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Materialism of necessity

November 6, 2008

I really, really do not want to get a social security card and number for Teddy.  It seems as though, since he was here so briefly, he should be free of that, not just another number in a giant database.

But my father, who is also an accountant, has pointed out that we need a SSN for Teddy in order to save money on our taxes, and while this seems a horribly materialistic reason to partake in an exercise in emotional suckitude for the express purpose of obtaining something that we don’t really want, we need to do it. And Dad, who is heartbroken that he couldn’t do more to help, can do this one thing for us, nudge us gently into something that will help us in the long run.

The real medical bills have started rolling in, you see.  I thought we’d gotten off pretty lightly, and perhaps we still have – I don’t know what medical expenses like ours usually cost, or that another insurance plan would have served us any better – but for two people who are not quite out of debt or into the longed-for land of home ownership and savings accounts, paying these bills is going to be hard.  We need the tax break.

Part of me is bitter about the medical bills – we tried so hard and nothing worked.  After all of our efforts, we are left without our boy.  The wiser part of me doesn’t mind at all and knows that our doctors and nurses also tried hard, hoped with us, did everything they could, and were hit hard by not being able to save Teddy.  I’m grateful for that and these bills are one small part of the larger debt I owe to them that I can (eventually) pay.

So this afternoon I’ll be calling the funeral home to see if we can get a copy of the death certificate, which we don’t have for some reason, and never thought to ask for.  And sometime in the next few weeks I’ll drive forty miles to the social security office (my town doesn’t have one, which still surprises me) and ask for a social security number for Teddy.

And then I may allow myself an amazingly stiff scotch and soda.

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One comment

  1. Wow. I can’t imagine dealing with medical bills after all you’ve been though (one of the small graces of being Canadian). I wish you strength as you go through this. Make that drink a triple.

    Thinking of you and Teddy.



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