Dear Doctor Palmer, …an apology
(Note: this is a personal response to an ongoing debate in the Lufkin Daily News through letters to the editor. If you wish to read the letters please enter a comment or contact me and I will provide them.)
Dear Doctor Palmer,
I have obviously caused you emotional distress and difficulties. I deeply apologize. In attempting to make certain points I crossed a line of respect I should not have crossed. My words were never meant as slander. I very much regret they were taken as such.
My “public” persona is very different from who I am as a person. I am far more direct and sometimes more condescending or confrontational as a writer of political rhetoric than I ever am in person. On occasion I include more negative comments than I should. While I believe the rhetoric I used is the nature of political debate I recognize now that personalizing as I did was unacceptable. I shall refrain from such in the future.
After your office called canceling our appointments and we were unable to find someone else who would accept our kids my wife and I were frustrated. I did not search the phone book but we contacted Medicaid as we’re instructed to do on our kids’ Medicaid forms. Medicaid gave us a list of providers. We called them all and none would not accept our kids. We’d already dealt with this problem before in regard to medical care for our oldest daughter. When your letter showed up in the paper I decided to speak directly to you. I attempted to place the blame on doctors and dentists who are opting out of the system but unfairly singled you out personally. Taking our frustrations out on you in public was wrong.
From your letter it seems your perception of me is less than flattering. I can understand that. I’ve always been who I am and rarely tried to present myself as anyone else. Please allow me some explanation of my situation. I did not mean to imply that the illness I suffer from is a reason for my not finding work. It is at times crippling but has not kept me from fulfilling my responsibilities. I am not unemployed. I am a homemaker. Unconventional though it may be I fell into the job soon after my wife and I became foster parents. My wife had a good career job at the time and I didn’t. I took over as keeper of the kids. It’s been a wonderful opportunity to grow and learn and be a person I never thought I could be. I would not trade my time with the kids for the world. My wife is happy, the kids are happy, and I accept my roll, humbling as it is, and am happy with it.
Your offer to cover my medical costs to find a solution to my illness is appreciated. I have said before that I’d do almost anything to be free of this debilitating pain but I am learning how to live with it. The illness brings me to a complete halt at times, has me a bit paranoid about my future, and keeps me from being the active father I would like to be. Having said all that, I was not asking you for help for myself. I was merely using my own illness as an example of what many people suffer with on a daily basis. There are more needy and more deserving people than I who could use help. I would not ever want to take from them for myself, especially when I am capable of dealing with my problems on my own. Help those whom you feel most deserving. If you still wish to help I gratefully accept your offer. My phone number is atop this letter.
Thank you for your time, Doctor Palmer. I hope you will accept this letter in the spirit of sincerity with which it has been sent. I have posted this letter on my blog as a public apology. I will offer a public apology in a letter to the paper after I have delivered this letter to you.
My deepest sincerity and apologies for ill spoken words and acts.
H.J. Ted Gresham
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