(reposted from my soon-to-be-defunct blog on the Jazzyville message board)
I've been in Indiana for the past few days for a funeral, and seeing the conditions my uncle is living in (and with), and hearing about his past from him and from my parents, some thoughts come to mind:
- To paraphrase the Bible, "What you can do, do while you can." My uncle has all kinds of health problems but no health insurance because, well, he's kind of averse to work. He got hurt while he was able to work but not working and not looking, and now he can't get any help. He gets help with his prescriptions, but it's a few drops in the bucket.
- To quote Rick James, "Cocaine is a hell of a drug." Stay away. Nuff said. (I don't really know what his "drug of choice" was, or even if "was" is the right word. But you get the point.)
- Same with alcohol. Too much is too much, never mind that "you can handle it."
- If you are injured (or get sick) due to others' actions, take advantage of every resource available to you to get the care you need as soon as possible, not after ten years have gone by. The help won't be available, and the problems will be much worse.
- Try, try to position yourself in some kind of positive surroundings. Gary, Indiana is one of the most depressing places I have ever seen up close. I've seen some beautiful houses across the street from dilapidated, boarded-up places that would keep the value of the good houses down and make the owner a bit nervous about some of his neighbors (depending, of course, on what he/she does for a living... )