Anniversaries mark time. Yesterday, Wednesday was plentiful.
36 years ago, on July 20th, 1969, I sat mesmerized in front of a TV with my parents and remember vividly the words crackling through space in the late afternoon, "The Eagle Has Landed!"
Through our own yells we could hear cheers from neighbors. People erupted outside to be together in pride and just talk. Darkness could not come soon enough. People wanted to SEE the moon with their eyes. It was summer in Maryland it would be hours till sunset and the WALK! … (In retrospect, how convenient of NASA to wait until the moon was out! <grin> Of course that was a fluke of our specific geography.)
20 years ago, on July 20th, 1985, Patti and I were married. (Which also means I had to update “about me” in this journal <grin>) Patti’s “probable MS” diagnosis preceded marriage by a year. Until I checked the date on license I didn’t realize the benchmark. MS and living with MS has a way of dominating everything.
It was an eclectic outdoor ceremony and reception. More picnic than formal, it was fun. “Probable MS” symptoms had disappeared and we were young and immortal. Patti had defeated the disease, we were sure. Life was going to be magnificent!
Patti had curiously insisted on modifying wedding vows to specifically leave out “to have and to hold, in sickness and in health, until death do us part”. I felt the 'probable MS' thing had just caused her to think too much about the dark side. … 20 years later you can see how much I pay attention.
1 year ago, Patti’s Long Term Disability medical insurance policy was “interrupted” as her former employer was centralizing all LTD policies into one national office. This day of infamy began a snowball of medical insurance and medical billing debacles that currently fill three 3” binders (yes, 9” of processed paperwork) and I am looking at 4” of folders still active. Patti’s MS symptoms prevent her from participating at all in this mess. I long ago gave up calculating how many hours I have spent. It remains close to a second full time job a week.
If I did not stay with them step by step and appeal everything in writing within the brief windows of time allowed then tens and tens of thousands of dollars possibly even hundreds of thousands of dollars could go into collection. When in reality Patti owes nothing.
Either they are collectively insane or there is a collective malevolence. It is no surprise to me that the majority of bankruptcies filed in the US claiming medical bills are from people who “have” or “had” medical insurance. <grin>
YESTERDAY – So what did we do to celebrate?
Megan and I picked Patti up for an afternoon matinee of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”. Movies remain one of Patti’s favorite activities as she can SEE 30 foot images. She totally enjoyed the film.
Afterwards we came home for Applebee’s carryout and some simple quiet time enjoying a summer evening on the patio chatting and reminiscing about so many other July 20th summer evenings!
No problems, no hassles – it doesn’t get better than that.
Patti couldn’t stay awake long enough for the moon to come out before she wanted to go to bed.
Glancing up at the bright summer moon later in the night my mind raced through the 36 years since I heard "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind."