This winter, inclement weather has befallen us with a vengeance. Snow remains on the ground, upon ice, upon frozen ground; and more is expected. Under such circumstances, footprints of unidentified creatures traversing the loneliness of the dead of night are left behind. Some, we quickly dismiss as representing a known animal; others, one is less sure of. They tell us of their presence the previous evening or nightfall, after everyone is tucked away and the dog went out for her last run. They reveal to us that things occur even in the absence of our presence.
We often fail to realize that life continues on a linear path despite our exit from a particular place, scene, or the world at large. Whether in gradual dissipation from everyday presence to sporadic appearances, or a sudden and immediate departure with never a return, the rest of the scene continues on, and life and livelihoods proceed on a progressive path of history. What footprints we left behind may remain as an impression for a day, a week, or perhaps longer; but never for eternity. It is always difficult to depart from the daily course of patterned lives.
For the Federal and Postal Worker who has been regularly involved in the daily operations of an agency, a department, etc., with interactions with supervisors, coworkers, and multiple others just by appearing and being there each day, the pattern interrupted by a medical condition is a devastation beyond words. Federal Disability Retirement is not something which Federal and Postal Workers want to pursue; it is, instead, a benefit which is applied for through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, most often with hesitation, trepidation, and as a last resort.
Remembrances of footprints are not what lives are lived for; rather, it is the impressions left behind by those who have toiled hard to the very end, and who are remembered for their humanity, that makes all the difference in the world.
For Federal and Postal Workers who have left such a mark, those footprints remain in the minds of those who cared.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire