One of my dearest friends Icarus is writing his Flames of Eden blog as an open but personal diary in which he is relating the events of his life that brought him to his present tenuous position. In his latest post he quoted from Tennyson's "Ulysses" and emailed me telling me to take special note of these words,
"Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho'
We are not now that strength which, in old days,
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and NOT TO YIELD!".
A much longer mantra than "Força" but words that I must remember. I had to go to the doctors on Monday; it was a locum and so I had to try an explain my "problems" at the moment.....it was a difficult visit....having to speak to a stranger about how I'm feeling brought me to tears...however my "weakness" (for want of a better word) actually did me a favour as she signed me off from work for a further 4 months. Hopefully this will take the pressure off of me for an appointment I have tomorrow. I have been summoned by our local Job Centre to discuss arrangements for my finding a job......even though I'm signed off from work I still have to attend or they say they will cease my Bereavement Benefit......I know that whatever my resolve I'm going to end up in tears and am already feeling quite sick at the thought of sitting discussing my future with yet another stranger. It's ironic really; because I am signed off from work I should be able to receive Incapacity Benefit which would increase my current income of £58 ....however because I was caring for Mick the National Insurance contributions I was credited as a Carer were at the lower rate which means I don't qualify. I know I'm lucky to live in a country where ANY financial help is available but I'm saddened to think that Carer's are being penalised for CARING!