, ignoring the alarmed warnings Wendy projected as she tried to catch my eye. I ranted at my grieving mother about that damned K-1 form for fifteen minutes before running out of steam. My face got red, my nose ran, tears leaked out. I paced. I threw my arms in the air. I think I even pounded the table with my fist.
Oh yes, me at my finest. A proud moment indeed. I should be shot.
It wasn't about the stupid form. It was about the toll the strain of the time and emotion expended to support my mother and be there for her has had on me. How was she to know that every time she asked about the form it inspired feelings that, although I have been doing my damnedest, I'm still not doing enough?
I'll make the deadlines for filing all the forms. But there will be little satisfaction of a job well done. It will be more like a sour note of finality because no matter when I get it done, Hal still won't be here.
It's finally sinking in.
I miss him.