Her mother became incapacitated and was in a nursing home for many years, unaware of anything or anyone. Left to his own devices, her dad became even more of a "character," and his life's work became sweepstakes. Maurel was a Santa Claus of a man who always seemed (at least to us) to be jolly and whistling. He was as generous as the day was long. But Maurel was one of those seniors caught in that web of seduction known as "you could be our next million dollar winner if you buy these gifts or subscribe to these magazines." So the post office was kept busy delivering daily packages to Maurel's front door.
Soon the "awards" piled up throughout the house. Several rooms were waist high in "prizes" ranging from thermal blankets to bird houses to tacky jewelry to kitchen gadgets that worked for a day before they broke. What on earth did an 80-something Caucasian man need with a subscription to Ebony magazine... or any of the many others he received? Maurel just knew that a Cadillac or a huge cash prize would be his any day. My friend contacted the state Attorney General, and once, while her dad was hospitalized briefly, she thought she had his "awards" scam stopped. But Maurel was promptly on to her efforts and thwarted them... starting right up where he had left off before the hospital stay. He was so consumed that he would even stake out his mail carrier each morning so he could intercept and get his mail earlier in the day instead of the normal mid-afternoon home delivery. He was so anxious to see if he had won - or what awards were arriving!
There are many more "Maurel" stories, but here are a couple that really made us laugh today...
We all (my husband Bill, daughters Molly and Lucy, and I) were sitting in the living room at Daddy's. We were going to try and make ourselves stay 30 minutes. We were living in another town about 30 minutes away. After a little talk, Daddy disappeared and we looked out the window just in time to see him driving off. So, we were all released. He was good at the 10-minute-at-a-time visit. It was funny.
Then, one day ( this is awful) Molly and Lucy and I pulled up in front of the house. They bounded up the stairs, through the front door and immediately hit the porch. Daddy was sitting in the easy chair - naked - watching a soap opera. It was about 1:00 p.m. I'm sure he had stopped on his way back to the bedroom from the shower. He took about three showers a day. What a thing (literally) for Molly and Lucy to witness. I guess they should have knocked????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I would love to hear YOUR stories... and share them here with others. We are all in this boat together, you know, and laughter is sometimes all the help we have!