Wednesday, May 7, 2008

No Friends Like Old Friends

After thirty years, I returned four years ago to this area where I grew up. For a very long time, I didn't see nor run into anyone I knew all those years ago. I decided it must be because I wasn't recognizing anyone after such a long time. Later, I realized they probably weren't recognizing me, either.

I had forgotten about all the complicated links and relationships which exist in a small community, but recent misfortune helped me to realize how strong those old ties can be. Last week, I spent a wonderful afternoon with two very wise older ladies who knew me when I was young. They were upset by what happened to me and have vowed to set things right!

Last Christmas, I was taken to the hospital while spending Christmas Eve with one of my daughters. The ER visit culminated in quadruple bypass graft surgery the day after Christmas. After ten days in the hospital, eight of those in ICU, I was released to my daughters' care. After a month, I returned to my own home to finish recuperating. When my surgeon released me to return to work, my employer informed me that I no longer had a job! Her reason? I did not give her written two weeks notice of my medical leave. She advised I apply for unemployment compensation, which I did. Last week, there was an appeal hearing because my employer disagreed with the Department of Labor's decision to grant me unemployment compensation. I still do not know the result of that hearing.

Obviously, everyone who is aware of this is upset about it, particularly because I was employed by a component of the Area Office on Aging. The two ladies who I visited last week have taken an active role in protesting my firing. I didn't know they had done what all they did, but I certainly appreciate their efforts.

At any rate, it has made me realize the old saying, "There are no friends like old friends", is very true.
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