Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Hurdles and Milestones

Dear John,

Today was about hurdles and milestones, though I can't always tell one from the other. Jumping through the hoops went much easier and quicker than I had expected.

I went first to the Social Security office in Elkhart - brought knitting and came prepared to spend most of the day. I got finished in 2 hours, which was much better than I'd expected, and everybody was very nice and helpful. I applied for your lump-sum death benefit - $255, which hasn't been increased since that was enough to pay for a funeral. Your Disability had already been stopped. It turns out that they don't pro-rate. You have to live the entire month to get disability for any part of it. But I'm grateful for the months we did get it. It helped keep us afloat for 3 months. It turns out that I can apply for your monthly Social Security payment when I turn 60; it seems ridiculous that that's only 4 years away. 

Then I went two doors down to Inova, and they were very nice, too. They pulled the original loan documents, found the credit life clause, scanned in the death certificate, and extended their sympathies to me. So that loan is closed and done with. 

Then I actually went to Panera for lunch (3 PM is still lunch, right?). I needed to turn in your store keys and cards that I'd found when excavating your briefcase, and they had saved your name tag for me, bless them. People had been looking for your grave - I gave them directions, so you will have more visitors soon, which will be very nice. They love you as much as you love them, and they are all so nice to me. It was good to be back there, just a bit hard when I was leaving. You always kissed me when I left, no matter who was looking. I missed that today. 

Oh, and Meredith called somewhere in there and left a message. Anthem finally corrected your date of death and Goshen Hospital has re-submitted all the claims that were being disputed. After three weeks, they did accept the death certificate. 

So I think that's it with the legal/financial stuff except for the appeals that are pending with Anthem. The bottom line is that they and the hospitals will have to come to some kind of compromise or I'll have to file for bankruptcy and nobody will get anything. There's no way I can ever pay a quarter of a million in hospital bills, so there's no need to worry about it. They'll do whatever they'll do. 

You know, you really planned ahead so I'd be taken care of. The Inova loan is gone, most of the credit cards were in your name, and people loved you so much that they're looking after me now. No matter what the commercials say, your not having life insurance (except what came with, from Panera) wasn't your fault. Nobody in their right mind would touch you - you were an actuary's worst nightmare. But I'm on my feet and will be okay. So don't worry about me.

I love you so, so much! Tonight I'll cuddle up with the dog, listen to the crickets, and fall asleep pretending you're there. 

Love you always,
Joan.

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