Aug 13 6:55pm – Coincidentally (or not) I received two letters from two different companies today reconciling outstanding life insurance claims.  I really haven’t been looking forward to today.  Do you understand why?

After about 35 years of relationship, it all came down to opening – very slowly and deliberately – the two envelopes.  Then looking.  And seeing.  The dollar figures.  Figures that sum up and bring to a close 35 years.  

Oh, I know what you might be saying right now.  So, no – I’m not being cynical or negative here.  And of course I am grateful.  But what I am trying to express is that – finally – after all of the planning and good employer offerings and many years of deductions, it all comes down to this.  Two thin envelopes.  With a dollar amount.

I peeked in the envelopes.  I haven’t taken the contents fully out yet.  I saw what I guess I wanted to see when I looked in the envelopes.  They lay on the table in the other room – not yet fully opened and handled.

What now?

Of course, in due time, I will get on with things and be thankful for benefits like this.  If it had been the other way around, Regina would be opening the envelopes and I would be glad that she had them.  Very much.  But I feel different about me.  I really don’t need the benefits, you know, to survive and get by?  I would rather have her around than have the content of the two envelopes.  I don’t know.  This is hard.

Numerals and zeros and decimals and $$$ signs and the like.  I much prefer a nice card or letter with kind and encouraging words from someone.

Do you think me odd or not grateful?  I hope not – please don’t.  It is just that these small pieces of paper in the two envelopes are yet another indicator that it is over.  It’s over.  Each day that passes is so much about reviewing memories – it is all that is left.

And yet – yes – it is also a new beginning.

I’m not sure of which I am the most afraid – losing the safe hopes of the past or stepping out in the unsure future.

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