Oh We Ain’t Got a Barrel of Money…

…but we do have abundance.

Let me explain.  The money has run out, at least for now.  Short term disability ended (no more checks) and I have to submit new paperwork, with MORE doctor’s notes to claim long term disability.  I’ve had the forms filled out for almost 3 weeks–but I can’t get to the doctor until the 21st of this month, so the earliest those forms will be submitted is the 22nd.  And then they have to do their rubber stamping thing, so it will probably be another 4-6 weeks before I see a check.

And all the bills still need to be paid.  I’ve gotten real good at shuffling them around, keeping them all more or less up to date–and not getting utilities turned off–but that does require some green stuff.  And we’re fresh out.  We had been very creative–and chunks of change had shown up at the right time–but you can’t shuffle nothing.  On the other hand, I really enjoyed my retirement.  It lasted about a month.  (I cashed in my 401k and we used the money to live on.)

Beloved’s parents have been very helpful–as long as we sit through the obligatory sales pitch for the time lease.  Or in this case, the drama of “but we’re going to retire in 2 years, I don’t know that we can afford to help…we don’t have that kind of money”.  It’s a pro forma thing from one parent who needs to be in control and uses this as a way to remind the son that he is still just the son, still a child and that the adults know best.  While I appreciate any help they can give, it’s almost not worth it and if our need was not so great, I’d tell them to go pound sand.

We’re not talking about 2 years from now.  We’re talking about now, and 2 WEEKS from now.  Once our monies get settled, we will be able to repay them out of big chunky back pay checks.  They are not going to earn THAT much money in a retirement fund from now until they retire and since the fund is dependent upon stock prices, our repayment is more assured than possible gains (or losses) as the market fluctuates.  Sigh.  But the (pro forma) protest is an emotional thing, not a logical one and does not respond at all to logic or reason.  Which makes the Beloved furious and gives him a headache, even though he knows he’s going to hear it.

On the other hand…we have set aside pride (because you can neither eat it nor pay bills with it) and have asked our friends and church family for help.  And the outpouring of abundance is humbling.  We will not starve, as the larders are full and we have assured offers of fresh produce each week.  And even more amazing, complete strangers are handing us money.  Our friends are also being generous–beyond words, beyond words.  But people we don’t even know, who hear us ask for whatever help can be offered–and not just money, but ideas about where to find money, what social services we might be eligible for and how to get them–are inspired to generosity and we benefit.  We are going to make rent this month.  We have money for the more pressing of the bills and I am certain that we will continue to receive what we need, all in its own good time.

As a side note: Beloved has discovered that there is a difference between pride and honor and you can set aside the one and still have the other.  And he is a most honorable man.

I have begun to see a therapist, with a first diagnosis of depression (wonder why) and will talk with him regularly for a while–either as long as we need, or until the insurance stops paying for it.  My therapist is married to Beloved’s therapist, so I can imagine the consultation meetings…in bed.  LOL.  And they are being very kind about scheduling our appointments at the same time, so it’s just one trip down into Culpeper instead of two.  Saves on the gas.

Our SSDI application has been submitted to the Social Security Administration and now we begin the process of waiting for their response.  Please, please hold good thoughts and positive energy that we somehow both manage to get approved as quickly as possible–there are four approve/disapprove points, with months between each step (of course) and we’ve been told that Beloved’s may go through first (before mine), as “early” as December.  Then mine may take another 2 years, depending on how many times they say no.  SIGH.

We have the paperwork for SNAP (the cute new name for food stamps) filled out and will walk it into the office, once I get an appointment with Social Services.  Hopefully I can get one for next week, or the week after at the latest.  We’ve also been told that it would be a good idea to ride up into DC and go to Veterans Affairs to see if I qualify for a housing voucher as a female veteran in danger of becoming homeless.  We’re going to check with the apartment complex’s manager to see if they are willing to accept that as payment–if not, there’s not point in going on the metro.  And once we are on SSDI, I will definitely check with the VA to see what, if any, benefits I may be eligible for–and give them to me, for gods’ sake!

I continue to do better and am able to do more.  Sunday we went to church, then hung out with our friends for a little while before going over to his parents for dinner.  So that was a long, active day.  Yesterday, I cleaned house.  Well, more or less.  Picked things up, got the trash gathered and out, cleaned the bathroom and the kitchen.  We had company come over–and they brought dinner, which was very nice–so that was another long, active day.  Today we’re off to town to see the back cracker and run errands, so this will be another LONG, ACTIVE day.  But I don’t feel dreadful or wore out, and the pain levels are about the same as they usually are–so the activity is not making me hurt more.  But I am looking forward to tomorrow being a “nothing to do but vege” day.  Thursday we are having lunch with friends, so that’s something to look forward to.

I still tire somewhat easily–working yesterday was a case of do a little, sit a little, do a little more.  And when I crash, it’s a slower–and more manageable thing, but I still crash.  I still nap frequently, but maybe (just maybe) that’s the body finally healing rather than an enduring need for a greater quantity of sleep.  The weather can still give me fits and I suspect it will always be that way–and since the weather changes around here about as fast as you have read this sentence, it will be a problem until I move somewhere with a more…settled pattern of weather behavior.  Not sure where that would be–probably some place that has two seasons: wet and dry.  In the meantime, it just means an extra Vicodin and a nap.

This continues to be a learning experience for both of us.  I have had financial issues before, but the health issues are–not exactly new, but so exacerbated that they cannot be ignored.  Looking back, I realize that I had actually been getting worse over the past 4-5 years–slowly but surely.  So I am more than grateful that I do have my Beloved to watch over me and be with me–I tell you frankly that if I had to go through this on my own, I’d have chosen the final solution.  We need each other so being together has also been a blessing of abundance more than we could have imagined.

And as long as we have each other, everything else is details.



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