Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Where There's a Will ...

Well, that's all over.

Because of a huge protest here in the center of the city, we left the car behind when we went to the lawyers. I was hesitant to go so far in the power chair but Joe was absolutely sure that Henry was up to the task. We had spent some time redrafting our wills and knew it was time to get them up to date. Further, we've been investigating what to do with our earthly remains - and have settled on a columbarium (a word we did not know until a few days ago) ... all that remained was the signing of the will.

I was a little unnerved on the way over to the lawyer. I hesitate to admit why. But, in an effort to HONESTLY document life as a disabled guy ... here goes nothing. Joe used to work for this guy many years ago. As one of the first male legal secretaries in the city, he would answer the phone in lovely rounded tones, 'Law Office'. Here I was Joe's partner, not the other way around. That was OK, of course, but as I've always been a big guy - I always felt that they were disapproving of Joe wasting his time with me.

Over time as my career emerged and my work was recognized that changed somewhat. Even so the sour taste of 'not good enough' and 'not hot enough' remains in my mouth. Now I was going over to see the lawyer, who I haven't seen in 15 years, as a fat DISABLED guy. I asked Joe, somewhat nervously, 'Does he know I'm in a wheelchair now?'

Disability pride goes only so far - there is still the interpersonal realities of human nature and human judgements. I didn't want this guy to think that Joe had really backed the wrong horse. So since I couldn't look hot, I thought I'd try to stay above clutz and dolt (on some days a real challenge) and just get through it.

Turns out that it was a very pleasant interaction, he wasn't phased by the chair and we ended up having a lively conversation about - ethics. It was kind of fun, we were all relaxed. Turns out, I guess, we're all older and maybe just a little less shallow than we were when we were boys. I mentally castigated myself for my silliness on my way over.

But it still reminded me how much I need Joe to still be proud of me.

After nearly 40 years, I guess that's kind of cool.

All that, and the will is signed, Henry made it there and back ... and we're off to a week long series of lectures in California.

Life goes on ...


rickismom said...

I don't think that the need for our partner to be proud of us and our accomplishments never goes away. It is price-less. If our spouses/parents don't approve/ are proud of us, thiose who are near us, it tends to reflect negatively. Perhaps that is also one of the reasons parents approval also hits home.

[However, if parents/spouse are handicapped by their own emotional problems, we have to recognize that G-d YES appreciates us (if we believe in Him), and we have to appreciate ourselves, understanding that the spouse can not.We have to recognize it as THEIR problem.]

Anonymous said...

and have settled on a columbarium

Whats that Dave?


stevethehydra said...

Hi Dave

I don't know if you've seen this, but i'd be interested in your thoughts on it: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1162401/Will-sleep-Downs-syndrome-son-Mother-makes-appeal-lover-21-year-old-Otto.html

Some discussion here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbouch/F2322273?thread=6411131&skip=0&show=20

I have some thoughts, but not the time to make a blog post of them right now...

stevethehydra said...

LinMac: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columbarium

(I thought it might have been something like those towers that that religious group in India(?) put their dead bodies at the top of to be eaten by birds...)

ntmjbmom said...

where in CA?

Shan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shan said...

I like columbaria.

I tried to specify that my remains get compressed into a diamond (yeah baby) but it turned out that my estate wouldn't support the cost. Well - they'd make the diamond, but my kids couldn't afford to get it out of hock.

Which actually would be a fitting end to my fabulous, but penniless and obscure, career.

stevethehydra said...

Here's another article on the samke story, with a bit more info: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7948511.stm