I'm trying not to feel spooked about today. But I've already spilled coffee, noticed that an unmended seam has expanded, stepped on something that happily was a thumbtack and not gum. Maybe I'm just worn out. Maybe the day will improve.
Regardless of my irritations, the day could be worse. I have one friend headed to the funeral of her brother, while another one returns home from the funeral of his mother's husband. I say mother's husband, because she married him late in life, and stepfather connotes something different.
I'm amazed at how stingy bereavement leave can be. My South Carolina state employee friend gets 3 days, and my Florida state employment friend gets 2. I get 5, and my bereavement leave covers all sorts of loved ones. Under Florida law for state employees, if your stepfather dies after your mother and he have divorced, you have no bereavement leave.
Meanwhile, there's no bereavement leave to mourn the losses of midlife. My spouse has gone to his GP to explore MRI results, and it's worse than we thought. On the one hand, the pain that he's been feeling all year does have a physical cause. On the other, his poor spine!
Next in line, the neurosurgeon. I'm trying not to be scared. I'm reminding myself that in the realm of "for better and for worse," there are many scenarios that could be far worse. My spouse is still on this side of the grave, and surgery techniques have improved since the 1970's when our mothers had back surgery, and it's not cancer or any of the other scarier diseases.
I suppose I could take a personal day and weep. But I'll stay at work and try to be of use. I'll expect gravity to be working overtime today, and I'll tell everyone that my contact lenses are bothering me so that they won't suspect that I'm feeling weepy.
There's one thing I've learned: administrators should avoid weeping on the job. It spooks everyone. They look for layoffs.
Maybe I'll plan a treat. Maybe two! A morning treat and an afternoon treat. Something that won't spill.
Everyday Poetry at Radio Free Nashville
3 weeks ago