Saturday, January 15, 2022

Well, that was disturbing

My friend Kathy got the keys to her new apartment on December 15. She didn't have to be out of her old place until December 31. The two apartments are in the same small town. For reasons too convoluted to follow, she no longer had the internet at her old apartment and didn't seem clear about how to get it in her new place. She has to go to the local public library to use their wifi. But she managed to email her new address to me. Kathy asked me to share it with our mutual friend, John. Kathy has always been a little in love with John. As much as she enjoys hearing from me, she'd want to hear from him twice as much. I forwarded her new address to him.

When I was in Key West, I sent a postcard to her new apartment. I wrote: Happy Holidays from Florida! Happy new year in your new apartment. John sent a holiday card to the new place, as well.

I just got an email from her, sharing her new address. Again. Asking me to forward it to John. Again.

I responded that I would, and then asked if she received my postcard from Florida. She said she couldn't recall.

She went on to tell me that she's feeling overwhelmed but hopes to be settled in her new place "by spring." Why will it take a retired woman with no other demands on her time three months to unpack a 1BR apartment? 

She's now 73. 74 next month. She is often unhappy, usually confused. I don't want to say she has Alzheimer's or dementia, because I don't know that. She refuses to see a doctor. I worry about her living alone. (Though she does have adult grandchildren nearby.)

I don't want this to be happening.

Return to Beforetimes

My most delicious coconut & rum cocktail
When I worked downtown, I used to love Madison Tavern. It's right there in the train station. It's all solid wood and exposed brick. It used to get crowded with commuters, but it never got so noisy that my friends and I couldn't hear each other. (I hate getting home and finding myself hoarse after hours of yelling over the din.) The appetizers are terrific and the bartenders are generous when they pour.

Then the pandemic shut everything down. With so many people working from home, and so few of us commuting, Madison Tavern suspended operations. 

Well, now they're back! Actually, I believe the reopened before Labor Day, but with one thing or another, I finally made my way back to Madison Tavern. I met Elaine there for dinner. We toasted her last day of work (possibly ever!). I ate and drank too much -- spinach-and-artichoke dip and calamari as appetizers, a burger for dinner, and a rum-and-coconut concoction with coconut shavings on the rim.

Elaine was nice enough to bring chewy treats for my cats. She's such a thoughtful person. I'm so glad I met her through movie group.


That five character text made me so happy. Patrick tells me that Reg and Henry now have health insurance. Finally. Now I can breathe.

According to a Harvard study, more than half of the households that file for bankruptcy do so because of medical bills. With Henry's TBI, his condition is always evolving, and I've been so worried that something sudden will happen that will land him back in the hospital. And let's not forget, they live in Florida during a pandemic. I just checked the stats: 59,000 new cases were reported yesterday in The Sunshine State, where masks are deemed unimportant.

With no insurance, an illness or hospitalization would be cataclysmic for their finances. And their futures. They aren't young men anymore. Henry just turned 59. Reg will be 62 next month. They simply don't have time to recover after a bankruptcy.