385. Pensioners
© Bruce Goodman 30 October 2014

Harold and Gertrude could barely live off the pension. And they had no other source of income.

Harold was dying. He was the one on the pension. Gertrude was unemployed. She was due to start the pension in two weeks. There was nothing could be done. Harold had to live for two weeks more until Gertrude got the pension. It would stop the week of his death.

They both knew and understood the situation. Gertrude encouraged Harold to breath.

“Keep breathing, darling,” she told him.

“I’m doing my best, honeybun,” he wheezed.

One week passed. Thank goodness for that! Just one week to go.

And, damn it! Harold passed away the day before the pension came in. That messed up their plans. The cost of running the house was almost the same. Gertrude had to pay for the funeral and for the living expenses for one whole week before she herself got the pension.

She scrimped. She wasted not. She saved. It took her three years, on the pension, to catch up to the standard of living they had before Harold died. And all for a day.

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