A recurring theme lately in our house has been stereotypes and labels. It’s mostly mainstream stuff and not meant to be hurtful, but still if you watch enough TV or read some current books-you see the stereotypes everywhere.
Sometimes I think it’s just easier to fall back on the labels than to think about people as people. Other times I think the labels and stereotypes just make it easier.
Who knows? It’s just one more thing the single dad tries to navigate.
After a week-long business trip in Vegas, the thought was I’d be able to come home to a long weekend and kind of catch up. So much for best laid plans.
Yeah, there was plenty to catch up on from the week that was. The kicker though, the plan to take the MLK Day off and unwind has fallen apart. So, now it’s a work from home (WFH) day. The girls are off with friends and I have a full call docket.
Grinding from a week away to the daily grind and back into the work grind.
So, we made it. Individually and collectively, we’ve made it to the holiday break. This means a new year is upon us, which also gives us a chance to look back at the year that was.
It’s a chance to glean a lesson, reflect on what has happened and perhaps more importantly take those lessons and go forward.
At least for us, 2011 was a year of immense transition, so many things occurred, so many people came into our lives and so much has gone on-it’s great to take a moment and take a breath.
It would be folly for me (or any of us of that matter) to try to go through a list and thank everyone for the love, support and help we’ve had over the last 12 months-we would leave too many people out and not do justice.
Instead, I hope everyone will accept from me (and 11.0 and 9.0) our eternal thanks for all you have done to be there for us-and know when we can we try to pay it forward and we are committed to doing just that.
Maybe I should not post this while I am upset-but I will. And I probably should not do it as a video-but I did.
I call this the final insult, because after navigating the nation’s completely dysfunctional Medicare system for more than two years, I have written what should be my final check to close the books on the care I needed to provide for my wife in her final months. And while I don’t begrudge anyone having to pay for it-the process is broken and no one wants to hear about it.
I spent time with the staff Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, Congressman Bishop, former Assemblyman Alessio, State Senator Lavalle and county legislator (now my Assemblyman) Losquadro. While their offices were mildly helpful in helping push my case-none of them was or is willing to look at the bigger issue: the system is broken and does not work.
While I had a wife dying in hospice and two children at home what was my focus? A five-year look back into my finances which included massive document acquisition and shipping. All for someone who has spent a lifetime working and paying taxes.
Just to add some context-when someone goes through something like I did, there is a legal process called spousal refusal. In reality it’s kind of the practice of elder law-where the assets you’ve spent a lifetime trying to amass and leave to your children are protected. As a means to prevent fraud-the social safety net that is Medicare has become something more akin to a painful process to tap into-where there are plenty of folks who push the blame down the line to the one person (in New York this is the county caseworker) who has contact with the person applying.
There is nothing compassionate about trying to leverage the social safety net and frankly instead of being able to focus on the pieces that required attention, I was chasing documents and meeting always arbitrary and usually impossible deadlines. How many of you can put your hands on 5 years of bank statements, 5 years of investment records, 10 years of tax returns? There was one request for records from the savings accounts I have for the girls-because tooth fairy money is part of the accounting scheme.