Right now, things are good. I have a home, food on my table and enough things to keep me busy as we navigate this pandemic.
But I am never far away from knowing things could go sideways and upside down very quickly. And at this point in time, I do not have any idea how I would manage should things change.
Although my husband now has a good job and should not have issues continuing, he also has an immune system that is compromised. We have been isolating since March, only going out for groceries or needed errands that cannot be done online. He takes care to wear masks and gloves in the grocery store, as do I. We wash our masks in boiled water. Gloves get thrown in our trash after use. We have a little hand-sanitizer left from pre-pandemic times, and a few precious cleaning wipes that get used on grocery carts. We only do a shopping once every two weeks.
But he could still get sick with The Virus. Whether his immune system would go haywire – I don’t know and neither does he. If I get sick, chances are he would too, after all, we share a home.
Should he pass, I have no way of keeping the home I live in. I am not on the deed, and with no income past whatever I might get from insurances, the house would have to be sold. I would have to find someplace to move, probably in with some friends. I would have to try and continue to obtain medications that I need. I would have to also help my mother in law. Though she is on the house deed as well (it was her and dad in law’s home, given to hubby when they went into a retirement community) she isn’t in a physical or mental position to help past allowing the sale.
Life can change in a moment.
I’ve seen what can happen to someone when life changes in a moment. A dear friend lost her husband to cancer, and then had to deal with not only selling the home they lived in, but also his family (second marriage for both) who didn’t want to help her in any way. She floundered for quite some time before getting back on her feet.
I have no illusions about getting back on my feet. I am too old to do the kind of work I had been doing. Retraining now would be a lost cause. I could work for minimum wage somewhere, and further push my arthritic legs and hips into a wheelchair. And an early grave.
The US is not kind to those who cannot ‘pull up by their bootstraps’. The security nets set in place have frayed to the point of breaking under the weight of moneyed interests whose focus is the bottom line. Workers like me are a dime a dozen – people who have aged out of work they trained for, but have no savings or way to ease into another line of work that pays bills.
These past months in isolation made time for the above rambled thoughts. I am grateful for the home and the food on my table and the husband who loves me as I love him. Losing this – this last chance for happiness – would devastate me. I have no doubt that there are others out there who face similar or worse should someone they depend on get sick and pass away.
For the moment, I have a view of an older oak tree, full of birds, squirrels and other wildlife. In the next moment, I might be staring at a concrete wall, wondering how I could pay the next month’s rent.