It is the lasting image we hold onto. On a warm, sunny day, in the carefree tapestry of a summer month, without cares or worries to haunt or ruminate by; perhaps the gentle sounds of a nearby stream and a cool breeze whispering softly the rustling leaves bright green in their early unravelling, still months away before the harsh August sun turns them into the crinkly brown of late Fall.
We dream of those times; perhaps, there never was a moment when life was without difficulties and lying beneath the shade of that big oak tree allowed for smiles of quiet content and soothing moments of careless thoughts. But we imagine them; wish for them; embrace the idea of a time in antiquity when horse carriages were aplenty on the streets of dusty horizons, and people actually stopped on street corners and talked of things beyond the introductory inanities of, “How’s it going?” or “What’s up?”
Perhaps, beyond the weather, identifying actual names of family members, their plights and circumstances, and non-malevolent queries about Aunt Sarah and the illegitimate child she had borne in that corner house of shame where untold acts of forbidden pleasures continued to reverberate in the shadows of destitution. No, there have always been trolls, boils and tragedies throughout time, and whether the youth in modernity espouse a greater utopia of equality and semblance, where Orwell’s prediction of totalitarianism in the destruction of forcing linguistic minimalism comes to fruition, it is the forgotten pimples which remain as the vestiges of lost reality, and the delightful dimples which we embrace to sustain sanity.
That is why that big oak tree — whether real or imagined — remains as the stalwart of memories lost and paradigms extinguished.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who yearn for a day, an hour, or just a minute of repose and reflection under that proverbial oak tree, but who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of the Federal or Postal job — it is important to hold on to the concept and hypothetical construct of that oak tree.
Preparing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application is a good first step; formulating a sound and solid basis to obtain an approval of a OPM Medical Retirement application is an important second step; and filing the completed Federal Disability Retirement application is a confirmation of following good advice and sound judgment, and the fruition of that necessary third step. Then, waiting upon the U.S. Office of Personnel Management to make a positive decision — well, that is when you will need those sleepy days under that big oak tree, in order to allow for wandering thoughts and carefree summers to abide by in that long wait before OPM makes a decision.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire