The “tight” Rope

The Circus…

I feel like I have been on a tight rope lately. Balancing.

We all are, to some extent. We balance on that narrow thin rope trying not to slip and fall. You can’t jump off because there’s no net. You are scared to slide your feet along the tight rope and move towards safety, because you might fall and you know…there is no net. So, that prevents both quick action and careful action, doesn’t it? Mostly you just stand there. Balancing.

You stand there lightly, as lightly as you can and balance. Sweat pours off your forehead into your eyes, and you want to raise your arms up to wipe it off, but you can’t because if you let go of the pole you might lose your balance.

Eventually, we all do though.

We all make a mistake. There’s no way you can last up there forever. And then we fall. We all fall…and fail. Failure is what it’s all about.

It’s not as far as we thought, and it doesn’t kill us. At least not this time. But, it hurts a lot because there are no nets. And, the next time we go up, we will have to go higher. You can never go back to same level, you see. They always want you to go higher.

The only difference between any of us is how long it takes to heal, or to get our courage back. Some are more resilient than others. How long will it be before we are up on the narrow thin rope again? The ironic thing is, that it’s not our choice but the needs and wants of others, the spectators, that puts us up there. And, it’s our choices and our wants and needs as spectators instead of participants that put others up there. The higher you go, the more that is asked of you the next time you climb up.

I am going to be down off of the rope before long.

I have been balancing for a long, long time and I am not sure how much longer I can stay up. I know there are no nets, and it’s going to hurt if I fall, but it’s not going to kill me. I am still too strong for that. I may make it to safety! I have been inching my way along, letting the sweat fall off and drop to the ground, and I have been ignoring the jeers and catcalls and even the cheers, and if I make it to the ladder I am coming down.

I have decided I am not going to let anyone else put me back up on the rope again, ever. I am not going back up on my on simply to go higher either. I don’t like the way it feels and after all it IS MY CHOICE whether I go or not. Even with all the pressure, it’s still my choice and no one else’s. I think I will just stay down this time and become a clown. I have been practicing juggling “things” in between falls and I found I kind of like it. The Lion taming ain’t too bad either. They are mostly just roar and no bite. With a strong enough chair, you got it made.

I just hate the high wire. I also am not going to cause anyone else to have to walk the tight rope if I can help it. Heaven help me to help it. Nobody deserves to die from it.

Our Medical System

I can tell you one thing without a doubt, my quadruple bypass surgery which I had in 2010 cost a lot of money.

I can take the most money which I ever made in one year,and double it….and it still wouldn’t be HALF of what that surgery and the subsequent recovery cost, and is still costing me in terms of medication,etc. If I hadn’t been working, and had good group insurance, I have no doubt I would have died. I just simply don’t believe my care would have been as detailed and comprehensive. Maybe I’m wrong…I don’t know. Experience over the years tells me I’m at least partially correct.

But even the group insurance at work was pretty expensive. A lot of people who worked where I worked complained about the high cost of the group insurance, but when you have bypass surgery…well….

The weekly cost of the group insurance was five times the cost of what I pay per month for my iPhone.

I find it hard to believe that people who do not have insurance get the same treatment and care as people who have good and decent insurance. I sometimes wonder if people who have had heart attacks in the past, but didn’t have insurance have been sent home from the ER with antacids and told they had bad heartburn. Am I being too skeptical here? Am I being too much of a cynic?

I know that hospitals and doctors are sworn to give care, no matter what a person’s insurance status, but do you think that sometimes in the past that ideas and philosophies have filtered down from the top at “for profit” hospitals which have perhaps caused people to be sent home who should not have been sent home? Do you think there have been some deaths because of that? I hope not.

I hope that in the future, when our county’s policies on Healthcare change again…and make no mistake about it, they are going to change…I hope that in that future, with whatever we are going to get to replace what we already have, I hope that no decisions are ever made to not give people who don’t have insurance the same treatment as people who are able to afford good insurance. I hope that poor people will be able to afford some kind of insurance, so that theory doesn’t have to be tested out. I’m not sure if they will or not.

What we have had was far, far from being a perfect system, but I think it was something to build on, if there had been any consensus to actually fix the things which were wrong with it, and build on the framework which it had put in place. I find it so hard to believe that the greatest country in the world cannot come together to find a system which would take care of all it’s citizens when they need medical help. I fear that what we as Seniors are going to lose much of what we have. I hear and read about the “Medicare advantage” plans going away…and they are very helpful plans. I hear and read of Medicare being changed to some type of “voucher” system and I am concerned. I hear about the costs of prescriptions skyrocketing beyond the means of many Seniors to purchase them, and I am concerned.

I fear of one day laying on a hospital bed, with some more stopped up arteries and have some Doctors discussing behind closed doors whether it’s worth wasting the money to try and salvage my old ass again. I tell you what, if that ever happens, I will gladly…gladly…give up my iPhone, especially if I’m still at the point where I feel like I would be useful to my loved ones if I were salvaged again,….

… and especially if I had the will to go forward with vigor, and not just go on and rest forever.


Two Deaths

Two people that I know died this week. I know it’s not unusual for people to die, but I knew these two people.

One of them was a guy in his late seventies. I don’t know what killed him, but I hope it was painful. I hope he suffered. Why? Because he was a pervert who preyed on and sexually exploited and abused young boys. Boys as young as 10 years old. How do I know? I was one of those little boys. I was one one of those kids in the neighborhood, along with several others, who got lured into his house with the promise he had “something to show us”. Girlie magazines….and then worse. Things started slowly and we were eventually pulled down into a lurid rabbit of doing filthy things. I was able to break free after two years because we moved across town, But, oh God the shame which remained. Oh my Lord the repercussions of those experiences which have remained with me throughout the rest of my life. The mortification of which I have never spoken of with anyone until recently with my wife. And now. How do I forgive, and hope he found redemption? Fact is, I cannot yet do so.

How did the justice of the Universe let him live til almost 80, yet take a beautiful young woman, a mother and wife, before her fiftieth birthday?

This was the second death to which I refer. A petite and energetic woman who was always smiling, always friendly. A lover of horses and other animals who had already suffered an unimaginable tragedy of her very own with the early death of her first husband to cancer. A mother who’s young daughter has not yet graduated from high school. An unexpected death. A sneaky taking by death. An unfair roll of the dice which the Universe is constantly throwing. Oh God, I pray for comfort for this family.

In the same week, a tragedy of the utmost grief and a death too late in the coming which provides a test for my soul’s ability to find any room in my heart for forgiveness and the seeking of my own atonement. Is life fair? God alone knows.