Perspective

I took my 20-year-old son to get his first Covid vaccine today. We spent a lot of time in the car because the vaccination site was conducted in a drive-through style, so we got a lot of time to talk. We covered so much that I can’t and won’t recap it all here, just the pertinent parts.

I’ve been worried about him because he graduated from high school almost two years ago and hasn’t held a job or been in college. At several points, I’ve wondered if he was aiming to live the NEET life.

I told him that it seems like whenever he makes some progress toward either a job or school, he seems to get discouraged when he runs into obstacles and loses momentum. He agreed that was true and attributed it to being a former gifted kid. As a former gifted kid myself, I certainly understood the view that it’s hard to keep trying when things don’t come easily. But he has a plan and I think it will work out.

I also told him that part of why I was so worried was because although he is welcome to live with me for as long as he wants, I will need him to be working and contributing when my husband dies.

He told me straight up, “You don’t need to be worrying about your future finances. I’m surprisingly kinda rich for someone who hasn’t worked since graduating high school. I’ll step it up a lot if that happens and I can help you out financially until I find a job, too. Instead of worrying about money, just spend time with Dad.”

It’s true that he is kinda rich for a kid in his position, thanks to the settlement he won from his accident. I was relieved to hear that he wouldn’t let me drown. And he also doesn’t intend to live with me forever. He actually wants to live independently but housing in this area is not cheap.

All of this got me thinking again about having a job. Assuming that I can do it with my disability, I think maybe having a job is a better way to go. For one thing, without my husband around, the rest of us have no health insurance. Yes, I have Medicare through Social Security, but so far it has covered exactly zero of my healthcare costs and it doesn’t cover dental or vision. And if I have Medicare for myself, that still leaves my kids without any health insurance.

I feel kinda empowered to step it up myself and be able to provide for my kids when my husband is gone. I can finally prove what I’ve never been able to before, that I can take on lots of financial responsibility and handle it all. I feel really strongly that I can do this and I will. It’s time to start setting goals for myself again.

I’ve been feeling pretty down ever since finding out that my husband’s cancer has returned. But I need to pick myself back up. So okay, some things don’t look great right now. But he’s still here and he’s still adorable and funny and sweet. I need to keep my focus on how lucky I am to have this time with him and stop obsessing about the future.

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