Happy Birthday Dad


Today is my dad’s birthday. He would have been 75. He’s been dead a little over a year now. We went to his grave today– Mom; Krystle, my sister-in-law; and my parents’ four grandchildren. Mom chose a beautiful headstone monument and it has a bowl that can serve as a birdbath, a birth feeder, or a place for flowers. Today, my nieces and nephews put birdseed there. I played the drum and sang for my dad, burned white sage and cedar. I loved my dad and I’m sure he would have liked seeing us there honoring him in that way.

We all went to lunch at Hatt Hill Barbecue after. Then Mom and I went to Tuscaloosa to her oncologist. I usually go with her. Today, I especially wanted to go so that I could plead for help. Mom has been without her cancer meds for a month and a half because the insurance changed when dad died and there’s now a $25,000 co-pay for the meds she needs to fight the leukemia. We’d applied to all these patient assistant programs but they don’t move very quickly. I’ve watched Mom’s health decline rapidly lately. I don’t understand how this country thinks it’s somehow okay to give many, many millions in corporate welfare, dump billions into defense contracts, have warehouses full of the medication that can keep my mother alive, yet keep coming around with the “we can’t afford it” bullshit lie/excuse. I tell you what, when the karmic wheel comes round to those who are responsible, it is going to crush them. I’m not a huge fan of the Medical Industrial Complex. My mother dedicated her life as a schoolteacher to making this country and the world a better place by helping to shape young minds. This is the thanks she gets. It’s disgusting. It makes me very frustrated and very angry. Thankfully we did get the news at the oncologist that she’s finally been approved by Novartis, the company that makes the Gleevec for a “temporary” assistance program. We couldn’t get a straight answer on how long “temporary” is. I have to stay calm about it so I don’t do anything irrational. If this rich country lets my mother die so that they can continue to afford corporate welfare, I don’t know that “rational” is going to continue to be part of her Queer Marine son’s mission plan.

Tomorrow I have a meeting with two spiritual advisors to help me take the next step with regard to the underearning recovery. I’ve dug into my recovery more in the last 50 days than at any point in the last 25 years. I am going deep and going early to uncover, discover and discard the things that are standing in the way of my living at my full potential. If I had been doing this all along– well, that’s sort of pointless thinking– but it’s useful if it makes me push through all this irrational fear to get to a better way of existence. What I was going to say is that if I hadn’t been underearning all these years, I could straight-up buy my mom the medication she needs. Fuck the insurance companies. Those people are evil. Fuck our shitty government too. They’ll answer for what they do to people.

It’s hard for me not to feel guilty, blame myself. But for now, she’s going to get the meds– and this meeting tomorrow night should help me take the crucial next step to being able to take better care of my mom.

I’m learning a lot the more I study underearning and the recovery from it. I now (more than ever) am coming to understand that people who don’t understand underearning and under-being as a psychological phenomenon are simply incapable of doing so. It’s not their fault. It’s just the way they think. They are part of the same crowd that thinks the solution to alcoholism is for the alcoholic to simply “put the plug in the jug.” It must be blissful to live in such ignorance. I’ll never know. And it an odd way, for that I’m grateful.

Happy Birthday, Dad. Thanks for everything you did for me and for us. If there’s anything you can do from the other side to help me help Mom get the help she needs, please, by all means feel free.

Thanks to all of you for your prayers and good wishes. We’re moving forward here– one day at a time.

See y’all tomorrow.