Monday, July 2, 2012

What You Need to Say



I sat in the appeal last Thursday about the job. It was clear I was sitting with a politician who knowing the session was being tape recorded answered things like “I cannot recall” if something had ever happened once in her entire career. In the end, we’ll see how it draws out but the main thing I argued was why they hadn’t let someone know who they knew had health issues have access to life insurance and cobra benefits till almost a month after they let him go. There was an attempt to interrupt me and the rest of it was civil but at that point I said with an incredible emphasis “Look I have a 5 year old and I was found on the side of the road a few months ago and I have 4 days in the last 18 months of incredibly significant events I don’t remember so I don’t care how much it bothers you but I need to walk out of here with life insurance because if I collapse today, I want to make sure I can leave something with  her and in a few days, this time sensitive thing expires and I have no life insurance eligibility for the rest of my life.” To their credit, they sat me down with the head of the human resources department after the meeting and that’s where I cared more. There is an old joke that human resources was neither but she was exceptional at both. We filled out the application, faxed it to the insurance company and I asked point blank if I die today, my daughter’s going to receive this right. She stated that she would make sure it happened and I might have started crying a lot in front of a room full of women. Somehow, in those overwhelmed emotional moments, I told them about the frustration with their insurance. How a Duke doctor that does interviews on CNN, had done surgeries on Ted Kennedy was not covered the same as if I’d gone to someone no one had ever heard of… The head of human resources said she would look into it for brain cancer specifically and said that they had a similar problem to things like heart and kidney problems. She said you couldn’t promise anything retroactively but was glad to get the information. Somehow that was comforting.

The Supreme Court upheld the decision that pre-existing conditions don’t apply after January 2014 so if I can make it till then maybe I can have health insurance again. I offered something that if they would let me resign upon the expiration of my vacation and sick hours we could have a cleaner break up but there response seemed less than promising. But if that were true, then I’d have health coverage for a little while longer, maybe make that return trip to Duke. With one exception, the tears from the last 18 months have all been the same, trying to protect my daughter from any of this going bad or gratefulness for help. Some of those have left me as dehydrated as some of the races. But in one of those moments of impulsivity, I sent an email asking someone to come with me to Duke while listening to that waiting on an angel song because if I get to return well I don’t want to go alone… That may be na├»ve and I need to realize that when you have something that comes to 3 in a million people who a national network when you asked had no one else to connect with that sometimes you have to be alone even in very crowded rooms.

Perhaps showing some huge chinks in this armor, the last week Kiana was with her mother for an extended visit and for the first time in 8 or 9 months I wasn’t training for anything of endurance and I only exercised a couple of times. I went out with friends and drank several nights and tried to pretend like life was okay, one night even dancing, perhaps for the first time ever in my life trying not to dance to remember but rather to forget. But I gave myself a week of that and then Sunday morning I got up and applied for jobs and today I have two jobs interviews, a second interview with Marathon Kids which felt awfully short and I wondered if it wasn’t just a courtesy interview since one of their biggest supporters had said he thought they should interview me.  I ran 10 miles and then 5 miles realizing that I missed cycling because in the Texas heat it was literally cooler…

Anyway, off to a shower to that job interview where if I got the offer, it would be taking a job from 10 AM to 9 PM Monday through Thursday… How do you do that and parent? The latest song I’ve downloaded is John Mayer’s say what you need to say. A lot of the last 18 months senseless to me but I am still grateful for many parts of this story and writing it as a way to process emotions…because it lets me say what I need to say. Thanks for listening.
Take all of your wasted honor
Every little past frustration
Take all of your so-called problems,
Better put 'em in quotations

Say what you need to say [x8]

Walking like a one man army
Fighting with the shadows in your head
Living out the same old moment
Knowing you'd be better off instead,
If you could only . . .

Say what you need to say [x8]

Have no fear for giving in
Have no fear for giving over
You'd better know that in the end
Its better to say too much
Then never say what you need to say again

Even if your hands are shaking
And your faith is broken
Even as the eyes are closing
Do it with a heart wide open

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