Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Things I know about "festering"...

Festering/fester... this word has so many meanings. The definition you use depends on where it is applied. Fester can be talking about wounds or a feeling inside that builds up from a thought to anger or hatred. The wound can be a cut or blister that worsens. It can also be a "wound" that is inflicted on the heart and soul.It can come as easily from friends and family as it can from your enemies. The ones that come from loved ones are for certain the ones that cut the deepest. Many times we don't speak our thoughts at the time of the hurt. We imagine that it will simply go away on it's own. But many times it does not go away. It gets tucked down inside of us somewhere and that is where it "Festers." If allowed to remain and get worse it can leave a hole where it laid.
The only way to stop the "festering" from getting worse is to face it up front and personal. Do I have issues that have festered inside of me? Certainly. I would be lieing if I said I did not.It is easy to sit and write the things you need to do to get past the festering inside. There are many support groups that are very good. They can help you through some of the issues that caused the problem. They can help you to find a way to rid yourself of things in your life that truly do not want to hold on to any longer.
Why do I write this today? Because writing is my way of dealing with issues of my heart. Today I went into a local store. As I approached the counter to pay for my drink, my eyes fixated on a tin can. A simple tin can that took me totally by surprise. As I read the outside, I saw it was for a local woman that had been diagnosed with cancer. Now please, don't think me heartless. On the contrary, my heart immediately went out to her family. No one knows better than I do the financial burdens that a or terminal illness can cause to a family. It can be so damaging to anyone. So here I am staring at this can and feeling the tears run down my face in the middle of the store. The clerk had no idea when he said to me, "Yea, it is sad, isn't it? What a terrible situation to be in." I just stood there, still staring.
Twenty some odd years ago, Sheila got sick. So sick she spent more than I want to count right now, nights and months in the hospital. If you have read my blogs, you know the story by now. So where does the festering come in? The can was for donations to try and help this woman's family handle the financial burdens that were already becoming a reality. They needed money to help them with prescriptions and other needs at home. I thought back to all that Sheila's illness brought to us. Never do I nor would I look back and be upset for what happened. Our life was a beautiful one and we learned more about the strength of true love and all it could endure.
In all of that love and all of that learning, there was still undeniably bills that seemed almost not possible. Sheila went through a 1 million dollar policy and then a 350,000 dollar policy. She finally reached a place where she was of course no longer insurable. I have my thoughts on that too but they are for another time. I know there are more people than I can count that have been here and done this. Hospitals calling to say they wanted their money. The 50,000, the 300,000, even the 500,000 thousand dollar they received weren't quite enough. They need that left over 2 or 3 thousand that was ours to pay. I can boldly say that only one hospital over all the years and all the hospitals we were in, and they are many... ever took a moment and cared and said "It appears the balance has been zeroed out. Good luck with your wife, and God Bless." That was the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. They were wonderful to us and I will forever be grateful to them.
Many times in our life, we struggled just to feed our daughters. We never allowed it to take us down though and I worked good paying jobs that helped us. But still we lost a lot of things trying to keep up with payments. We never gave up and managed to buy a beautiful home and live a very nice life in the country. It took perseverance and a "never say quit" mind set to do these things. Many times in our life we could have used a "can". Many times we looked for help but were unwilling to place a can on a counter. Yes, our life was beautiful and I will never Know a love such as ours again. But to say that we weren't beat down by the financial burdens would simply be a lie.
And I realized as I cried at that counter that "festering" inside of me was an hurt and sorrow because there were things I never gave to my love because hospitals and doctors needed to build a new wing or higher another vice-administrator. I think without the kindness of Mayo and a kind man, we might have never seen the things she and I shared with our daughters. Today, I live a simple life. My wife has since gone to heaven, March 8Th, 2006. Not so long ago, trust me. I wonder what a little thing like a "can" on a counter, collecting for us might have done for our lives.
I don't want this festering anymore. We lived a good life and I knew love beyond what any man deserves to know. And life goes on and we survive somehow. God, family, perseverance. Sheila's saying..."Quitting is never ever an option!"
I placed a 5 dollar bill in the "can" and said a silent prayer for the family.


Lisa Di Clemente said...

Man o man o man...can I relate to the things you write about. When my husband was sick, we were on the WIC program (which are coupons for free milk, juice and cheese)it was humiliating to go to the store and use these coupons. The cashiers were so rude, because the coupons only worked for certain brands of products, and if I picked up the wrong brand or size, they would sigh heavily, roll their eyes and make a huge deal out of it, holding up the line and embarrassing me terribly. A while back, when I had recovered financially, I was standing in line behind a woman with WIC coupons. The cashier was very patient and kind, she explained that she had picked up the wrong products, but she would send a helper to go pick out the right ones. The cashier's politeness touched me so deeply, I started to cry right there in the grocery store. When it was my turn to check out, I thanked the cashier with tears running down my face, I said "you don't know how humiliating that is, and you were very kind to that woman...most cashiers are not".

Darrel said...

Lisa, i have been there before and understand your words totally. Things like the way you were treated sit inside of us and until we see something beautiful, like you did, we never seem to let it go. I thank you for reading this and wondered how it would be received. Your words encourage me to keep writing from my heart. Darrel

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