Whenever I put on hand lotion in front of my class of middle-schoolers, I am (unfortunately) reminded of The Sandlot and Wendy Peffercorn, but hopefully I do not make lotion look that obscene.
Thanksgiving eve, 2011, my dad went to the hospital for a liver transplant.
The two years leading up to that moment were full of new diets, lifestyle changes, meetings with nutritionists, counselors, doctors and surgeons. The year and (still to come) months afterwards were mostly the same, although things were obviously much more hopeful on this side of the surgery.
In the immediate aftermath of the transplant, there was a lot of wonderment and awe at how complex the human body is, and how much modern medicine has come in order to be able to fix all of those things that could and do go wrong. But also I came to realize how expensive good healthcare can be.
I still get chills thinking about what would’ve happened to our family if we didn’t have health insurance.
My dad stayed in the ICU for 5 days, and twice a day, had to take some form of anti-rejection medication that cost upwards of $20,000 a pop.
My dad didn’t drink, didn’t smoke, didn’t make a habit of eating unhealthily, and needed a liver transplant because of cirrosis and a tumor from contracting hep-B as a youth. In other words, through no fault of his own, he needed that transplant, or he would have died in a few years.
I think I worded that wrong, because although there may be responsibility accrued for past actions, i don’t know that anyone ‘deserves’ that ending.
Had my mom’s company not given her great health coverage, we would’ve had to watch him die, slowly, over the course of four or five years.
I don’t really know what my point is, except that sometimes, it seems like young people don’t think about health insurance, and to me, it’s an expense that is worth giving up other things for. I even have health insurance for Mowgli, because I’ll be damned if I watch him die because I can’t afford veterinary care.
I don’t know what else to say. Life is fragile? Life is beautiful? Life should be cherished? These are things we all already know, but maybe don’t yet understand viscerally. I don’t know if I do or do not yet, but death scares me, for a number of reasons, that maybe should be outlined in a different post. But death scares me, and I think the only way to combat that is to love the people that I love as much as I can for all of my life, for I have love in spades. Above all else, I believe in love.
Maybe there is no Heaven. Or maybe this is all pur gibberish – a product of the demented imagination of a lazy drunken hillbilly with a heart full of hate who has found a way to live out where the real winds blow – to sleep late, have fun, get wild, drink whisky, and drive fast on empty streets with nothing in mind except falling in love and not getting arrested… Res ipsa loquitur. Let the good times roll.
and for the past two and a half years, my life as been unprecedentedly woe-free, so I have very little angst to draw on. I would like my life to remain free of drama, but not of writing, so it’s back to practice I go, click-clacking away mulishly at my computer, at least once a day, even when I’ve got nothing to say.
Ellen Shakespeare taught us a really awesome exercise, entitled: 10 things I know to be true, and these are what i know to be true today (for Truths, as we all know, change with experience and hardness and gentleness, and therefore must be documented daily).
1. Mowgli now sleeps exclusively on my bed, and I arrange a little nest of his blanket around him before I retire for the night
2. this nest needs to be constantly rearranged, since he can be a fidgety sleeper
3. I enjoy writing long, frivolous emails full of whimsy to my friends
4. No matter how bad things get, or how little money I have, I have a truly wonderful support system.
5. I feel lost a lot.
6. I am alternately/simultaneously convinced that I am doing the right thing.
7. Mark Edwards asked me why I was afraid to admit that I wanted to be a writer, and I sat in his office and cried, because I have never wanted anything this badly, and because I have never been so afraid of failing.
8. I want people to think I am a good driver.
9. Online shopping is not healthy
10. I crave processed foods less often than I used to, but I still eat them because they’re easily accessible.
I like this exercise because sometimes it gets me to admit things I would only say out loud to Brian, and I also like this exercise because some of my truths still surprise me.
 saw this quote on the wordpress homepage as I hit the publish button:
“The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.” ANAÏS NIN
Which is awesome in light of my feeling lost, and what I learned from Claudia this semester about Henry Miller and Armistead Maupin and universal truths. I have a lot of books on my to-read list, but I keep writing them down in obscure notebooks and not remembering where I put them.