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Three score and ten or more

Saturday, September 06, 2008


Today was to have been the departure date of our cruise.  Almost a year ago we made reservations through RCI the time share people to take a cruise from Boston to the Maritime Provinces of Canada, Nova Scotia, etc., then back to Boston, and then, from there we had planned to go to a time share in Vermont where my wife could spend a week pursuing her genealogy.


Ever since the end of March when our cardiologist began to suspect that something was wrong with Janet's descending aorta and sent us for pictures of same. then sent us to the surgeon at the Medical College of Georgia, we have been almost as worried about the fate of our cruise as about Janet's health.  We  have never been on a cruise together, and it is one of the things we have talked about for years.  Our first plan was to try to cruise to Alaska at a time nearer our actual anniversary (November 13) and to try to get all of our kids to join us on the cruise.  It became clear early in our planning that this was impractical since cruises to Alaska stop well before Nov. 13 for simple weather reasons.  It became quickly clear that with six children, scattered all across the country, they were not all going to be able to go at one time, no matter what season it might be.


About that time the little man from RCI called us promising terrific prices and a variety of times and destinations, and if we would buy this we would get a certificate entitling us to a "free" week in a time share in the United States.  I called around and compared the prices, and found that anything similar would cost about the same amount (something barely less than three thousand bucks)  We counted our pennies and decided "To heck with it, we are going to go".   With our Finnish adventure only a year or so behind us we did buy trip insurance from a company recommended by the little man at RCI.   For a year and a half Janet has been selecting outfits to wear, planning our Vermont adventure, clearing the time, and it has been somewhat of an adventure in itself.

As the aortal  aneurysm (now, they call it an "aortic dissection") arose we gained a lot of hope when the surgeon in Augusta indicated surgery in May or June with a pretty short recovery time because of the new endovascular approach he was going to take.  We began to worry about the trip as well as the surgery itself when the surgeon began a process of procrastination, and didn't even tell us that he wasn't going to do the surgery and that he had referred us to another surgeon in Houston until the end of June or beginning of July (my dates are beginning to mush up together) but it was in early August when our cardiologist (we were getting what seemed to be procrastination from Houston as well, and he was wondering about sending Janet to Emory University Hospital to another surgeon that he knew) finally said that we   must put aside any thought of a cruise in September.  It was really a depressing couple of days but we were over a month early in canceling the cruise, and we had purchased the trip insurance so we decided to try to make the best of it.

That was when we discovered that the insurance, for which we were paying almost a hundred fifty dollars provided only coverage for 312.00.  This was, apparently what RCI and their cruise component, International Cruise and Excursion Gallery Inc. (along with another wholly owned subsidiary called Solutions at Sea) had paid the cruise line at the time of reservation.  (Can you imagine ANY sane person paying a hundred and a half dollars for 312 dollar benefit?  It was insane.  At least I know that I will NEVER buy, lease, rent, or even accept as a gift something promised by Resort Condominiums International.  For years, I have been a member, and for years it was always the cheapest place to rent a car, and I exchanged times shares a lot, but I say at this time if you ever are offered for sale anything, but the three names listed above (RCI, ICE, and SAS) RUN, DO NOT WALK to the nearest exit.  Hang up the phone, but first, scream insanely into it so that the guy on the phone knows that you know that it is a scam.

I wonder if you could pick up, from the above, that I am no longer a happy camper with RCI?

Today, however, has been a surprisingly difficult day.  Janet and I have been in a depressed funk all day.  She, more than me, she wants to make a reservation in some kind of hotel or resort immediately and go spend some time doing something other than work around the house and worry about our family.  (I didn't mention that our grand daughter in Florida who has been suffering from diabetes and keto-acidosis,  has been referred to hospice care. She is in her early twenties and has a six year old son.)  If I drank, I'd probably drink.  As it is, I will pray, and I will look for somewhere to take Janet for a couple of days.

I mentioned a long time ago that when she was in the hospital in Finland, unconscious, I sat beside her every day and sang to her.  (Lots of songs, but always including Our Love is Here to Stay by George and Ira Gershwin, it was "our song" when we were courting, and I sang it to her at our wedding reception) Now we sit together every night, after we have prayer, and sing "Its very clear, our love is here to stay, Not for a year but ever and a  day".  Now, we sing it together, usually adding some Finnish songs including Hosianna Davidin Poika  (Hosanna to the Son of David).  No matter how lousy the day has been, I feel better after that.

Well its time to go to bed.  I actually sat down here to write (in spite of my resolutions) something about John McCain and Sarah Palin, but I won't, and you probably had better not hold your breath until I change my mind.

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At 12:05 AM, Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

I'm sorry to hear this. It is a downer about the cruise and the insurance but hopefully it will turn out to be for the best.

At 4:41 PM, Blogger Norma said...

I'm so sorry about this huge disappointment on top of the health worries. 'Taint fair. But what a lovely and loving image of you singing "your song." You are both blessed, indeed.

At 6:51 PM, Anonymous Kathleen said...

I'm sorry, too. What a let down. With that said, you still have the world by the tail. And...you are such a romantic! As a couple (as my grandson would say)you rock!


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