If Thats All There Is
To take a line from the great Peggy Lees songbook I think “ Is that all there is?” I asked myself that just six months earlier. I had been out of work for two years and there was no prospects. I thought at worst I would be out two months with all my education and experience. Due to an accident I had in 1990 my disabilities were getting worse. No longer am I able to walk any great distance without a cane and the pain in my lower back and hip was getting worse. Even sitting for any period of time is painful. I told myself it was stress and depression from not working. Two doctors told me it wasn't. I finally had to accept the fact that I have a disability. Both told me to check into Social Security Disability. They said it could take up to two years. Less than ninety days later I got my first check. Apparently they thought the same as the doctors. After my first check came September of last year I was elated. Then reality set in. I am very grateful for what I have and I do realize there are many people out there with much less. The problem comes from not working. I have worked all of my life since I was twelve years old. For over thirty years I had always worked at least a half a day and mostly all day on Saturday. Fifty hours was my norm. if it wasn't for writing an occasional blog I would go crazy. Was this what my life would be like the rest of my life. At fifty eight years old I should expect to have another twenty five or thirty years left. Is that all there is?
On fathers day this year I received a call from my nieces husband whom I had worked for from 1998 through 2006. he wanted to know if I would be interested in driving his father around and helping him out. I jumped at the chance. It would be like being employed again. The man is Ret. Colonel Gerald (Jerry) Sargent. His eyesight is less than fifty percent and his health is declining. Three or four times a week I go to the retirement village where he lives at and eat breakfast with him and read him the morning newspaper and talk to him about whatever he wants to talk about. He was a Congressional Aide to William Bray for nineteen years. He owned and edited an newspaper in Indianapolis and was even a television personality for a local station. He had a very active life and now he has to depend on others. I feel very fortunate to be helping him. In helping him I am also helping myself giving my life some self-worth. Everyone has a burden of some sort and we all feel overwhelmed with our own situations at times. I know as my step-father said to me if he thought I was being needy or feeling sorry for myself, “ I envied the guy with new shoes until I saw the man with no feet.”. There will always be someone worse off than you, someone will always have worse pain or be homeless. There also will always be something you can do to help another. I watch men and women in the retirement center with their walkers and canes and disabilities and I have heard them say “ Is that all there is?”. Then I see others as they see their life coming to an end and maybe even see the bright light at the end of a tunnel they push on enjoying what is left. I know that now I have a different perspective on life. Is that all there is? Then good let's run with it.