Thursday, July 14, 2005

The end is not near, but it's close

So I got a call from The Mom a few days ago and after talking about the dog peeing all over the staircase, the potential feng shui situation in this house that we're trying to buy, whether she should bring over some steamed prawns that my maid has prepared, and that I have to remember to buy more milk powder for the baby, she ended her conversation with this little announcement:

"Well, your dad called and said his cancer has come back. Only 1 month since the chemo you know! Looks like there's no hope."

"And oh yes, your grandmother passed away this morning."

Sound completely callous, but since they've been divorced for about 20 years now and the grandmother she refers to is my dad's mom who didn't like her very much, I suppose this level of concern is as good as it gets.

So my dad is probably not going to make it past my son's first? second? birthday. He's going to get his treatment in Malaysia - he was here for 6 months and the treatment cost a bomb here, so he'll pay Malaysian hospital rates and see what he can get for it.

I suppose that the hat will be passed around to me in due course for a contribution. Should I contribute? Hm... well let's see how far we can stretch the concept of filial piety.

I'll start by considering if I should repay him at least for every dollar he has spent on me since I was 12 years old (prior to that, I don't think even he can remember).

So that's S$200 per month, for 12 months a year, which stopped when I turned 21 (since the law did not at that time require him to pay anymore).

S$200 x 12 months x 9 years. That's a grand total of S$21,600. And not a cent more.

But what about the times he defaulted on maintenance payments? Let's be extremely kind and say he defaulted on only 2 in 10 maintenance payments. That reduces the amount to S$17,280.

So when the hat is passed around, I shall toss in my cheque for S$17,280. Since I do not work for the NKF, that's definitely not peanuts for me. Quite a substantial sum in fact.

This however means that I can't attend his funeral because if I do, there would be an additional expense which should be factored in to reduce the amount I contribute towards his treatments. So let's say to pay for my costs and expenses in attending the funeral, including airfare, reasonable accommodation and food, I will spend about S$2,000, provided I go myself and don't pay for mom. If I do pay for mom, it will double the amount to S$4,000, none of which is tax deductible.

Hm. Looks like the cheque to be written out will now be for S$13,280. That's enough money to furnish a house, although it means that none of my bathrooms will have gold-plated taps or expensive German toilet bowls.

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