I did the math. Then I did it again. Sadly, it just didn’t add up.
Let’s see, there’s rent and phone and electricity and gas for the stove. There’s groceries and health insurance and medications and gas for the car. There’s all the other little expenses that pop up, though not all that many any more, since I’ve been cutting back a lot. As if that’s not enough, there’s the new naturopath and new tests and new treatments that aren’t covered by insurance. There’s the lawyer. And there’s no income. I have savings, but they won’t last forever.
I was turned down for long term disability insurance. I have hired a lawyer to appeal the denial, but of course that costs money. If the appeal works, I would get paid in February or March and they insurance company would pay me everything they have owed me to that point – almost a year’s worth of payments. If the appeal doesn’t work, then I’m totally screwed. Great.
At best I need to find a way to pay for everything until March. At worst I need to cover a much longer period of time.
My savings can last a while, and actually, if I didn’t hire the lawyer or try new treatments, I might even be able to make it last until March. Well, at least until January. Unfortunately, I need the lawyer and I must try to improve my health. I spoke to my parents and we agreed that I’d ask my grandparents. My parents said they’d find a way to help me if my grandparents couldn’t, but I know it would be hard for them. They are finally near retirement and I’d hate to see that put off for this. Plus, my grandparents have offered to help me many times. They want to help me, and since they can’t physically do anything, they want to financially help.
Now, I know that my grandparents have some money. They aren’t rich, but they have enough to take care of themselves and to leave a bit to their kids. Still, I hated to ask. Maybe it’s an ego thing, but I’ve never wanted to take handouts. This time I had to admit defeat. I simply need help.
Today was the day to ask. My stomach was in knots. I was nauseated. I couldn’t eat lunch (a rarity for me!) My biggest fear was that they’d want to help (because I knew they would) but that they wouldn’t be able to give me as much as I need. I figured $10,000-$12,000 would cover my gap. Could they afford that much?
I steeled my nerve and began by explaining the insurance denial. It just happened a few weeks ago and I hadn’t told them yet. I hadn’t wanted to worry them. Then I told them a bit more about my treatments, filling in some details from what I’d told them before. Then I started to explain about the money. Before I could finish asking for help, they both said that they’d give me as much as I need. I hadn’t even mentioned the numbers yet. For now they wrote me a smaller check, and said that as soon as I spent that, I should come back and they’d write another. No hesitation. No asking me what my expenses are. I said I could pay them back if I win the insurance appeal and they adamantly said no; they don’t want to be paid back for this. They just want to help me.
The only negative response? That I didn’t come to them sooner. Actually, my grandfather was a bit angry that I didn’t ask for money a while ago. I had to explain that I didn’t know it would be an issue until 2 weeks ago, and even then I hadn’t figure it all out yet. He was only mildly placated. He made me promise over and over and over that I would tell him immediately if I needed any more money, or even if anything else changed with the insurance and of course with my health. The last thing he said before I left was reminding me of that promise.
Our family is far from perfect. I’ve written before about my strained relations with my sister. And there are plenty of other issues too. But I’ll say this: we all support each other, no questions asked. Having the financial support helps a lot. But having the emotional support makes me feel like maybe I can handle all of this crap after all. I could never put a price tag on that.
P.S. Don’t my grandparents just have the best smiles?