As a verb used with an object, the meaning is lost because the context of antiquity remains as mere pages in the history books of a former era, when horses needed shoeing and the hammer and anvil heard the rhythmic pounding of sweat and hard work from the center of town; and without the combined usage with an object, it can include the act of imitation and fakery, as in illegitimately replicating documents without the originator’s consent. The former sense implicates a vision of strenuous input; the latter, a meticulous care to reinvent or mirror that which fools a third party into thinking that it is the original, as opposed to something likened thereto. In either case, the toil of effort is required.
Those bonds we forge — whether over a lengthy period, or within a short while — require just that: time. And beyond, maintenance in order to secure the togetherness cemented. The concept itself necessarily implies the prerequisite of first being apart, then coming together. Once bonded by the labor of forging, care needs to be taken that we not put too great a stress upon the once-fractured point; for as the link which binds is only as good as the strength of its weakest remedy, so the glue that casts the inseparable pair must by rights be allowed to coalesce.
What people fail to realize, however, is that the true and strongest bond which is forged, must be carefully maintained over time. Left unnoticed or unattended, the disrepair which re-fractures the covenant of unity can easily fray despite the historicity of that red-hot steel that once glowed in the hearth of reddened embers. That knowing look evinced from the wince of shared pain formerly acquired in memory’s cradle; the sidelong glance of a joke shared between two islands of thoughtful reflection, turned into mirth by a fading laughter like a cup which clinks ever so gently when the ice cubes melting in the heat of day shifts the microcosmic glaciers of a summer’s delight awash in the bitterness of cold tea.
In modernity, we mistake the quantification of people pushing the button of “likes” with the inviolable encounters between fellow human beings. And, indeed, it is often because of those friendships forged and relationships embraced, that Federal and Postal workers often pause before considering the necessary breach resulting from the needs imposed by a medical condition which prevents the Federal employee or the U.S. Postal worker in filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal employee or U.S. Postal worker is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset.
For, often, it is time itself which cements and solidifies without the notice of effort expended; and the camaraderie and relationships developed over months, years and decades can be the defiance of surrender, if only to extend the moments of memories passed. But at some point, even the bonds we forged may not be enough to contend against the forces of time, nature, health and fate; and when a medical condition begins to prevent the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of the Federal or Postal employee’s ability and capacity to continue on in the job or position of professional choice, then it may well be that the bonds we forged may need to be severed, as time allows only for a moment’s grace in the floating ships we think we steer, when in fact, all along, we were mere passengers biding our seats with but a temporary pass occupying for a limited time.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire