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