Gettin’ the Kid Enrolled with Healthcare

I had already, after two failed attempts online, applied for Stephanie’s healthcare over the phone.   A week later and I get two envelopes stuffed with paperwork for me to finish the process.  

This morning 12/16/2015  there is much paperwork – birth certificate – consular report of baby born outside of America…social security number – proof of income and a host of other documents.  The gathering of the info is never a problem because I have it all in marked files.

I called Missouri’s Dept of Social Services at six this morning.  I knew they wouldn’t be open but assumed their office hours would be recorded – wrong.   MODSS local office in Ozark did not have them recorded.  I phoned their main headquarters in Jefferson City (their capital) and after listening to all their services I finally got their hours of operation.  They opened at 8:00 and closed at 5:00.  I made a correct assumption the the local office in Ozark, the county seat here in Christian County, opened its doors at the same time.

I made a wrong turn off the main highway because the sun was shining so brightly, too glaring to read the street sign.  The blinding sun reminds me of the Philippines, except of course; that the temps here in Missouri are much cooler (°40) this morning.

Commended for having things so neatly organized the lady who greeted me at the front desk took care of everything.  I sat there waiting for her to make the needed copies.  The one at the other desk was decorating the already, made to look like a package, door with snowflake cutouts.  

I asked jokingly, “Who will be getting the door for a present?  And you know, I remember making snowflakes like that when I was in grade school, but I’ve forgotten how.  Do you mind if I watch.”

She not only told me how to make them – she made me one to take with me with the folds evident.  I wanted to be reminded of how to do it just in case Steph would like to make some tonight and then Steph could do more decorating, something she loves to do, for a few minutes anyway.  


Steve Richie

Hi folks, Two lives in one lifetime. The first me, lived to age thirty-four. That Steve was overly confident and oozing with pride. Then, on a record heat-setting day (107º) here in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota and western Wisconsin, a one car near-fatal wreck left me in a two-month long coma. I emerged much as I was before minus certain physical capabilities, but my mind seemed mostly in tact. The crash and its effects did not change me (I emerged a happy individual) but the deeds perpetrated against me in the ensuing months from my wife of sixteen years scared and humbled me as I was dragged down with nothing left by my wife who now had guardianship over all of our accounts. And neither would she allow me to see our kids. She took everything out of, "Our" names and changed them to her name only; then would not allow me to our home and divorced me. I was angry, but no more. I spent half of 1988 and more than half of 1989 in hospitals, nursing homes and a three month stint at a head-injury rehab center where I was being taught how to re-enter society as this different person, that I didn't know. I was not able to return to my previous line of work, a self-employed decorator, you know, painting and paperhanging. It was a physical job which required much dexterity, finesse, and a good grasp of numbers. I returned to the beginning, school, but on a community college level. One of the instructor's liked my writing and I began focusing my attention on that. I attended classes at, "The Loft," A Place for Writers in Minneapolis. While there, a classmate of mine was having her friend from New York, a CBS executive, to her home for the holidays and asked me if she could do a critique on a couple chapters of a book I was writing, "A Day I'll Never Remember" and I obliged. When she returned to class the following Monday she told me that the exec wanted a ten-page synopsis of the book for a possible movie; I was excited. After obliging for that also, I never saw or heard from her or the guy from CBS. Next thing I knew I was watching a movie called, "Regarding Henry" starring Harrison Ford and the scenes of therapy were exactly like what I went through and had written about. Regarding Henry - could've been my story except that, "Henry" got his head injury from a gunshot and his wife stayed with him throughout the ordeal. Coincidence I'm sure, though, the therapy scenes entailed what I described in the book so I always wondered..... My hope, my dream is to bolster our income for my daughter and for myself. I am and have been raising this beautiful, talented little girl who was diagnosed with autism at age two, since 2006 singlehandedly. I divorced her mother the same year following complaints that I spent too much time with our daughter. However, Stephanie began school with no need for special education. She has been reading since age four and understanding what she'd read. Stephanie maintains straight "A's" on her report card, has published two books (through school) and has been selected as an, "Honors" student for seventh grade English. My ex moved to New York to be closer to her sister and has been remarried now for a number of years. Well, that's only a snippet of my sixty-one years and I would like to thank you for reading, thank you.

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