Facing the Inevitable
The recent theme of my life seems to be “dealing with the totally predictable” and figuring out how to respond. (Should I pretend to be as shocked as others seem to genuinely be?) Is this the definition of maturity? I don’t know.
First, work. I have been wanting cashiering experience. The textile manager has consistently told me that the only way I can cashier is for them to find someone that is willing to do my current job (working the floor and taking care of textiles) in the middle of the week. That was frustrating, but reasonable sounding. Then we got a new store manager. When I told him that I wanted to cashier, he was enthusiastic. When I told him that I might be tough to replace on the floor, he said that “anyone can do your job.” Alrighty then. I have cashiered a few times. Meanwhile…back in January, I asked the obviously pregnant cashier how far along she was. She said seven months. March is now coming to an end. The store manager asked me last week to be the morning cashier, starting when the current one gives birth, until they replace her. No problem. In my mind, I am screaming, “You haven’t come up with a replacement? You didn’t see this coming?! Seriously?” Wow. This is such a lack of planning that my head is spinning. But I am determined to use this opportunity to my advantage, expanding my skills and making myself useful. And I think the store manager is going to find out the hard way just how much I do and how difficult to replace I am when I am tethered to the cash register. This will be a little bit fun to watch.
Then there are my relatives. I have two living brothers. One has multiple terminal illnesses, but has changed his lifestyle radically. The other doesn’t share his medical conditions but still drinks and smokes. Imagine the terminal one looking at the other one and saying, “That gut you have is not fat. Your liver has stopped working. You’re in bad shape.” When Ma told me about that, I understood that the terminal brother might outlive the other brother because he has made the lifestyle changes. That’s what living with Barry taught me: if you make the changes, you can outlive everyone’s expectations. When a terminally ill person tells you that you are in bad shape, you might want to listen. What hurts is knowing how shocked Ma will be when the smoking/drinking brother dies. The protections of denial come at the price of looking not very bright in the meantime. Denial only protects the individual. Everyone else still sees everything perfectly and can make appropriate plans. Shock at the inevitable gains only so much sympathy. To some degree, death is always a shock, but dealing with it is the earlier, the better.
Personally. I have paid off the cemetery. When I die, I am all set, with regards to them. I have even paid for the end date on my grave marker. In a couple weeks, I am meeting with someone to pre-arrange my cremation and have my cremains interred at the cemetery. I want to make it so that I can be anywhere, fall asleep, not wake up, and have everything taken care of. I still need to pay for that. I just don’t feel like I can start the next phase of my life without finishing everything regarding Barry’s and my final arrangements. Good luck to me.