Random Thoughts on a Holiday Weekend

Yesterday I spent well over an hour online trying to initiate a Medicaid application for my elderly aunt. I had no success. I learned one thing. After completing the first part of what I thought was the correct process, I found out it was not. Buried four clicks in, and after filling out two preliminary forms, and after receiving several error messages and a rejection notice, they finally explained how to initiate an application for someone over 65. After all that, I learned that you are supposed to call the helpline or visit a Medicaid office! It seems that little tidbit could have appeared on the very first screen. A pretty major piece of guidance, if you ask me. Who designs these things? I will call the helpline after the holiday and find out how to proceed. Let’s see how convoluted, complicated and frustrating this process will be. I have such high hopes.

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It may seem odd to be writing about the passing of Ed Asner, but I need to say something. He reminds me of my dad, in the best way possible. He always has. When I watched the Mary Tyler Moore show back in the 70s, and I loved that show for many reasons, I noted the likeness. Some of it was physical. My Dad was built similarly, that burly, Eastern European thing. They both were also balding with a heavy beard. My Dad could probably have shaved twice a day. I suspect Mr. Asner could do the same. But more than that, it was the sense of decency Mr. Asner radiated. The gruff exterior belied a tenderness. Maybe I read too much into Lou Grant and other characters he played, but that is what I sensed.  And that was at the heart of my dad. These last few days, as tributes came through my Facebook feed, each time I felt a pang of loss. Dad was not granted the length of years Mr. Asner was, he is gone more than 16 years, but I still feel it acutely. I mourn Ed Asner’s passing, too.

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I have spent much of the last week under the weather. I don’t want to assign blame, Daniel, but I caught a cold. Of course, since we are in the midst of a pandemic, I was concerned that maybe it was actually Covid. The delta variant has been spreading locally. I tried to make an appointment for a test and found it difficult to get one. All the area pharmacies were booked. I could get a slot the next afternoon, but I’d have to drive half an hour. I took it. In the meanwhile, I asked my husband to try to pick up an at-home test on his way home from work. He called around and found one at a CVS in Schenectady – not that far away. He brought it home. I read the directions carefully, followed them, waited the 15 minutes and found out I was negative. These tests are imperfect, but my son and granddaughter also tested negative, so I took a measure of comfort in that. The cold though wasn’t deterred by that information, it has gone through its various stages relentlessly. Sore throat, headache, sinus pressure, my nose running like a faucet (throw in a couple of bloody noses), then the cough. The cough is the worst part for me and takes the longest to resolve. I know I shouldn’t complain. So many others have it worse. But whenever I am under the weather, I get mad at myself. I take it as a personal failing. So, in addition to feeling poorly, I am angry at myself. I have been down this road many times and I still do it. I am disappointed in my lack of productivity while I am ill. I shouldn’t have gotten sick in the first place! I will not cough!!! The refrains in my head are singularly unhelpful. Maybe now that I have written it down, it will stop. Or it will stop when the symptoms pass…any day now.

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Two more covid -related complaints. We are once again trying to plan the celebration of Leah and Ben’s marriage. We are now three and a half months out. Once again, we are plagued by uncertainty. I am angry. It didn’t have to go this way. My other gripe is of the ‘first world’ variety. Most people are faced with lost opportunities due to the pandemic. College kids deprived of the full experience. Youngsters wearing masks as they start school. Cancelled proms. Job loss or forced career changes. Folks with other health problems having to navigate getting care. Seniors enduring damaging isolation. So much fall out. My issue isn’t serious, but I find myself resentful anyway. I am missing prime-time travel opportunities. Gary and I are in our early sixties. Thankfully still healthy. This would be a time for broader exploration. We are lucky enough to be financially able to do it too. I love travel – minus the hassle of air travel itself, that part sucked even before the pandemic. But that aside, who knows what the future will bring? There are so many places I want to go. Okay, I’m done whining. I know it pales in comparison to the price others have paid, including loss of life. But since I am venting, I thought I would put that out there, too. I invite you to vent, as well. It can be therapeutic – as long as it isn’t directed at an innocent bystander. A journal, online or on paper, may be best. Feel free to use the comment section below.

2 thoughts on “Random Thoughts on a Holiday Weekend

  1. It is always tempting to find someone to assign blame to when one is angry/upset/frustrated and who am I to resist such temptation. The people who turned the response to this pandemic into a political football are making me increasingly angry. It is hard enough to deal with such a difficult, dangerous and constantly mutating virus without having people making decisions that are about politics and antithetical to what science tells us. It starts with the character flaw that inhabited the White House for 4 years. To make the decision that it is better to pursue policies that kill people in order to improve his reelection chances is an unforgivable sin. And all of those who were either too lacking any morality or too cowardly to call him out and tell people the truth are no better.
    The ordinary individual who is misinformed and does not realize it-I have much more sympathy for. But those in the media and on social media who are knowingly providing that misinformation also deserve a special place in hell.
    For those brave individuals trying their very best to come up with strategies to combat this scourge in the midst of all of these obstacles and all of the threats they are receiving, I offer my greatest respect and admiration. Thanks especially to Dr Fauci who does not need this at his age.
    Ok, I feel better.

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  2. I agree with your words about Ed Asner. He had a long and varied career playing very different characters, but feel the same, he will always be gruff Lou Grant with the heart of gold.
    This time of year (for me) is continued, daily reflection of 9/11 and how it impacted us then and now as a country. Learning yesterday on a news show that only 14 of 50 states have included this important historical event in their school curriculums floored and saddened me. I plan to be in Peabody, my hometown this weekend, and will visit the three memorials honoring the residents who were killed.

    I feel great resentment that the country is not in a better place regarding getting vaccinated. Ira and I went to a family College Graduation party yesterday. We knew in advance that there were probably going to be unvaxxed people there. It was outside, tables were spaced, and Ira and I were the only masked guests there. I may wait a few days and test. It’s what I do after we leave our comfort zone. Not sure why it’s so much easier to test here than it is other places.

    We are very much looking forward to celebrating with all of you in December!

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