Angie Died A Week Ago
Heather emailed me, a week ago, in a state of dizzy fury. Her sister Angie, her big sister, was 45, and dead of COVID, and their father and his wife had doubled down: Hoax. Liberal plot. Tyranny. Evil. Angie had been developmentally disabled. She believed them. Heather wanted it on the record. She wanted them never to know another second's peace.
I called her several days later than I was supposed to, knowing I'd told her I'd call days before, knowing she was waiting, and I didn't want to, until she emailed again to ask if I'd forgotten.
I hadn't forgotten. I was scared we would be sad.
This is what Heather told me. We only cried some.
Heather: I was the younger/older sister. I was a year younger, but I can't tell you how many times I got kicked off the bus for fighting because someone called her a "retard." She lived on her own. She wasn't "profoundly" developmentally disabled, but she wasn't normal enough for normal kids. Her emotional development topped off around 12. She graduated with a modified diploma.
But when my dad and his wife moved from Oregon to Michigan, they made her move with them, to "take care" of her. They took her away from her support system. It was shooting fish in a barrel.
My father's wife's daughter — I don't call her my stepmom — my father's wife's daughter spoke up to them about how they were treating my sister, so they deleted her off social media.
They all got the virus, still refused to wear masks. They drug their feet taking her to the hospital. By the time they did, she was beyond any hope. She went on a vent for a few weeks and never woke up.
The MRI showed extensive brain damage, her brain was riddled with lesions. Before they had the MRI results, doctors speculated that even if she survived without major brain damage, she would most likely lose her feet and even part of her fingers due to lack of circulation.
My father I'm sure has a guilty conscience. He contacted me for five minutes to tell me my sister died. I know he knows in his heart he is to blame.
They told my sister masks were tyranny, the vaccines were "evil," coronavirus was a liberal plot. She would believe whatever people told her.
My father isn't the man I grew up with. He was always a nasty conservative — homeless people are "dirty lazy bums"; Black people aren't bad per se, they're just "different from us" — but he joined the Tea Party movement, then the Trump movement, and they took every ounce of his humanity.
His wife radicalized him.
There was a time when we could have a conversation. Not anymore.
At some point, I plan to confront him, at least for a final conversation. I want to know if it weighs on his conscience. I know his wife has been on social media, doubling down. Her Facebook avatar is "I trust my immune system, not the shot."
Wonkette: Same as the Denver cop!
Heather: Yeah [snort] same as the Denver cop. I haven't looked at her Facebook, I can't. But someone looked at it for me and it said something like, "I stand firm in my beliefs regardless of what happened."
Wonkette: How did she try to justify it?
Heather: She didn't try to justify herself. How could she?
Wonkette: There's that psychological phenomenon where to reaffirm people's beliefs, you prove people wrong with facts. They double down. Robyn writes about it all the time.
Heather: I spent so much time and sanity trying to fight people with facts. My family here are good people, I love them to death, but they ignore anything unpleasant. My sweet aunt said not to dwell on it, it's not good for my health.
Wonkette: I'm never on Facebook, but I've been on it lately for the garage sales. There was a woman selling some chairs, and all her images of the chairs weren't pictures of the chairs; they were memes about "why would you poison yourself with a vaccine" and "why would you breathe in your own filth." Lady, I'm not buying your chairs! There was another woman who was having issues with a neighbor, and the first response was a picture of a gun. "Shoot him, problem solved." Shy and I don't know how or if we stay living here.
Heather: I live in the country in Oregon, beautiful state. Redneck heaven. It's terrifying to see the mechanisms in place. My dad is a gunhumper who thinks his Second Amendment rights trump your kids' right to not get shot in the classroom. This devotion to an inanimate object. And they're Bible-thumpers. Isn't that idolatry?
Wonkette: What do you want your father to know?
Heather: I don't think they should have a second's peace. And they should not be able to slink back into the shadows.
Heather had to go. Her daughter needed her. I went to have a drink. I would transcribe our talk later. A few days more.
Rebecca Schoenkopf is the owner, publisher, and editrix of Wonkette. She is a nice lady, SHUT UP YUH HUH. She is very tired with this fucking nonsense all of the time, and it would be terrific if you sent money to keep this bitch afloat. She is on maternity leave until 2033.