My family has been dealt a bit of a blow this week. (In a book, one might call this a plot twist. Lord knows I never saw this coming…) I thought I’d share our recent experience here, in case I drop off the grid for a while. (Hopefully I won’t, but you really can’t tell when your attentions will be divided elsewhere—especially when it comes to healthcare.)
After two and a half weeks of testing, my husband was diagnosed with pancreatic neuroendocrine cancer yesterday. I say the words as I type them here, but it still doesn’t feel real. I mean, this only happens to other people, right?
To make matters worse, the buffoons in Congress want to pass a bill that will yank healthcare coverage from millions and increase premiums across the board (yes, even if you have healthcare provided by your employer) in what generally amounts to a tax cut for the rich. (And I must apologize to the animal buffoon because it’s really not fair to be compared with the slime in power right now. Oh, and I’m also sorry to slime molds because I now just compared them with the jerks who “lead” our country.) If passed, this bill will cost families like mine over $145,000 a year. I don’t know what you make a year, but we don’t make $145k a year. In fact, when we bought our home in 2003, our mortgage was less than that and we still needed a 30-year loan to pay for it. So when I hear that Congress thinks it’s okay to pursue a bill that hurts millions of Americans, I seethe.
I was already #resisting, but now I feel the fight has gotten personal. And I’m angry. I’m really, really angry. I alternate between railing at those in government, at those who put them there—the ones who thought it was okay to put clearly incompetent egotists in charge of caring for 300 million lives, and at those who just didn’t care enough to vote at all. I’m angry.
So what does anger do for writing? Well, it’s not good. I’ve had people tell me that I should channel my emotion into a great scene, that I should use this energy to capture a character’s mood in all its raw glory, that I should write a heart-wrenching chapter that tugs at the reader’s emotions.
And you know what? I simply don’t have the energy. Maybe I would if I wasn’t so damn busy emailing and faxing and calling Congress. Maybe I could throw myself into writing if I wasn’t worried that my family and millions like us are in danger of losing everything. Maybe I could focus a little more if I had a little less to worry about.
And here’s the part where I give you an assignment. Make the calls. Pick up the phone. Call your congressmen and women daily. Make their lives a living hell until they agree to start working for the American people, until they remember that they aren’t entitled to their job, that they were put there by the people who voted for them, and that they need to listen to those very people. I’ll even give you the links.
So I know that this post isn’t about writing, but it’s important. It’s necessary. Take action. Make the calls. The decisions made by Congress affect you. They affect us all. It’s time to remind Congress who they work for.