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    Posted December 12, 2013 by
    Farmersburg, Indiana
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    2013: Your greatest moment

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    2013 - A Look Back


    A current CNN's iReport assignment tasks members to upload an image or images which reflect the greatest moment of 2013 as we move toward the New Year.

    Unlike last year when I had a lot to say and show for 2012, the same cannot be said for the current 12-month period.

    A year ago I was able to pen this report: "Reflection: 2012 Mix of Ups and Downs".

    What a difference a year makes.

    This  time last year Iohn and I had moved from the small, one-bedroom  apartment above Mickey's Bar & Grill, which had been home for nearly  two years, into the larger, two-bedroom apartment next door. We were  just settling in as I continued to recover from the surgery I had  undergone at the end of March, 2012.

    This year, we made another move.

    On  November 1, Iohn and I, along with Frankie and Gizmo, moved from the  second floor above Mickey's six blocks away to a smaller, but in better  condition, duplex.

    Although  our cost to rent the new Mark's Den is around $200 more per month, we  made the move primarily because the place is better for me with my  health concerns.

    The duplex is on the ground floor.

    Climbing  up and down the stairs was taking a toll, leaving me at the point of  utter exhaustion. With winter soon to arrive, Iohn, with support from my  Mom, thought it would be better to move than continue where we had  called home for three years.

    He and Mom were concerned about my falling up or down the stairs or that the exercise would send me back to the hospital.

    Now you know my greatest moment of the year-soon-to-end as is reflected in the picture above.

    Here I am another year older and what have I to show for the last nearly six decades?

    Yes,  I have managed to fight back and survive the health and mental issues  with which I must contend hourly, daily. I am stable, though not out of  the woods.

    Looks  as if I may be around for another 20 or 30 years barring my health  taking a wrong turn or the mental difficulties pull me under the briny  sea.

    Financially, I am still a wreck barely able to manage from day to day.

    At  my age I should have money in the bank, be working a good job with a  nice income, own stock and be preparing to retire in another five years  or so.

    Instead,  what money I had, the 401k in which I had deposited, were spent long  ago when I first became ill and disabled back in 2001. I even had to  sell my stock to put food on the table.

    Received  word today that my Social Security will rise by $16 on January 3, 2014.  At least that is enough for a can of coffee and a gallon of milk each  month. Naturally prices of food and medicine are going up which will cut  into my big raise quickly.

    My sons are far way along with their wives and my two granddaughters.

    I  do not own a vehicle of my own since to do so would mean I could not  qualify for Medicaid. Not that Medicaid does me any good unless I go  back in the hospital.

    With  my spend down amount set at nearly $400 per month before Medicaid is of  any use, there is no change in my health insurance. I still pay out my  deductibles and my 20% co-pay that Medicare does not cover.

    But back to my sons and grandchildren since I digress.

    I  am not in a position to actually be the father or grandfather I should  be. I can't afford to visit. I can't afford to shower anyone with gifts.

    I  am the guy who happened to contribute the source to germinate and  produce such two fine young men. I'll be surprised if I get a phone call  from either one this month for any reason.

    I'm in no position to spoil my granddaughters.

    As I look back over this past year, I am trying hard to find where I have had a positive impact on anyone else - even Iohn.

    When or where have I contributed to the betterment of my family, my neighborhood, my community, my state or my nation?

    I can't seem to locate any contribution of import.

    When  I assess the man I am, I run into a brick wall as I attempt to see  where I have offered anything to the world around me which matters.

    When  I assess the father I am, I stumble as I attempt to see how my paternal  nurturing resulted in the development of a loving father and husband  which was instilled in my sons.

    It surely wasn't from my example.

    I am often told to, "Get a life." I keep asking how can I obtain a life other than this tragedy that is me?

    A  look back at 2013 before it ends in 19 short days reveals nothing worth  being called a greatest moment or a notable achievement.

    I have survived, but I have not lived.

    The outlook for 2014 is more of the same.

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