Here, of the story untold:
“He woke up and went into the bathroom, and there found an old man staring at him. There was no voice that called; no utterance of a salutation so early in the morning. The corrugated skin of this stranger was pulled back, revealing deep cuts in the rivulets of age where time had taken its toll. His hair was unkempt; thinning and grey, with speckles of white reaching deep within the roots of timeless agony.
Where had time robbed this pathetic creature, where a lifetime was given as a gift in order to make his fortune, to find his love and to gather his friendships?
It seemed only yesterday that the toddler reached for his parents’ loving arms, and they who looked upon him with kindly affection and whispering, ‘There, there, you have a whole life ahead of you to dream your dreams and reach your goals’, and then the fading summers where life seemed but a dream where oceans divided and manhood arose from the depths of a sea that swallowed me whole. And when the stranger in the bathroom finally spoke, it had the voice of one who stared back from a mirror that reflected the insanity of myself, old and lost, voicing a soliloquy of loneliness where once my children laughed within a wilderness of a future yet unseen.”
And so it is with many of us; time seems to creep ever so slowly during troubled waters of despair; and then, one morning, we wake up and decades have passed us by. Did we do all that we wanted to do? Did we find that love we yearned for? Did we make that fortune we promised ourselves we would attain, remembering the poverty of our youth and the promises whispered in huddled caves beneath the conscience of our lonely hearts?
Of fortunes unattained, we can always justify by telling another tale: Life is too short to search only for abandoned treasures and, besides, what truly is a ‘fortune’? Is love of lesser worth than gold in reserve, and does not friendship value greater than a penny saved? And when compared with one’s health, is fortune amassed of any value if the former is sacrificed for the latter?
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, where the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, is an important step towards reaching those goals yet reconsidered.
Of fortunes unattained — perhaps so; but when one’s health is at stake, all else must become secondary, and for the disabled Federal employee or injured Postal worker who can no longer continue in a career which is only exacerbating the deterioration of one’s health, those thoughts of fortunes unattained must by necessity be temporarily set aside and replaced by the wisdom of a more valued existence.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire