The Pathological Truth Journal

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Archive for July, 2013

Congratulations if you caught the Yes reference.

People think that because I am in public and look very calm even happy at times that I am not sad.  That isn’t the case.  I cry an insane amount by myself (which is the only way I can cry), I feel guilty, I get angry at myself and angry at my husband.  The strangest thing is that all of this isn’t bitter.  Yes.  I miss my husband more than I could have ever imagined.  However, I know I will see him again.  I do feel guilty and I know I wasn’t always the best wife.  However, I can confess my imperfection and receive forgiveness in Christ.  So, while all of these emotions suck terribly I also have peace.

Do you know what can challenge that peace and make me want to be vindictive?  Paypal.  I don’t want to advocate fraud but it would have been much easier to pretend I was my husband (since I have his password) and close the account myself.  But then they can prosecute you for that fraud.  Let me first tell you want I wanted Paypal to do.  All I want them to do is close my husband’s account which has a $0.00 balance so that people can’t accidentally send him something or try to withdraw something.  They won’t do that without a copy of his will or proof that I am the executor of his will (which is pretty much the will).

Not everyone has a will.  It is generally the law that unless there are strange circumstances everything simply moves to the surviving spouse when there is no will.  This involves probate court and you will be named by the court as the whatever they call it.  If you die without a will and the assets (property, bank accounts, cars, etc) that are not jointly held or have a named beneficiary are less than $50,000 you do not go through probate court.  The surviving spouse can simply fill out a small claims affidavit, which is a notarized document.  That’s it.  You are done.  It has been almost 4 months and every single government agency, financial institution, lending agency and utility company accepts this since it is the law.  Most ask me to prove that he is dead and I am me.  I have filled out a couple of affidavits.  That isn’t a big deal.  Even the taxes, which have frustrated me, at least have options to help a person out and try their best to be understanding.

Paypal does not play by the law even if you are not trying to get money from them.  Let me say that again.  I am not trying to claim anything.  I want the account of my dead husband closed.

I contacted Paypal customer service yesterday. (On a side note I am beginning to truly hate the automated electronic voice system. “Hmmm…  That doesn’t fit the choices I made you sit through.  Let’s try again.  Say: I want to pay my bill or can you please just get me to a customer service agent so I can talk to someone.”) I told the guy the situation.  I faxed to Paypal his death certificate, our marriage certificate and my driver’s license.  He is dead.  I am his surviving spouse.  I am who I am.  I figured if anything since they are an out of state agency they might ask for the affidavit.  Nope.  They emailed me this morning.  They want his will and no substitutions.  Also, they will not close his account they will transfer it to my name. I never asked them to do that.  I called customer service again and they said that is what they will do and what they want and there are no substitutions.  Oh, and the acknowledge that I have his password and asked that I get into his account and upload files.  So, they obviously have no issue with me being in his account where I could transfer all of that imaginary money anyway.

This would not piss me off so much except that my husband had a Paypal debit card solely in his name that I paid off and cancelled easily.  That agency first demanded that I pay them.  Fine.  It was his debt, it was linked to a joint account and in AZ the spouse is liable for most of the husband’s debt upon death.  (Except student loans.  Thank God!)  For Paypal, there is an incredible double standard when it comes to debt and accounts.  Granted it was the right thing to do anyway but it is irksome.

So, what to do?  I can’t make a retro-active will.  I can’t go back in time and say “Pooky Bear, you are going to die soon and leave me alone so be sure to draw up a will because everything will be difficult enough without you.”  At some point, being notified of his death, Paypal will need to close his account.  I have decided to send them the affidavit.  I have also decided to send them every documentation of my life with him.  I will send them every single paper I’ve got.

I am not asking that Paypal believe me and close this account with no proof.  I am not asking them for money.  I am asking them to kindly give me a small amount of financial peace in knowing this account can no longer be used either for genuine or fraudulent purposes.  I am asking for basic decency when it comes to something many of us will face at some point.  I am asking for understanding that not everyone dies having all of their affairs in order and to understand the chaos and emotional toll that takes for the person who is now responsible for all of it.  I am not asking this of the company but of the people who create and maintain the Paypal policies.  People’s lives can not be made to fit your rules you must create rules that fit the lives of the people using your service.

If you haven’t heard they are remaking “The 47 Ronin”.  I know I’ve seen the 1941 version and I can’t remember if it was the 1958 or 1962 version that I have also seen.  Then again, maybe it’s both.  I have a fondness for these movies.  I’m a huge Toshiro Mifune, Tatsuya Nakadai, Zatoichi and Akira Kurosawa fan.  They are awesome.  So, I took a look at what they have up for the remake of 47 Ronin.

I’m not a person who says a remake necessarily needs to be a movie re-made in exactly the same way.  Sometimes a little imagination is good.  So, the remake stars Keanu Reeves and he’s not my favorite actor and there isn’t an American in the story because it was the early 1700s.  They are modernizing it? I guess.  But when the trailer got to the dragon lady I had to stop.  No.  Not a “dragon lady” as in a strong and seductive lady of some Asian descent.  I mean a lady who turns into a dragon.  I’m all for fantasy sometimes.  But when you have to change so much in your story that it’s completely different then just make your own movie and call it something else.   Sharktopus didn’t try to be Jaws and it was awesome.

All of this did remind me that I really like the older movies.  I rented Sword Of Doom today which is one of my favorites.  Because it is a 24 streaming rental I watched it a lot.  I watched the heck out of that movie.  Nakadai is amazing in the way he can state his whole character without a word.  It is also in spite of all the killing a beautiful movie if a little heavy handed on the symbolism.

As I was watching this movie I tried to think of what would happen if there was a remake of Sword Of Doom.  So, taking bits and pieces from things I like and things I don’t like I created an IMDB-like page for this imaginary movie.  I give you the remake of Sword Of Doom.

If you are interested in the spiritual adoption of a pastor contact me at  Upon receiving your email I will send you the name of a pastor.  And if you wouldn’t like to email me please feel free to adopt a pastor on your own.

What Does It Mean To Adopt A Pastor
Paul prayed for those who were partnered with him in the Gospel (Philippians 1:3-6).  He also asked the congregations to pray for him and his workers (1 Thessalonians 1:25).
This adoption means you pray daily for the pastor you are given.  Pray for their strength, faithfulness, health and welfare.   You do not need to write to them, email them, friend them on Facebook or give them anything other than your prayers.  It also does not mean you neglect the worship of God in your own church or neglect the care of your own pastor.  This prayer is meant to be part of the vocation of the faithful in Christ.

If you are a pastor who would like to specifically add your name please contact me at the address above.  And a great thanks to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix for the idea.

I am trying to figure out the rest of my life.  I can not do what I have done.  As I have written my greatest joy (and often my greatest frustration) was supporting my husband in his ministry.  What is particularly strange right now is how people speak to me about those 14 years.  It’s almost as if they believe I married my husband in spite of his calling.  People say that now I can go on to do something else, that I am not tied to such a religious life.  Even more bizarre, they say I can date and sleep with whomever I wish.

I am who I am.  Maybe my personality is uniquely stubborn but I was who I was when I was married too.  In spite of my whining, my ego and worldly desires there is nothing more important than serving God.  Just like in spite of my tears, sorrow, grief and how much I miss my husband I am sure of God’s promise of eternal life through Christ.  The only thing that changed in my life from being single to married to single again is that I gained and then lost the one person to whom I spoke the most honestly and who knew me the best.  (More practically, my finances changed too but I can handle that.)

I married my husband because I loved him and that included his passion for teaching God’s Word.  I loved listening to him.  The discussions sparked ideas and artistic desires.  I wanted to love him and help him with my few talents.  I didn’t do it perfectly but that was my desire.  Although my vows have been fulfilled and in the eyes of the law I am no longer married to a pastor I am still who I am.  Remove my husband from a church and he would still teach God’s Word.  Remove me from him and everything important to me will still be there.  I just need time to figure out what the next step is.

It bothered me for about a few weeks when people would say these things.  Then, I thought about it.  We rarely see people as they are.  Rather we see them through the lens of our own ideals.  Additionally, people want to speak words of comfort even when they don’t know what to say.  In their own way, these people were trying to create some desire for this new (and honestly terrifying) part of life.  So, it comes out “here is what I wish for you to be excited about because it is what I would want.”

If I could have any life that I could right now it would be similar to what I had.  If I could do anything I would have a place where pastors and workers in the Church who have gone through rough times could come without fear of judgement.  It wouldn’t focus on the psychological issues but the spiritual exhaustion.  It would be served by other pastors in the area who would encourage and help these men.  It would be a place that would focus on Word, Sacrament and prayer.  It would have Bible studies.  It would give a chance in a quiet and contemplative manner for these men to remember why they loved teaching God’s Word and serving God’s people.  A chance for them to ease bitterness, anger and hear and remember that God does love them too.  It would also have a good garden so I could distill flower essences.  It would also have a couple of fiber bearing goats.  I don’t know.  I just want goats.  This thought has burned in my heart for years.  I still just don’t know how to go about it.

I am no different in substance.  I am only different in circumstance.  I am who I am.  I am a Christian.

For a few months before I found a permanent job I did a temp job in the marketing office of a retirement community.  The people who worked there were genuinely nice.  The facilities were wonderful.  They treated me as a member of the team even if it was only for a couple of months.  All in all a great experience.  Still, I was glad that it was only temporary.  The community offered comprehensive care (independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing).  The retiree was guaranteed this care and could not be turned away even if they ran out of money.  However, that meant that the marketing and sales department was constantly running the numbers.  How much money could they make or lose if a prospective resident is accepted.  Would they die before or after they ran out of money?  While I understand that it was that money that paid the salaries for all the staff, paid for the upkeep of (really nice) apartments and paid for all of the great amenities it still felt weird to talk about a person as if he or she was a basic threat assessment equation.

Why am I telling you this?  I recently lost my job.  That is not such an issue since I decided it was time to move anyway.  But when I lost my job I also lost my health insurance.  If you have lived more than 35 years then congratulations!  You probably have a pre-existing condition.  For Pete’s sake, some companies count sinusitis as a pre-existing condition.  I happen to have spondylolisthesis.  I was diagnosed when I was 15 and had two stabilizing surgeries.  Meaning, I’m not going to go to the Olympics anytime soon but I can walk, exercise and do pretty much whatever other people do.  Barring any accidents that would break all of my bones anyway I will be healthy for years to come.  But I still have spondylolisthesis.  It isn’t gone.  So, I put it down with the explanation on the application.  My rate doubled.  Screw me for being honest.

Unfortunately, this happened with my husband and it was fatal.  While he was working and insured through the church he had a heart attack.  He survived and he was actually doing pretty well at the time.  His heart was damaged and eventually he would need something more but the cardiologist was optimistic for at least 5-10 years with proper care he would be fine.  Then, the church voted to close.  We lost the insurance which would have cost us (outside of the group) about $1000/month.  The insurance that we might be able to afford either rejected him outright or inflated prices to a place we couldn’t afford.  Not only that but they wouldn’t even cover anything heart related anyway.  It was pre-existing and the most reasonable of the insurance agencies weren’t going to pay for any heart related issues for at least a year.

His cardiologist and family doctor did the best they could to load him up with the medication he would need.  But two years after not getting proper treatment he died.  My greatest regret is that my husband thought that I was worried that he didn’t make enough money.  What I worried about was making enough to insure him.  What I worried about was losing him.  I wish I would have been more clear about that.

In those two years my husband did work.  He wasn’t a lazy bum sitting around all day.  He had a side job that brought in money.  The pastors in the Phoenix area were also very generous and offered him everything they could to help his exposure.  People loved his intellect and outgoing nature.  He was so close to the point that he would have insurance again.  He didn’t sit around eating cheese fries either.  While he did gain weight after Christmas he was on track to losing it again.

Beyond his work and responsibilities to his own health my husband was generous.  He never made light of the problems the kids at church brought to him.  He never spoke down to anyone.  He was forgiving.  He hugged me every time I was scared no matter how he felt.  He was an excellent and often funny writer.  He paid the taxes on time.  He had a family, friends and people who loved him.  He wanted to care for all of them too.  He wasn’t perfect by any means but he wanted very much to be good.  All of his good qualities, any future benefit to others and the grief at his loss was not sufficient against the money that they would make off a monthly payment.  He would cost too much so it didn’t matter if he died.

I don’t know the answer to this.  I have no clue.  I’m not a financial analyst or a medical expert.  The only thing that I do know is that this isn’t right.