The initiation ain’t over till it’s over

As you may know, Bob, I’ve been on unpaid leave for two weeks now because my employers fear the bedbugs in my apartment the way medieval Europeans feared lepers, bubonic plague, and intelligent heretics. Tired of waiting for something to happen, I went in person to HR this morning after seeing my therapist.

Things… did not go well. They refuse to pay me for leave that they ordered me to take, because I have no accumulated leave. Unless I can declare my life bedbug-free by July 27th, my employment will “become inactive”. A new level of euphemism has been achieved here: What they mean is that they will fire me for having a bedbug problem, in the city with the highest number of bedbug infestations in the country.

The best deal they can offer me, apparently, is to take a disability retirement, based on my knee problems and my ongoing depression. I’m going to get on the paperwork for that.

Meanwhile, I still have to vacate my current apartment by July 31st… just that now I have to do it with no income and no savings.

I invite you to donate to my Ko-fi if you can, but also! I can offer my services as a writer and editor.

  • For $25 I will write a prayer, hymn, or other ritual text to your specifications.
  • I will edit/beta read non-fannish writing, fiction or nonfiction, for $10/page.

Thank you in advance for any help you can give, and that includes prayers and good mojo.

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A cup of coffee (or tea) can go a long way

Gentle readers, I’m facing a quick move from my apartment to a new place, hopefully not far away. Funds are short because health issues have caused me to lose time at work. If you’ve been following my writing, I’d appreciate your good mojo, and a little donation if you have a few bucks: ko-fi.com/mtodd

A Prayer for the Dead

My only sister died suddenly last Friday. She went to the emergency room on Thursday for severe stomach pain, went into cardiac arrest while being examined, and was resuscitated. After being on life support for about twenty-four hours, she was released, authorized by her daughter and her husband. She died soon after the machines were turned off, in the presence of her husband, her daughter, and her five-year-old grandson.

My sister and I were never close, partly due to the eleven years between us (she was the older). This still comes as a blow, in a year full of blows. A number of people close to me lost family members in the past ten days. As it happened, I had an invitation to a dinner party for Saturday night that included a brief Remembrance Day ritual. This had been planned and scheduled weeks ago; the friends who hosted it were friends of my ex-husband also and had sung for him. So we had this dinner, made offerings to the dead, told the bees in my friends’ hive, and sang some choral music in memory of my ex. I wrote this text for the ritual.

The dead are neither present nor absent.

They are neither near to us nor far from us.

They live in us, in our speech, in our hands, in our memories.

We die in them, the parts of us that go with them into the dark.

If they are hidden from us in the shadows,

we are hidden from them by the light.

Yet from time to time we come together

and join hands across the great divide.

They remember us no less than we remember them.

If they are forgotten, they, too, may forget.

Let us not forget our forefathers and foremothers, grandparents and parents,

children born or unborn, spouses and friends, mentors and teachers.

Let us take hold of what they left to us

that we may pass it on before we go.

Let us say their names and offer them our continuing love.