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At this point with the garbage the Corporation was pulling, there wasn’t any way we could survive keeping this business open. The bank wouldn’t refinance our business loan, we were getting no help from the corporation, I had lost my job, and the only money coming in on my end was from unemployment. We had no choice. We had to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy and shut the franchise down. We had to file two separate bankruptcy cases – personal and business because we made personal guarantees on the franchise and the loan. Honestly we had no idea we had made a personal guarantee. We were counting on our small business consultant to be just that – our consultant and let us know what we were getting into. As I stated a few posts up, he dropped us after the meeting we had behind his back with Kevin about prepays. The first attorney never cared. She just wanted to make the firm money. Our second attorney we hired kept saying we didn’t have enough evidence or money to file a lawsuit. There was no other way out of this. We contacted a bankruptcy attorney and started the ball rolling with the corporation to shut down the franchise. Of course the corporation wasn’t returning phone calls at first with our attorney. They were trying to bleed us just a little bit more. After we received the necessary paperwork from the franchise, we filled it out, made copies of all our debts, and prepared it for the attorney.

During this time, the New York Giants had made the playoffs. This was 2009 meaning season ending 2008. The year before they had won the Superbowl. We are season ticket holders. My husband and I split the season with my father and my brothers. One thing about our family is that we are HUGE New York Giants fans. My father never went to a playoff game. His big thing he always said was he wanted to go to a playoff game before he died. It was on his bucket list. My father and I went to the playoff game vs the Eagles on January 11, 2009. Incidentally, my father had recovered pretty well from the heart attack and hospital visits. They had put a stent in, he was working out, taking his meds, and eating right. He even lost 20 pounds. Out of nowhere, he started falling into old patterns – Drinking wine every night, smoking his cigars, not going for follow-up blood work and he stopped going to the gym where he was being monitored. He chose to play racquetball instead with my uncle. Should a heart patient be playing racquetball? 

While we were on our way to our bankruptcy attorney’s office on January 22, 2009, my husband’s cell phone rang. The next thing I knew he was pulling up a side street not far from our attorney’s office. He parked the car and just kept saying,”Ok. Ok. Ok.” He grabbed my hand and squeezed it and started breathing heavy. I thought something happen to his mom who lives out in Illinois who is in her late 70s. My husband hung up the phone, looked at me, and said, “Your dad is gone.” I asked what he meant by that. He told me that the phone call he received was from my father’s best friend Dave telling him that my father passed away. My half brother who has P.D.D. (Pervasive Development Disorder) found him dead in his recliner when he got home from school. Dave didn’t want my husband to tell me right away. He wanted my husband to lie to me and say he was really sick because he thought I would lose my mind. My father’s group wanted to say when we got to his house that he got really sick and just didn’t make it. Of course my husband wasn’t going to lie to me. In any case, I was in disbelief! How could this have happened? The cardiologist said he was doing great. My heart was pounding in my chest. I texted my friends and called my mother at work.  Even though my parents were divorced and my father remarried and had two sons with my stepmother, my mother never stopped caring about him. She started yelling NO and started to cry. We turned the car around, called our bankruptcy attorney, told her what happened and we had to reschedule. My father’s friends kept calling my husband to find out where we were because individuals came to take my father’s body out of the house. My stepmother wouldn’t let them take him until we arrived to say our goodbyes. We were probably about 45 minutes away. I couldn’t wrap my brain around this.

When we arrived to my father’s house, family and friends were on the porch of my father’s house. My uncle (my dad’s half brother) approached me, hugged me, and said he was laying on the floor and it looked like he was sleeping. My husband took my hand and we went into the house. My dad’s lifeless body was in sweatpants and a t-shirt on the floor. My stepgrandmother was on one couch and my stepmother was standing up with friends. They all exited the room so my husband and I could have a moment alone with him. I stood with my arms wrapped tightly around my husband and we both talked to my father. As much as I wanted to kneel down and kiss his head or get closer, I just couldn’t. (I’m actually crying as I am typing this because I am reliving it all over again). 

To be continued  . . .

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