The Funeral Parlor
My step family offered no help, with the funeral arrangements, they were distant and unsympathetic. I was unwelcome in my own mother’s house. I didn’t even go there to get her a burial dress. I picked something out of my closet to rest her in.
Calling hours were soon set at the small town funeral home, in Bladensburg, Oh. At the viewing, I heard whispers and snide remarks, by some of my step siblings, criticizing the way I handled the arrangements. Tension really started to build, when my step sister, Betty complained because I took my mother’s beloved little Chihuahua, to calling hrs. I had asked the funeral director, previously, if it would be OK and he said it was fine with him. Moosie was a well behaved little chihuahua and mom’s great grandkids were enjoying playing with him. It lightened the sadness in the funeral home for a little while. Then all of a sudden, Moosie came up missing. I called for him and heard a muffled bark coming from outside. I went looking for him and there he was, a half block away inside a car, with the windows rolled up and the doors locked, in the heat of August.
I went back into the funeral home and politely ask Betty, my step sister, to let Moosie out of the car. She refused. I held out my hand and demanded her car keys. There was a dead silence and a Mexican Stand Off, right there in the funeral parlor, you could have heard a pin drop. Finally, Chip, Betty’s new husband, realized that I wasn’t backing down, so he reluctantly went out and released Moosie from the car and saved, what could have been a “very nasty” scene.
The next day was the funeral and it didn’t go any smoother. My son flew all the way in from Thailand and both my daughters flew in from Calif. They arrived just minutes before the ceremony started. They were visually tired from jet lag and loss of sleep. Most of the seats In the small funeral home were taken by members of my large step family. They were church going people and claim to be Christians, but not a one of them stood up and offered my children a seat at their own grandmothers’ funeral. My steps siblings felt superior to our family and looked down their noses at us, because we didn’t belong to the church.
We had a short grave site ceremony at the cemetery. My heart was heavy with pain at the loss of my mother, I felt like crawling in the coffin with her. My eyes were sore and raw from crying and I had no energy left.
I arranged a dinner to be held just a few minutes away at the Martinsburg Community Building. As I was walking away from mom’s coffin, I was approached, by a group of my brassy step-sisters. Fran, stepped forward and boldly asked me if they had air conditioning at the Community Bldg.. I said I think so, then they all started complaining, and said well if it isn’t air conditioned, we’re all going to be miserable, because it’s way too hot and we can’t stand the heat. I looked at them in disbelief, I couldn’t understand their lack of feelings.
Then Crystal popped up and said, with a salty attitude, “You should have had the dinner at “our church”, we know it’s air conditioned”. I later found out that Crystal and Nancy said they wanted mom’s funeral at their church too. Was it all for show, to look caring in front of their church members and throw off any rumors that might later circulate around the small town, about mom being murdered? And what was the ulterior motive behind their false concern? Because not a one of them cared enough, to check on her, when she was in the hospital. I now saw them as fake, self righteous hypocrites’, rather than the Christians, they pretended to be.
I’d just lost my mother and was in a lot of heartache and pain, but some of my step family still insisted on badgering me. Crystal even asked the funeral director, why weren’t all the Gallwitzes names and addresses listed in the newspaper obituaries. I couldn’t figure out why Crystal was acting so concerned. Was she setting up a cover of guilt? Trying to get sympathy from the community and her church members, making them think she was a sweet caring step granddaughter? While in reality, I’m sure she and Nancy were the cause of my mother’s death.
A week went by and the initial shock of moms death was wearing off, I now had time to think about all the questionable coincidences that took place, one right after another, all the red flags, dots, puzzle pieces,facts, and circumstances. There were way too many unusual incidences popping up and my suspicions started to mount. The timing of mom’s death, her filing for a divorce, the way she died, the unplugged phone, the tampered pills, the prenup, the greed for the houses, the money and the lack of caring from my step family. The whole scenario was starting to ‘smell’.
Eight days after mom was buried, I got a call from my step brother, Pete, it was labor day weekend and he told me my stepdad was giving me one day to get my mothers things out of the house. I was puzzled by that crude call, after all, the house and all the furnishings belonged to my mother. They assumed the house belonged to them, now that my mother was ‘out of the way’. But they didn’t know about the ‘Trust”.
I was 64 at the time Pete and my stepdad gave me the one day ultimatum to get mom’s things. I was living alone and had no one to help me move, nor a truck big enough to hall all of moms things.
However, my older brother, Pat, had a van and did get most of her personal belongings from her bedroom. But Pat was stopped by Pete, when he started to take some of moms furniture. Pat and his grandson Conner, were starting to load moms couches, when Pete stepped forward and said, that’ll be about enough. Pat backed down and left. This was inconceivable, our mother had only been in the ground a week. I was seeing ‘red’ and had to leave.
I told Pat out in the driveway, as I was leaving, “Something is Rotten in Denmark, I think they killed Mom”. Pat responded, “Oh, they said the same thing about you at the funeral home, they think you killed her”. I said, “What?” and Pat repeated the statement. I felt like I just took a punch in the stomach from Mike Tyson. I stood there, for a few seconds, stunned, then I got in my vehicle and drove home. I couldn’t believe what I’d just heard. How dare them even think such a thing. Looking back, they were planting seeds of doubt, just in case I pushed for and autopsy and it came out that mom was murdered. They were covering their a**’s.