There comes a point in many a life when a person just says “Fuck it.” I’ve seen this quite frequently working with the elderly in their golden years. Take actress Betty White for example who once was a sweet epitome of a blushing Grandma on the set of The Golden Girls. She now drops the F’bombs like a Mofo pro. Above is a video of William Shatner, once famous as the level headed captain of the Starship Enterprise now feeling perfectly comfortable telling everyone in the entire universe to go fuck off.
So why should I feel or behave any different today after feeling like a fire hydrant planted in the middle of a dog park this past week? There are natural stages of emotion that a person goes through when they are forced to face their mortality. Sadness, fear, joy, hope and anger; lots of anger. We seemed trained to point fingers and blame at others when there are so many questions without answers. You soon realize that there isn’t just one entity, person or fault to cast blame but it’s perfectly okay to dish out a few fuck offs as you try to summarize the meaning of your pitiful life.
No so much are these flaming words of poo directed towards any particular individual. You’re past that. Forgiveness has been offered and no matter if accepted or not, the individual situation is no longer a pressing issue and you’ve got way bigger fish to fry. You look towards bigger explanations and villains to cast blame upon. Like our entire health care system here in America.
Yes, Health Care. I'm going there and absolutely no – I do not think making our health into any sort of law is a good thing. Sure it may look good on the surface but consider the future ramifications it could bring. Imagine parents being arrested on child endangerment charges for letting their fair little girl go outside and play on a sunny afternoon. Imagine couples being arrested for exchanging bodily fluids without proof of insurance, license or state approval. Sure it sounds preposterous now but many of our laws in place today would seem just as preposterous to American’s 100 years ago.
See I have found out the hard way that we can’t just cook a dinner for a Doctor and have him come out for a house call. You can’t even make an appointment now without stating your insurance and a referral from your General Physician. Forcing me to pay for health insurance over rent is counter-productive. Living outside under the bridge in the elements exposes not only me but my entire family to potential health hazards. Cutting my grocery allowance in half to pay for an insurance plan will only put rice and .49 cents a pound chicken skin and ass flaps on my supper table. Why can’t everyone see from the left and the right side of the issue, that government in our health insurance is not a good thing?
They are right in one aspect, basic healthcare should be a right but where they twist things up is in all of the preceding laws that government has already in place to regulate health care. Flip back to the giant stack of papers in the 1990’s that relate to the HIPPA rules and regulations and The Health Care Act of 1973. There are plenty of laws that have been snuck into the books over the years that not only remove basic health care as a simple right, but limit our access to it. Don’t believe me? Call a dermatologist and try to make an appointment. Tell them you don’t have healthcare insurance but want to pay cash. Just like I have over the past three years trying to get in to see a local dermatologist for this deadly black, melanoma tarantula sitting on my left upper arm.
Funny, sitting before me is a Jury Summons for next month. I can be exempted by either being over 70, no longer a resident of the county, a convicted felon or not a US Citizen. Oh, there is also a physician form that can be filled out. (Providing that you have insurance and a physician to say that you’re fucking dying by the way!!) I wonder what they would do if I check of “Not a US Citizen” and declare my total denouncement of this fucked up system?
I wonder what my beloved grandfathers would say if I denounced the very system they fought, worked and died for? I wonder what they’d think if they saw that very system in place today and what it has become? To see that not only do people continue to die for it, many also die because of it.
There is that little bugger! Over this weekend I’ve searched through all of my photo albums through the past 8 years and there it was. The beauty mark from hell painted on my left upper arm. I’ve always been loaded down with freckles although many have faded over the years. Some new ones have appeared that seem normal and I never thought much about them, until now.
Now I’m worried about each and every one of my freckles, examining each with a scrutiny unlike ever before. Has it changed? Has it always been there? I feel more aware of every ache and pain that normally I would just brush off with a dose of aspirin chased down with my morning coffee. Why is it that I seem to wake up with pounding headaches and a back ache? Who in the world has charley horses in their abdomen? What is this bump on the back of my head? It amazes me how in just a few day’s that a person can become obsessively aware of self.
I mentioned in my previous post that this is the third time that I’ve had to face my terrific mortality. Eight and a half years ago I was 20 weeks pregnant and on Hwy 16 slowing down for an accident was just ahead. I looked in my rear view mirror and saw a speeding tour bus barreling down on me. It’s was amazing! There had to be 5 seconds at most before impact, but do you know how many years of thought can go through your mind in that short of time? I always thought the phrase of having your life flash before your eyes was cliché’. Au contraire! It is a real and precisely defined experience.
Take that “Holy Shit! I almost died!” stomach flip feeling you get after realizing you’ve leaned back too far in your chair. Magnify that rush a hundredfold until you find yourself in the midst of an extreme thought orgasm full of memories and future hopes. There is no time to form a prayer and give God an argument on why you don’t want to die right now. There is no time to finally tell a person that “Thank you” or “I’m sorry” that you’ve been putting off. No time for a “Goodbye, I love you” before the impending crash and possible doom.
That is, unless one has the mortality of an optimist. Then you just know that no matter what, everything is going to work out okay because God has His hand on it. You are given time for one short prayer and plea that covers every single thought or care. “Thy will be done.”
I survived that crash. Some say it was a miracle; some chalk it up to coincidental luck. I say it wasn’t in God’s will for me to die that day and it wasn’t my time.
That gives me hope to plow through this melanoma mountain that is ahead of me. If it’s my time then it’s my time, if not I can’t stop living just to wait on the unknown. We all should live each day as if we were dying for the day will come soon enough when it will be all we can do to just breathe.
I'm beginning this note on this rainy Saturday afternoon because I just know. I know what I'm up against and I'm afraid. It seems that often life brings us challenges at its own time, not ours. We're trained to believe that we can plan or make our own goals in life, choosing our paths, the time and manner which we will walk them. There are so many opportunities along our chosen paths that we shall come across. Along the way there are many hidden Easter eggs of surprises that encourage us to keep moving forward, blessing us with hope and strength to reach our goals.
There are also traps of quicksand and confusing forks to come across in our paths. Some manage to hold us down for a time, while others take us away from our sighted goal on a detour. I thank the Lord for placing Easter egg surprises even when we're on the wrong path or within a struggle. Many times it was in these places where I found a smile from a new compassionate friend or the welcome home wiggles of a poor lost puppy dumped off at our doorstep. These are the unexpected surprises in life that I've come to love and embrace.
At this time, my goals and path are still in tune but the mountain of Melanoma has been placed before me. It’s a giant mountain that blocks my view of my future and shadows me in sheer hopelessness. At this point in time there is no definite state of my health, but I just know. I know this ugly mole has been on me for 8 long years. I know it took my doctors almost 2 years to get me a referral to a dermatologist. I know the punch biopsy came back abnormal as I received a certified letter in the mail Thursday. I know my arm hurts and the only explanation for my underarm hurting is that the lymph nodes are affected. I know I've been suffering exhaustion for this past year. I know my left hand is crimped up as if it’s paralyzed for an hour after I awake each morning. No matter how I look at it, I just know that the mountain before me is insurmountable.
As I sit here waiting for Monday to talk to the dermatologist on what we'll do next I'm tortured. I told my husband last night that it felt like I was in grade school and challenged to an after school fight. Only I don't want to fight after school, I want to kick ass right now! The mountain before me may be insurmountable but this chick is determined to plow right through it and not waste any time getting to the joy that is before me on the other side.
What many of my friends and loved ones may not know is that I have faced death twice already. Someday, maybe in a later entry I will write about these times. This time is quite different than those and I'm determined to go ahead. I’m determined to live. The age old question pops up in my mind right now of "What would you do if told you only had a year to live?"
At age 43 I'm faced with making my third bucket list. If I had any advice to leave behind it would be that everyone live as if they had a bucket list. Make as many yearly bucket lists that you can. Screw New Year's Resolutions, you don't keep or stick to them damn things anyway. Instead, with each new day given when you wake up on the good side of the dirt; just breathe.
Start with that and realize you're alive! Be alive and don't miss a thing!