Folly Tales

As I turned and saw the damp towel on the bed in my room in MA today, I remembered another damp towel on a bed in 1961 in Picayune, MS. 

September 9 of that year, I married my son and daughter’s father. I met him at the Junior college where I taught. He was a student, flunked out of Loyola in New Orleans along with a handful of other guys. They all became my students. They were 19; I was 21. My first teaching job after graduating with a BA in English Literature, with minors in French, music, and  journalism from Delta State College in 1959. 

My position was to teach Speech (one would have to look carefully to find that as a major course, having had the one required course in Speech and nothing else) and Business English. Well, I did know how to write letters. My first day, my first class was Speech. Scanning the room, I saw all male faces about my age and one older female. My first thought was, “Oh, dear God, they forgot to teach me how to teach. Call the roll.”  I never got through that task. All the names were French, and my knowledge of French escaped me…. not even Bourgeois seemed to come out right, much less Labiche, Toujacks, Seuzenio, etc. I have forgotten how to spell their names and not being home having no annual as reference.

The Bourgeois male leaned forward and said “That’s Bourgeois, you know,” in a Cajun accent. By the end of the year, these guys were my friends. The teachers/professors were so much older than I, that it seemed natural to me. I suppose back then it was not such a big deal and I knew from early on that I was too young to teach in college. Talking with the Dean, I said, and he agreed, that Soeech and Business English were not my forte and I should not plan on coming back. He made no reference to the flunked out Loyola students, one in particular. Thus my career ended there and I immediately found a position as a high school English teacher.

Oh, I married him. It rained that day. I had this strange feeling. This was a mistake. 

He went back to the junior college; I drove to the high school in Kiln, MS. This particular day, I had to go back to school because I was also the cheerleader coach (once again something I knew nothing about) and in my rush to bathe and get back to school, I left my towel on the bed. 

He declared I was having an affair with the gay English teacher whose classroom was adjacent to mine. Thus, the damp towel. It was all downhill from there even though we stayed married for 15 years and many girlfriends later.

The psychiatric physician he sent me to, because I was crazy, stated that he had projected onto me his own practices. This was years later.

Remember this. It comes around again. 

What is it all about

What is it all about? We choose what to make meaningful in our lives. 

Daddy in the end would walk through the house with his work boots on, feet swollen, saying “I have to get control”. I now wish I had asked “Control of what?” Perhaps it was fear. Perhaps it was the excruating pain from the bone cancer that was progressing up through all his organs leaving his brain last. 

 Before the last two weeks of his life, he went into the woods and found the biggest oak tree and cut it down by himself and then split the logs for firewood for mother. Daddy said he would miss the fire. 

He wanted me to tell him what would happen at the end. I think he thought I really knew. Part of what I told him was true; he would either go into a coma when the cancer ate his brain cells and live in a vegetate state or he would die immediately. He wanted the latter. I also said that someone would come for him. I told him to go with them, not to look back but walk straight ahead. Do not look back.

In the early morning hours, he died, he kept insisting that someone was at the hospital window. My sister did not know what I had told him and assured him no one was there. I wish I had been there to find out who came for him and then maybe I would know that there is an afterlife. Is there an afterlife? We are told there is, but how do we really know?

So I guess I told Daddy the truth; did I tell Freddie the truth?  No, I made it up but they were the only words that came. I told him that God’s computer network had gone down and that he had chosen him to fix the system for him because he also needed his beautiful voice for his choir; two angels got into a squabble and one walked off leaving a vacancy that only his voice could fill.” I told him to go and help God. He needed him and that even though I would miss him, I would be ok. I had always taken care of myself. 

I knew I would never be ok. I knew that my world shifted from looking for a some miracle to save him to being lost at not having him, even though I never really knew the adult man he had grown into nor did I understand a number of things that happened during his lifetime.

Why did he die? What was it all about? How do I go on living in this world without my son?

How to be

How to live the remainder of my life searching for answers on how to be. Searching for who I am, going through old journals and photographs to find  out who I once was; what happened in my childhood; after my siblings left, the cold quietness of the once warm home filled with news from my siblings life. 

I think we were all outliers in our own way. Hearing that my father had cancer sent a warning bell through me; was this the beginning of the end of this family.? What am I suppose to do? To feel? How do I prepare to go on without him? August 1990 brought the end to his suffering. He tried to tell me that their was something wrong with mom. He did not know how to put it in medical terms. He just knew something was different.

Next my mom with her deteriotiang mind; the same person, the personality different, yet she knew all of us. Was it really Dementia? Or perhaps a tumor? No one ever did an X-ray or CatScan,  so how do we really know? May 1995 she left in the night.

October 1990, My niece’s car ran under a log truck; 1996 my 2 brothers died 6 months apart; July and December 24. 

Death seemed to be gleefully taking all that I loved…23 friends one year but the worst was yet to come in 2016 as I watched my son slowly wither away without close family around him except for me. I was afraid; I am sure he was afraid. We were not good at communicating our emotions. Never had been. 

Now I am left wondering how to live this disjointed lonely life.

Faithful wife

Walking out, abandoning dying husband. Is this a faithful wife?

Having a swat team surround the home while she cowers at work afraid of a husband who was only cleaning the guns he and their son used at the shooting range sounds like it really is a crime in need of a swat team? 

Evil Loser

I confirmed my sons account with the police.

The Email

Karen Bourgeois <>

to me, fjbourgeois
I know this is a tender time for all of us and my conversations with you and Jackie this morning made me realize that there are some serious hostile feelings that are causing confusion for all concerned.  As Fred’s widow who was faithfully married until the end, I need to take immediate control of the 150 Quail Glen property.  I’m asking you to leave by 9am tomorrow morning, Tuesday, Oct. 20, so that I can have the locksmiths replace all of the locks.
Please leave behind the garage door openers, post office keys, house keys (storm door, patio door, etc.), storage key, and keys to both cars; computers; both cell phones; copy of the will and trust; safe combination; blank checks; any ATM or credit cards; and latest utility bill statements so that I know where to pick up.
Do not attempt to turn off any utilities nor remove any items from the house, including items you think were to be set aside for Frederick IV.  I will handle that as we go through due process.
Once the legal misunderstandings are resolved in the next few days, I hope we can work together as a team, including Fred Jr., to organize the different memorial services plus burial.  This approach will help with the grieving process without over-burdening anyone.
Thank you,
Karen Bourgeois

p.s. I wasn’t sure which email address you were using.


b <>

8:56 PM (10 hours ago)
to FredB
I received this from Karen the day after Freddie died giving me 9 hours to leave.
I have a photo of her car outside on Tuesday morning waiting for the locksmith.
When I let her know the laws of CA was not foreign to me and/or tenant law, and I was not leaving and that she needed to let me know before she came she then had  a very stupid attorney call me to evict me by voice message.
I called him back to ask him if he missed the day they taught tenant law in law school, gave him the correct procedure and wished him a Merry Christmas.
You and your children have no idea what emotional damage she did to Freddie and to me. This is only the tip of the iceberg.
Clytice wanted me to let you know. My family is totally incensed at this one email and the treatment I received trying to be the best I could be even though I had not fully recouped from my cancer surgery.

Down the Rabbit Hole

Thank you. One voice in the wilderness is not enough to overhaul all the wrongs in the health care system. Thank God I am old and will die. Young people die every die their dreams never fulfilled. I am the least of these to grieve. 

God wil take care of those who committed unjust acts on me and my son. I do not have to do anything. 

Speaking out does not help.

Thank you to all whom have read my pages here.