Half birthdays come with much less fanfare than actual birthdays, but they are still fun to celebrate. Little Buddy celebrated his half birthday on Tuesday of this week (and insisted that my husband and I celebrate our half wedding anniversary on Wednesday). The kids always ask if we can make half a cake for these special days. We had half a marshmallow after dinner instead to commemorate Little Buddy making it half-way through his tenth year.
When I was saying good night to Little Buddy later that night, he thanked me for the marshmallow. I told him what a treasure he is to me and how lucky Ronan is to have him as a brother. He does not like to get compliments but offered me a sheepish smile. After some more talk about half birthdays, I could tell that Little Buddy had something serious to say.
I asked him, “What’s going on?” Earlier that evening, the kids had overheard a conversation my husband and I had. They heard that one of Ronan’s medical claims was denied. What was supposed to be a somewhat manageable cost will now come with what I estimate to be a ten thousand dollar price tag. I wondered if Little Buddy had heard some of that conversation.
Little Buddy was concerned and picked up on the stress that I was feeling over that letter. He looked at me and said, “Mommy, I have six things on my Christmas wish list. If it helps, I can take three things off my list. I don’t really need them.”
Cue the tears.
I’d already had a big ugly cry after reading the letter from the insurance company, but those tears were full of anger, frustration and woe. The tears I could feel welling up when Little Buddy offered to cut his Christmas list in half were different. Those tears were full of love and gave me a sense of peace. I desperately needed that sense of peace.
I said, “Oh, Little Buddy! Don’t you worry about your Christmas presents! We’re still going to celebrate Christmas. We’re still going to give and get presents too. Whatever costs we have to cut will be Mommy and Daddy’s presents, not yours.”
Cue another sheepish smile from Little Buddy.
“Okay, Mommy. But if you need money, I have ten dollars in my wallet.” Tears, evoked from my son’s generosity and his giving spirit, streamed down my face.
I have yet to see the actual bill from the hospital. It’ll surely be thousands of dollars, dollars we didn’t expect to spend and dollars we don’t have at the moment. When I do get the bill, I’m praying that the cost will be cut at least in half, and maybe even in half again.
I’m not going to worry about the bill or how we’ll pay it just yet though. I won’t do that because the denial letter came with another message:
If you wish to file an appeal, please list your reasons below…
It wasn’t the wish list I thought I’d be writing this Christmas season, but it’ll be a wish list I begin to work on right away. I know that the appeal process has the potential to take up half my time, but I’ll devote 100% attention to it hoping that we’ll be gifted with a good reply.