Monthly Archives: February 2018

The Bell Tolls for Thee……..

It happened to me yesterday.  I wasn’t ready. I had no idea how ‘not ready,’ I was.  It doesn’t matter how innocent it is.  Or that someone had all the right intentions when it happened.  It doesn’t matter that it wasn’t even necessary for it to happen. It happened.

I went to the grocery store after the gym. When I do go grocery shopping,  which is becoming less and less in a world of two-midlife-empty-nesters-who-like-to-dine-out-and socialize, I usually go after the gym.

Even though the gap in shopping equalled the bare shelves in the refrigerator, the pantry and the freezer at home, I was not in the mood to re-stock. A few things would tide us over until the weekend when we were scheduled to have breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner with friends on at least four occasions.

And then she appeared.

I was doing the usual dance with the attached carts.  You know, where the first cart hugs the second cart so lovingly that you think they have just entered into a romantic relationship of young love so desperate to stay together that nothing you can do will separate them.

You start to act like Mrs. Capulet, who has found her daughter entwined in the arms of Romeo and you are yanking them apart with such gusto that you may fracture an important appendage, but you want them apart regardless of the cost.

I yanketh as hard as I can.

Or…cart separation…perhaps a new Olympic Event!

And anon, appears a young maiden who, with the eyes of a doe and the sympathetic voice of an angel, looking at me like I have struggled far too long in life to be suffering in such a way any longer, says: “Oh, do you need help?”

It wasn’t even what she said. Yes, you know the drill: It was the way she said it.

As a caregiver, I have said it a thousand times that way. “Oh you are struggling, let me help you. I am young, and strong, and can fix that up in a jiffy!”

She was helping an old lady.

I saw it in her eyes. I heard it in her voice.

I was stunned.

I wanted to scream: “Hey I’m wearing yoga pants, for God’s sake. I just got off the elliptical machine. I don’t even have gray hair yet!”

What I think I look like shopping.

No matter. I was receiving the “helping verb.” (Grammarians and Catholic School kids will love that.)

My response to this, after thanking her for showing me the trick to extricating what I like to think of as the male cart from the female cart…(yep, there’s trick!), was to shop like I was a young mom of 30.

I put a huge pack of toilet paper under my cart. I grabbed a slab of brisket that weighed the same as bag of bricks. I went to the new wine and beer section in our grocery store to ‘check the prices,’ like someone who buys liquor as a matter of course for all my fun evenings. I bought $300 worth of groceries for two people who are rarely home and go out every weekend.

The good news is, I don’t have to grocery shop for a month. I know how to separate those fornicating carts by myself, and I may be a bit less condescending when I help others. Ouch, that one really hurt.

“You Just have to Laugh…..”

©Cathy Sikorski 2018

It’s not nice to Fool Mother Nature……

Because my computer completely went bonkers today…I gotta’ go video…Here are my thoughts on Nature…not the lovely, isn’t it wonderful to be outside, but the real skinny on Nature….you know who you are…..

With Facebook Friends like this…Who Needs Enemies?

Two years ago, my Mom called me, practically in tears.

“Roberta was so mean to me,” she said.

I’m thinking, “who the hell is Roberta?”.

“She’s from my medical insurance carrier. I called to ask her why a bill wasn’t paid and she said I should never have been given this insurance and I’m going to have to pay back every penny from the last 15 years.”

“And,” she went on with a worried tone, “you told me to NEVER pay a medical bill. So I don’t know what to do.”

“Calm down, Mom. We will get this worked out. It will be okay.”

My first reaction was this:

I did tell my Mom never to pay a medical bill because her insurance covers everything.

My mom has Tricare For Life Medical Insurance. This insurance is for Veterans and their families, spouses, widows, children. My Dad died in a helicopter crash as an Army pilot on October 10, 1961. My mother had five children all under the age of 10 and was pregnant with her sixth child. So I kind of think my Mom is entitled to this insurance.

The thing is, Mom never claimed this insurance until my step-father passed away in 1998. She didn’t even ask for it. She already had Medicare and AARP. But when she applied for her widow’s the Veteran’s Administration made her jump through all kinds of hoops with documentation and then GAVE her this insurance.

My mom is a Virgo.

Why does that matter? She has kept every single piece of paper that has ever come into her life. So she has every piece of documentation that transpired fifteen years ago with the Veteran’s Administration. The VA put her on the wrong insurance.

So two years ago, they began threatening an 87-year-old widow, who raised her family of six children without a father, a man never even made it to 30 years old, that she would be thousands of dollars in debt to them because of their mistake.

After talking to seven different people at seven different government administrative places which most people never even heard of, we refiled all the documentation from 15 years ago.

I wrote much of this post two years ago.  And much of the problem has been resolved after mountains of paperwork and dozens of phone calls…one that occurred while I was drinking in Times Square. Hey, if they call, you answer, because they may never call back.

I said this two years ago, probably after the drinking incident in Times Square:

 I know from the last 25 years of caregiving and jumping through administrative hoops that this story will not have an easy ending. There’s going to be reams of paperwork. There will likely be boatloads of nastiness. There may be a lawsuit. But in my best, Scarlett O’Hara voice: “As God is my witness….my mother will never pay one dime to fix this problem.”

There’s one small problem that persists. The government agencies just can’t agree and  are trying to collect $687 from my sweet ol’ mom that they think they are owed from overpayments. I still have people in all these agencies working on it and I have not yet caved to paying money to make it go away, but still…..I am amused by the latest missive from one of the insurers trying to collect funds:

Fun things to do while fighting with Insurance
Like us On Facebook……Indeed.

Hmmmm…..I’m struggling with that friend request.

©Cathy Sikorski 2018