I’ve never been great at letting things go. Talk to my fourth-grade teacher about how long it took her to get me to stop bringing my stuffed rabbit into class every single day! But if you’re asking, Roscoe and I still eat lunch together every day and I don’t care to hear your opinions about how “healthy” or “concerning” that is.
It wasn’t until I really started cheaping out on my parent’s medical supplies that I truly learned to let go of the past, and start looking towards the future.
You see, my mother came down with Stage 1 Hodgkin Lymphoma, and then my dad needed a kidney transplant just a year later. After a few months of taking care of them, I realized that the generic prescriptions for both their ailments are 40% less than whatever fancy people medicine they’d been taking.
Caring – or neglecting to care – for my elderly parents has helped me learn that not everything is supposed to stay, not everything lasts. Sometimes the right thing to do is to just let go.
For example, stretching my father’s dialysis treatments from three times a week to just one has saved me $67.13 a week in gas. And performing some my mother’s more menial procedures and surgeries myself has not only saved me thousands of dollars but is also giving me marketable job skills (if you know anyone hiring freelance doctors, let me know).
Sometimes the healthiest thing to do in your life is to give up control, and let fate take over. This is especially true when your parent’s Flexible Spending Account can also be used for groceries and lottery tickets. For example, a CVS or Rite Aid qualifies as a “medical expense” whether you’re buying prescription meds for early cancer treatment or festive string lights for your one bedroom apartment.
Not everything is forever, and I’m starting to come to terms with the fact that if I continue neglecting my parents rapidly declining health, they too might be gone someday (perhaps someday soon). And if God happens to bless me with a life insurance payout in their absence, it will just be one more step on the path to true clarity.