Friday, November 21, 2014

if i were a rich man

I remember my grandmother playing the soundtrack from Fiddler during my childhood on an honest to goodness turntable which was big stuff during the 60s. She knew every word to that song and all the others that were popular in shows of that era. Uncle Jim did community theater productions of several including Oklahoma, South Pacific and The Sound of Music. I never acted in one but loved watching the hustle and bustle of putting together a performance. This is the very same man who took me and Ky cuz to the falling down county jail to see the inmates so we wouldn't want to end up there. He was spontaneous like that and I loved it. Where my own daddy found joy in sports and bowling, Jimbo put all his spare time into more music and remodeling houses. The one on St John is where Deb came running down the stairs and didn't stop at the glass storm door. Lots of blood and stitches.

The Troys lived a few houses down and we could walk to elementary school from there. Down the street is a house on a shady corner that belonged to Mama's friend Doris's family while the Reaves bunch lived on Pate Street along with Mrs. Norman and her crew of boys. Luigi stuck a broom in mom's bicycle just to watch her fall. What a mean one! One of the richest businessmen in town lived on the corner. There was a poorer section to the east and the railroad runs under a bridge that now carries the rich ones to school and the suburbs in their parents' ridiculously expensive gas guzzling vehicles. Some things never change.

I'm on the other side of those tracks and have been for about 10 years. My husband told me when he left I could never afford it on my own and he was right about that. It is what it is, but I've had a helluva' lot of fun just living my life on this hill. Nobody can take that away from me. My friend Kenneth lost his mother recently and shared a state sponsored advance directive than be used as a simple tool for decision making when it comes to end of life care. He pointed out that nobody ever really THINKS they're gonna die because everybody keeps saying "Don't give up!!" Sometimes you're just tired of the fight and I appreciate the lesson that working in a hospital has given me on dying well and otherwise.

Doctors are so freakin' full of themselves like they're the only ones who want to "help people." Now it's all about managed care with big insurance and giant corporations teaming up to see what type of a plan they can work with this or that one on contract. We lost two in the last year and they were brought back full force by our outgoing administrator. He's cute as a bug with a great personality and will be missed. However, I'm looking forward to a majority female leadership team. Time for a change. My college classmate Gaye is an administrator in East Tennessee that just built a new facility. The trick to transitioning is to recognize the stages of care you can provide and live within the boundaries of realistic possibility. Long ago, a packed courtroom on the square in Dyer County met with their commissioners over the sale of our locally run facility. So we were sold in a competition between two large not for profit groups who wanted to nail down the Highway 51 corridor to Memphis metro. Not long after Baptist got whacked down and Methodist University stands kinda' sorta' proudly. You see their vision went from "We know what a miracle you are" to "transplant center. It sounds like a bad John Grisham novel.

So that's how I got from there to here, sitting in a cold house but not SOO cold today (50s) thank you sweet baby jeebus. I'm working on finances and just got a friendly reminder from everybody that I owe that they know today is payday and I'm afraid to even look at what I have left. Just one day of knowing that it's nothing that won't wait makes me feel better about life. After work I walked over to see my mama and she was halfway snoozing by the fan with her birthday balloons, flowers and cookies nearby. Her eyes popped open when she sensed my presence so I sat on the bed with her and chatted while her roommate smiled at us. Poor lady sets off the bed alarm every 30 minutes.

Healthcare is a human right and to be treated with dignity at the end of life is what J would do. Not whacking somebody's head off on camera or shooting a bunch of innocents in a sectarian battle that has always been thus and so. I refuse to believe in a God who wants that for us when it could all be as simple as putting down the weapons of war and approaching a common table. Extremists of any sort have way too much power with the sheeple.

TGIF and thank you Big Ernie for this day ^j^

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