Tax time and I’ve been purging the filing cabinet. I’ve never been good at doing that chore which became obvious when I discovered how many years worth of stuff had accumulated. The stack of statements from Medicare, Blue Cross, doctors, therapists and hospitals was painful to go through. Poor Don, he’d been through so much since his stroke! A thousand shred it/keep decisions later I was emotionally spent and ashamed of my self for feeling so worn out from shredding all day when Don never complained about anything the medical community put him through. “Bring it on!” he would have said if he could have talked. “If it doesn’t make me better, at least it will get me out of the house. Some where to go, ink pens to steal out of pockets and off desks.” Every where he went for the past eleven plus years, he’d flash his baby blues, play his I’m-a-guy-in-wheelchair-who-can’t-talk sympathy card and usually people would let Don keep their ink pens. I’m thinking of bundling them up by the dozen and giving them out like door prizes to anyone who comes to visit. I should run out in the year 2025.
The widowhood crazy train is slowing down. I have my own Blue Cross card now---I’m no longer a dependent off Don’s account. Social Security and the pension administration finally got all their “I’s” dotted and their “T’s” crossed. The life insurance check is supposedly in the mail and I’m finally able to access my prescriptions again. Who knew my blood pressure pills would get locked up in the red tape of widowhood! I didn’t. Shortly after Don’s passing---but not soon enough---I started a log of all the death related phone calls I had to make. I’m at forty-five entries in the log at one month, ten days into widowhood. And I’m not done yet.
Another widow was telling about a phone call she got after her husband died where a guy claimed her husband had pledged a hundred dollars to some obscure charity and he wanted the check. She knew it was a scam but that got me to thinking about what I would do if I got a call like that. I’d decided I’d get great pleasure out of saying: “Why, yes, I remember Don telling me about that and his exact words were: ‘If that guy calls back tell him to go fuck himself.’” Life without my husband has me living most of my life inside my head. ©