Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Future: The Second Roller Coaster

Dear John,
I figured out what's wrong with me and had to tell you about it, about why I've been struggling so much emotionally for the last week. I know you and the rest of the universe are immeasurably relieved.
For the first six months without you, the present was all I could handle. With the emotions and with so much to do, I couldn't even think five minutes ahead - the long-term future wasn't on my radar at all.
Writing that check for $7000 to the IRS shook me out of that. And I was on my way out of it anyway, between time passing and everything being done except some lingering medical bill disputes. All of a sudden a third of my savings was gone, and I had to start dealing with the financial future immediately. At the same time, I was turned down for three jobs at Goshen Hospital - all of them turned out to be harder physically than I should do anyway, but it's still scary.
So I'm on the second roller coaster now. The first was grief - I knew it was coming and had a good idea what it would be like. The second is providing financially for the future, and it's turning out to be just as difficult a ride. And this roller coaster doesn't get as much attention or support as the grief one, since this culture considers it bad taste to talk about financial issues. I know how much you wanted to have $100,000-200,000 in life insurance for me, and how hard you tried to find something. But nobody in their right mind would insure your life, so that wasn't an option. And there'd be no problem if I had stayed healthy and could have kept a nursing job for these last ten years, but that wasn't possible either. Those were doors that the Lord closed to us.
So here I am. Thankfully, I have enough in savings to make it for about a year, if there are no disasters. And I'm grateful for the job I have. I have a doctor that doesn't want me working, so I need to see him and find out what he has in mind. If he insists on disability I'll have to listen, but I don't know what I'll qualify for. If I do have to go that route, I'll hire an experienced attorney. It would be well worth it. I also want to visit the Goshen Hospital HR Department and talk to them, and turn in a general application. I'm open to nursing and non-nursing jobs - I need a job, not one particular job. So we'll see how that goes.
On those two things hangs whether I'll be able to keep the house. I did find one apartment complex that would be a good fit - good rent, nicely kept, good floor plan, any size dog allowed, washer/dryer hookups in every apartment - all that I'm looking for. It's in Nappanee instead of Goshen, but I think that, after living 17 years in Topeka, Nappanee might be a better fit for me anyway. And I could get on the substitute teacher list at Northwood, which I'd love to do.
As you can tell, the brain has gotten a grip on the situation and is dealing constructively with it. I've checked out the options and formulated a plan of action. That's about all that I can do at this point. And I know that I will be provided for. The God of widows and orphans is in charge. And I have you, two saints, and three priests to pray for me.
Oh, I've thought about this several times, but never when I was talking to you: Please give Caleb and Naomi big, big hugs for me! I know without doubt that the dogs are in Heaven, since they are without sin. Our dogs are reunited with their human Daddy now, and must be beside themselves with joy. I can't wait to see them again.
Oh, how I look forward to Heaven! The presence of God, release from the physical body, Heavenly worship, St. Theodora and St. John, and all the people I love - you first, Mama and Daddy, Nana and the three grandparents I never knew, four siblings I never knew, your father that I never knew, Annie Mae, Aunt Mary and Uncle Tom, Aunt Margaret and Uncle Gus, Greatgrandma Fowler and Greatgrandpa Fowler, Mary, Richard, Tommy,  Margaret Earl, Great-aunt Mary Lattimore, Johnny, and Ray, friends from school like Becky and Kevin and Mike, friends from Topeka like Ernie and Maynard, Mertice and Helen, Erland, and from church like Dick - what an amazing cloud of witnesses. May God grant all of them the gift of prayer for me! I know Caleb and Naomi pray for me. And Fr. Anthony, Fr. George, and Fr. Peter - to have their prayers would be wonderful.
So, as Wallace said to Grommit (sort of): Get yourselves together up there! I am humbly asking the whole group to pray for me, that the Lord will provide financially for me in the way that is best for me, and that I will know what to do and when. And please pray that I will be at peace on this roller coaster. (I really do hate roller coasters.)
Thank you. You've always been there for me. And now you can be there in a much better way. But it's a way that I know by faith and not by sight, so sometimes I feel like you're less here for me than you were before. But that's not true, is it? I know you love me, look after me, and pray for me. And I do for you as well. There are ways that the two become one flesh in marriage, that you can't know until widowhood. And how much more is there for me to learn in Heaven? Oh, I want to be there!
So I still have to labor for the good of my soul, to walk in the teachings of the church, to repent. Pray for me, that God in His mercy will take me into His Kingdom! Tell Him that any time is fine with me.
Until then, I love you, I'm not far from you.

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