Monday, March 09, 2009

Bringing Things Up-To-Date...

One of the worst things about getting behind on posting in your blogs is trying to make some sense of all the information that you know you should catch up on so that you can bring people up-to-date. My best advice to you is this: don't get behind in the first place. That's the very reason my father used to call me "Ben" for my nickname. "Why Ben?" you ask. Simple. For: "Ben" putting it off! At the time, I had always been quite a procrastinator, and I have pretty much conquered that problem. Or, at least I thought I had. I really need to work on that.

On 12 February 2009, Dion took me to attend a Worker's Compensation Hearing regarding the injury to my left shoulder that happened on 12 December 2007. I have been fighting for over a year to get treatment and coverage for it, and because it relates to an injury that occurred in 1992 that I was awarded life-time coverage for, it made it more complicated than usual. To make a long story short, they were uncharacteristically nice to me at court and everything will be covered through New York State Special Funds (a division of Worker's Comp.) instead of my Worker's Compensation Insurance Company, which is good for me, but I don't think it is fair for New York State! It's just another one of those deals where the state gets the shaft while the insurance company gets the big bucks and they don't even have to pay out much because of some #25a provision where, even though they were court-ordered to pay me "forever" for the problem that I have, they can now opt-out. It's just not fair! I'm sure tax-payers pay the tab for this one, too!

Don't get me wrong here: I'm very thankful for the blessing that I have received here, but it's really no more than what I had already been previously awarded and what was already due me. I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop. Usually when they act as if they are bearing gifts with one hand, they are busy stabbing me in the back with their other hand. I'm praying that I'm wrong this time, and if so, I will gladly post a public apology and will also be very pleasantly surprised. Only time will tell.

On 15 February 2009, my twin sister Sande's mother-in-law passed away. Her name was Helen L. Smith, and she was 91 years old. Helen was very special to our entire family for many reasons. She was a very special lady, and because of that, we made her part of our own family, which is something we resist doing, unless we are quite sure that you'll fit in quite nicely with all of us. Once she moved back to New York State from her lengthy stay in Florida, she and my mom renewed their close friendship and became best friends again, frequently staying over night with her and staying up to watch movies until all hours of the night. They called each other every day, just like typical girlfriends do. I think she was particularly close to me because I am Sande's twin, and it was like getting two daughters-in-law for the price of one. This is what I wrote to be read at her memorial service (it will explain more plainly what I mean):

"Throughout the years, Helen has always treated me as though I were her second daughter-in-law. I guess it was an unusual situation, because I am Sande Smith’s twin sister. What is more, before I got married to my husband, Dion, in 2001, I used to spend quite a bit of my time with Allan, Sande, Ashleigh, Miles, Amity and Helen.

Not only were Helen and I family, but we were friends as well. I used to work for her years ago at the Happy Landing Restaurant, and I have gone on trips with her. One trip in particular was to Annapolis, MD; New York City; and thereabouts, just the two of us for two weeks—and we had a blast! I remember that was the first time that I had ever ridden in a single-engine plane. A friend of hers owned one, and she asked him to take us for a ride. We were both bug-eyed because he gave us quite a bumpy, daredevil type of ride, but we loved it.

She was so adventurous, full of mischief and young at heart. I remember sharing a room with her on another trip where I short-sheeted her bed. To do that, you have to take the non-fitted sheet and fold it in half instead of having it tucked into the foot of the bed like it’s supposed to be, so when the person slides into bed, they are stopped short, and they wonder what’s going on. Well, she kept looking at the bed, trying to figure it out, then she looked at me and exclaimed, “You dog!” That was one of her favorite sayings and we all loved coaxing her into situations where she’d have to say it again.

When I moved to Texas and Virginia and she to Florida, we kept in touch by faithfully writing to each other. Her letters were always newsy and interesting and inevitably contained coupons or a clipping about something that would be of particular interest to you. She was thoughtful that way.

One thing you could say about Helen was that she was definitely “unique.” And she was loyal. If she loved you, she would back you up, no matter what.

Furthermore, it was important to Helen that she stayed physically fit. She used to take a walk after each meal, and maintained this ritual faithfully until around age 89 when it became apparent that her dementia may be a problem.

When she fell and needed to be hospitalized, her dementia worsened, but she remained good-natured and sweet. In fact, she thought that she worked as a supervisor at Huntington’s and the girls there just loved her. They said that she was a delight to have around.

I thank the Lord for sending her into my life—she enriched it, and I loved her very much.

In the future, when I think of Helen, I know I will smile…,but I will also miss her terribly."

Until next time...stay safe, stay well, and God bless you all.


Please visit my other blogs:
Cynde's Got the Write Stuff ~and~ Usurper Exposed. Thank you!

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