Welcome to the Incredible World of Illness! Scarier than any roller coaster, more nauseating than a Tilt-A-Whirl, and more expensive than that double Grande skim soy half-caff latte that you don't really want to drink anyway.
For those of you who haven't heard yet, we got some bad news on Easter. Remember that flu that Himself had? Turns out that fever, chills, and vomiting are also symptoms of lymphoma, which is what he actually has.
While you can put off finishing a baby blanket until said baby is in college, red tape waits for no man. Thou shalt complete the enclosed forms by ten minutes from now, or thou shalt be squished between the cogs of Government Assistance. When the forms began to arrive, I put on a pot of coffee and opened a fresh package of pens.
I should have opened a box of matches. The following isn't quite a verbatim transcription, but anybody who has ever been stuck being the family Form-Filler-Outer can probably relate.
"Please pull twenty years' worth of obscure information out of your butt and write it on this three-inch line. Now do the same thing on fifteen more pages. Fold each page into a separate envelope and mail it to Nairobi via Overnight Confirmed Delivery. Please return all of the pages by yesterday, or you may be S.O.L. and we will talk about you at the water cooler."
The real kicker came when I flipped through a stack of mail to find a questionnaire from...
Wait for it...
A funeral home! I was so horrified, I couldn't do anything but laugh. I think it's really great that a local company wants to provide the best possible service for its customers, but the timing was awful. They did include a "We're super sorry if this reaches you during a time of illness or loss" note at the end, but my smart-arse gland still went into overdrive. I thought up all kinds of sarcastic answers.
"Do you have a will?" Um, to do what?
"Have you considered A) burial or B) cremation?" Actually, I'm going with C) taxidermy! My loved ones can view me with knitting in my lap until Kingdom come.
I never seriously entertained the idea of mailing it back, but the mental exercise made me feel pretty good. I should probably be looking at this whole thing from the flip side. "Look at all these forms! I had no idea there were so many programs available to help people! It'll even help my chicken-scratch penmanship. How fun!"
Okay, so maybe it's not fun. And maybe I delivered an impromptu monologue in Olde Anglo-Saxon on the front porch when I picked up the mail and saw three more giant manila envelopes of paperwork to be done. But Himself and I are thankful for all of the assistance programs that are available, and we are especially grateful to each and every one of you that have offered your kind words, prayers, and help over the past several weeks.