work work work

I know I’m jumping the gun here. I am possibly years away from a transplant. My possible donor is just that. Possible. As a person waiting for a benevolent soul to donate a vital organ, I am keenly aware that promises are just that and people don’t always deliver on what they say when they are trying to be nice. It’s not negative, it’s realistic. As much as I hate dialysis, if I look past it I will cause myself a whole lot of hurt. I need to focus on following the rules, I invariably feel better when I do.

According to my Social Worker at the clinic, in the event of a transplant I can remain on SSDI for a full year, at which time I am expected to return to work. I can live with that with just one concern, I am disgusted by the Insurance plans being offered by employers these days, high premiums and even higher deductibles make me wonder if I can get a job that offers anything close to what Medicare does for me. Don’t get me wrong, I am not that guy, the one who looks for easy street via benefits. But out of pocket expenses and quality of care do matter and I don’t want to go backwards in that area. Of course, it really is too early to speculate on this, technically I am at retirement age and I may not be required to go back to work.

But still, I may be able to go back to work someday. The prospect of it excites me. If Uncle Sam kicks me off the federal tittie I will survive because if nothing else, my eclectic (a nice way of saying all over the damn place), work history will give me options. If I’m not a victim of ageism…

Before it’s too late

Often when I take a break from blogging it is because I can’t think of a topic. Sometimes it’s just laziness. Sometimes I just get busy, I’m pretty active for a guy with nothing to do. Then other times I just don’t know where to start.

Last week I suffered so many slaps upside the head that I just couldn’t sort my thoughts. It started with the death of a dear friend, then another old friend of the family passed, and then to top off the shit sandwich that was my weekend I found out that my best friend in the world and his young daughter had contracted the Covid-19 virus. I was floored both metaphorically and actually. I didn’t know where to begin.

The death of my friend, a elderly Freemason whose company I have enjoyed so often and so greatly was not a shock. He was elderly and in declining health. Quarantine issues made it difficult to visit him and he wintered in Florida but I had no excuse not to talk to him more frequently and I am feeling guilt even though I don’t feel that there was anything unsaid between us. It is the worst part of losing someone, wondering if you knew where you stood with them. It is THE reason that I endeavor to always leave someone as if I will never see them again, on the level (as we Masons say) and free of anger and resentment. He was my buddy, regardless of our age difference and I feel that I am a better person for having known him. I miss him terribly.

The family friend was less of a blow. He was 92 and passed peacefully. But he meant something to me as a memory of my childhood. My parents used to Square Dance (mock away I won’t resent you) and they met many solid friendships through it via conventions at Campgrounds every Summer and retreats in Winter. I can think of 5 or 6 families that I met on those occasions and the many lasting friendships with their children that I cherish now. Frank was one of the ones that stands out in my mind the most. A father of 5 awesome kids and a all-around wonderful family man, he represents an era gone by to me. I was so upset that I wasn’t able to go to his funeral. Not being able to attend funerals is one aspect of the Pandemic that is hard to reconcile.

The news that my best friend in the world contracted Covid absolutely floored me. The news may have numbed us with all of the constant talk and actual people can fade into just statistics but by now most of us know someone who has contracted it. Sadly, many of us have lost someone to it. We always hear about those people in the high-risk category. My friend is in it. He’s a big, strong man but he’s overweight. He has a heart condition. He is always tired and his immune system is vulnerable. When I heard the news, I won’t sugarcoat it, I had some very bad thoughts about worse case scenarios. And for his daughter, whom I love like my own daughter…her diagnosis scared the ever loving shit out of me. Fast-forward to today, everyone is on the mend. That is a huge relief. But I was scared.

If you are reading this, I want you to know that I care about you and I hope you never have to endure a weekend like I had last week. Tell those close to you how you feel. Make phone calls. Send emails. Don’t put yourself in a position where you know that you could have done more. We’re social creatures and we need each other more than ever.