It triggers an image, does it not? Of teddy bears and honey buckets; of an innocent time before the concerns of adulthood? It is not until the 38th poem in the original book that Pooh is introduced to us; and how pervasive he remains in the consciousness of childhood’s delights. It evokes memories even where there are none, of a time awash in innocence, of happier days when the concerns of the world had yet to touch us, and when the biggest trouble to consider was to be stung by a bee for raiding their honey.
“When we were very young” — and what comes after? Is the next line a description of brightness and joy, or of a history better left in closet where skeletons lay quietly in crumpled heaps of tinkering pasts? When did youth end — at the encounter with the harshness of the adult’s life when worries about tomorrow began to invade the carefree innocence of yesterday’s moonlit caverns of laughter and delight? Is the phrase, “When we were very young,” the beginning of a sentence that provokes such delight, or the end of a paragraph that is left as the last page to a tragic novel? As in: This bad memory and that tragedy-better-left-forgotten, but of course that was all when we were very young.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, the bifurcation of life often begins and ends with the medical condition itself. For, “before” the medical condition, there was productivity, a future ahead and the past to delight in; and “after” the medical condition, there appears only misery and problems. It is like the division which is prompted by the clause, “When we were very young” — only, with a medical condition, nothing that follows can delight the senses.
Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management is often the necessary next sentence that must follow, and while Christopher Robin may still remain in the joyful memories of our past, preparing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application is best left to an experienced attorney, lest the raided cupboard full of honey leads to legal problems down the road when dealing with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire