The Elusive Piece of Paper

Image result for images of banging head against brick wall

So first we went to public offices in one city, and then another in the opposite direction, and have nothing to show for it.

We need a copy of Aunt Joan’s birth certificate so that her continued care at the nursing home can be funded by Medicaid. She’s 90 years old and totally disabled. You’d think the fact that she’s on a state pension would be ample proof of her identity, but no–they want the birth certificate, too. And that’s just what we don’t seem to be able to get. She spent a lifetime prudently saving money, but it’s just about all gone.

Now we seem to have hit a dead end, so it’s time to regroup, rethink… and I think I’ll just go ride my bike for a while.

I can think of no reason under the sun why this transaction should be so difficult.

Mr. Nature is right: man’s stuff isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.

About leeduigon

I have lived in Metuchen, NJ, all my life. I have been married to my wife Patricia since 1977. I am a former newspaper editor and reporter. I was also the owner-operator of my own small business for several years. I wrote various novels and short stories published during 1980s and 1990s. I am a long-time student of judo and Japanese swordsmanship (kenjutsu). I also play chess, basketball, and military and sports simulations. View all posts by leeduigon

15 responses to “The Elusive Piece of Paper

  • UnKnowable

    You have my full sympathies, Lee. When my mother got sick, I was fortunate in that another relative, a stay at home mom, was able to do the legwork for all this nonsense. Don’t give up.

    I’ll tell you a story. I had a beloved aunt, the wife of my father’s eldest brother. She ended up alone, outliving her husband and all of her children. Eventually, I was the only relative left within reasonable traveling distance.

    She ended up in a care facility about 40 miles away. Quite shortly after she was moved there, I went to visit. By this point she was not particularly communicative, but when I walked into the room it was obvious that she recognized me. I sat at the same table as her for a while, but she wasn’t able to talk.

    It was heartbreaking to see someone so full of life, so positive and so strong having been reduced to this state. Only a year or two before she drove herself wherever she pleased. She had broken a hip a year or so earlier, and I had been there for her surgery. After that, she needed a lot of care and some lovely friends of the family stepped in to help. Eventually she needed full-time care and was sent to a very good facility. Nonetheless, when I ended my visit with her that day, I left feeling quite bad.

    The next morning I was told that she had passed away late that night. Once I came in and she took note of my visit, I believe that she was able to quit fighting. I wasn’t her only living relative, but I was the only relative close enough and young enough to be able to visit. It’s a sad story, but I believe that my visit was necessary and probably made things better for her as she lived out her last hours, knowing that she was loved.

    What you are doing will be rewarded, Lee.

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    • leeduigon

      I try to visit every week; it’s not that far away. By now Joan shows no sign of being aware of me. It makes me sad, but it’s what she would do for me if our situations were reversed. I was blessed with a big family, they all loved me, and she’s the last one left.

      I just wish we could get that cotton-pickin’ piece of paper!

      Like

  • UnKnowable

    She may be aware, but unable to express it. I have become convinced that there is more to human communication that sights and sounds. I don’t claim to know how it works, but I know that we seem able to detect when we are loved or not. Your caring may be interacting with her at a very deep level and bringing her peace she would not otherwise have.

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    • leeduigon

      When I’m there, she seems to be actually looking at, and seeing, things that I can’t see. Not at me, or anything else in the room. But her eyes look, to me, alert, and taking something in. Maybe she’s reliving her world travels–my aunts went all over, back when most people hardly ever traveled any distance at all. Or maybe she sees angels. Who knows? I wish she could communicate, but she can’t anymore.

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    • Linda Sorci

      You were a wonderful blessing in both your aunt’s and your mom’s lives, Unknowable. And that, in itself, is a wonderful blessing. Praise God!

      Like

      • UnKnowable

        Thank you, Linda. The situation with my aunt happened over ten years ago and I hadn’t given it much thought until today, when Lee created this post. At the time, it seemed like nothing, but ten year’s worth of perspective has made me realize that it was significant and, more importantly, it was a duty owed to her, and to the rest of my family.

        With my mom it was different. My mother’s dementia grew slowly; I believe it started about the time she was sixty, and progressed for another 29 years. She had been a bright person and it hurt terribly to watch her lose her intellect.

        Our last visit was a rapprochement, of sorts. We had come to see things quite differently, especially with regard to certain spiritual matters, and that caused friction. One of the very last things she said to me was that she realized I was still a good person, even though I didn’t follow her in church membership. I’m glad that she and I were able to come to terms on such a serious matter.

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        • Linda Sorci

          A scripture comes to mind: John: 5:17 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. We don’t always realize when Our Lord is working in our lives, but we instinctively know that He is. He is the Great Healer.

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          • UnKnowable

            Thank you for posting that.

            I definitely feel that I had a job to do, with regard to my aunt. When I walked in and saw her perk up, I knew that I needed to be there, but I wasn’t certain why.

            Life had dealt her some cruel blows and she had very few living relatives. I’m glad that she knew that I cared about her when her time came. She was a wonderful person, always bright and positive.

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          • Linda Sorci

            It’s a comforting, peaceful feeling when we realize He is so close in each of our lives. Nightly, during my prayers (which I prefer to call conversations) with Him, I thank Him for all the blessings in His lovingkindness He has given me – the ones I’m aware of, the ones I realize much later, and the ones I’ve still yet to realize, because I know that I know that I know.

            He has given you a wonderful blessing of peace in your heart, Unknowable. And that is a blessing indeed.

            Have a blessed and peaceful night. God continue to bless you abundantly.

            Liked by 1 person

  • UnKnowable

    It’s hard to tell. It’s just a guess, but I think that people end up prisoners of their own mind when they reach that stage and there’s no telling what they are seeing or hearing. However, that is not to say that she doesn’t take in her surroundings, including your presence.

    When my mother was in her last years, with dementia, she seemed to come and go, with regard to being mentally present. However, when I would visit her, she would remember my visit for months afterward, inquiring of my whereabouts. I only visited once every 1-2 years, due to distance, but she always knew I was there.

    At, our last visit before she died and we were at peace with one another, so I feel as good as one can feel in such circumstances.

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  • Erlene

    I have been there, done that, and the way I was able to get around the Birth Certificate things was, I knew the county in Washington State where my late husband was born. I knew the names of father and mother (maiden name), birthdate, etc. and wrote to the Dept. of Vital Records, sent the required fee and within three weeks, received a valid copy. The V.A. helped me get documents from them, too. It relieved a lot of stress, and I didn’t have to travel anywhere except to the post office.

    Like

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