We got some really, really, REALLY great news exactly one week ago today. It was the news we’ve been hoping for, for the past two years.
M has been recommended for retirement with disability. (Yes -- sadly, in our house, disability is good news - or as good as it gets in M’s situation)
Here’s what this means for M and all of us:
This allows M to leave the fire department for good. If he was denied disablilty, he’d be stuck finishing out AT LEAST 2-3 more years until he was fully vested in his pension/retirement fund. Because it would have been financial suicide to leave before being fully vested. He absolutely hates where he is assigned since he cannot work in the firehouse. So while leaving the fire dept. officially is absolute heartbreak, at the very least he won’t be forced to stay in a job he hates that’s still connected to the job he once loved.
With leaving the fire department comes the option to find something completely new. My hope is that M already has ideas of careers/jobs that will make him happy and fulfill him. In reality, he probably doesn’t. Because of denial. It’s hard to truly face that this chapter of his life is over. Up until the day they declare him retired (just over a week from today), he won’t have a “need” for a new job/career. I haven’t even asked him, though he’s mentioned a few ideas. It’s all so overwhelming and he’ll need time to adjust.
Finances. M’s paycheck is set for his payable life. And it’s a nice paycheck. Large. Essentially, we’ve been granted a sort of financial security for the next couple of decades, at least. So of course we’re grateful for that. It’s going to open a lot of doors for him and us and our future and our family. But don’t be mistaken – we’d give it all up in a heartbeat if it meant M could go back to the firehouse. The best part, I believe, is this affords M the time to really find something he loves to do. He’s been given a luxury most people never get to experience -- most of us are forced to find jobs that will pay the bills, or feel the pressure to get into a career based on what we think we’ll love at such an early age in life. M is at a later stage in his life where he knows himself well, and knows how he likes to work. He will have the opportunity to take the time to find something he really loves that isn’t based on what he will earn. His family will be financially stable while he’s out pursuing yet another dream. It’s hard for him to focus on this now, but it’s such a blessing and I hope he realizes this and takes advantage of it. I am going to make him realize and won’t let him settle.
For the time being, M will be home full time. Which is good news for our home renovation. And him. He won’t be sitting at home twiddling his thumbs, but he won’t be going back to the place he was assigned to work within the fire department that he hated so much. It means no more nights alone for me and the Goose. It means no more juggling M’s work schedule and our mothers’ schedules to make a babysitter for the Goose. Not that any of this was really that terrible, but it just feels like a few less things to deal with that we didn’t like dealing with.
Of course it’s all very bittersweet. M never dreamt his firefighting career would be cut so short, and under the shitty circumstances of being forced out. But, looking at the options that we were left with as a result, this of course is the best news we could have gotten.
So far, it looks like 2013 is bringing the good, just as we hoped. Keep it up!