A Birthday Wish For The Billionaires

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My birthday is this weekend and I only want one thing: to see my girlfriend. Shannon and I haven’t seen each other in nearly six years. Since our last visit, we’ve tried numerous times to see each other, but we’ve been too sick to make the 2,000 mile trip. 

Lately, my health has improved enough that I’ve seriously considered traveling to see Shannon. But even so, there are countless hurdles that, at the very least, seem insurmountable. I’ve thought about taking a train—booking a room in the sleeping car, but that would mean enlisting the help of my mom (or another caregiver) to help me get on and off two separate trains. Not to mention, boarding the metal train steps with a wheelchair would be as difficult (and painful) as being thrown down, well, a flight of metal train steps.

Another option would be driving across the continent, but the trip from California to Ottawa would take an obscenely long time. At the most, I can handle three hours of riding in a car in one day, which means it would take at least two weeks to get there. That is time that I could be spending with Shannon, if only I could fly to Ottawa. 

There is, however, a similar yet exceedingly more expensive option. I’ve considered saving up enough money to charter a plane, which would drastically reduce my exposure to COVID and other contagious illnesses. It would also make the boarding process much easier, saving me a lot of energy and pain. But, given my fixed disability income, saving up enough money to charter a plane would take years. 

The problem is I can’t.

After my “Modern Love” essay about our love story was published in The New York Times, a few incredibly thoughtful people reached out and wanted to help me pay for a flight to Ottawa. But a commercial flight poses too many health risks and mobility hurdles. Navigating a busy airport full of people not wearing masks while my immune system is compromised would almost certainly have catastrophic consequences.

Shannon and I often joke about a billionaire lending us a private jet, since that would be the safest and perhaps the only way we could travel such a far distance. It may be a quixotic fantasy, but you never know, it could happen. And it wouldn’t even take a billionaire. All we need is a very generous millionaire. Believe it or not, there are 22 MILLION millionaires in the US, and celebrities like Taylor Swift and Mr. Beast have been known to let people use their planes, or even give them away. 

I realize that this may sound a bit frivolous, but imagine not seeing your significant other for almost six years. Imagine how difficult it would be to maintain such a relationship through text messages and FaceTime, through birthday cards and Amazon deliveries, all without touching or kissing or even being in the same country. 

If that isn’t enough to warrant the use of a private plane, then let me add one more reason. 

In the weeks and months leading up to my last visit with Shannon, I was much sicker than I am now. I couldn’t speak above a whisper and I was completely bedridden. But as we spent time together, I began to feel better and do more. I had more energy and I could sit up longer and even talk a little. Shannon felt better, too. We later attributed this to increased oxytocin, a hormone that increases as you bond with someone. In very unscientific terms, we felt better because we were loving on each other. 

Now, six years later, I can’t help but feel that, if only we could be together, our conditions would improve once again. And while my health has already been improving, Shannon’s has not. In fact, she has gotten quite a bit sicker. Recently, she has crashed so severely that she has been unable to speak or sit up in bed. She is essentially as sick as I was when she last saw me. Now I am the healthier one in the relationship, and I so badly want to deliver her a very large dose of oxytocin. 

I know it’s a long shot (or even a no shot), but I also know that if I don’t try to make something happen, it likely never will. So, this is me trying to see the love of my life, trying to reunite with her after six excruciatingly long years apart. 

And so, if you know one of the 22 million millionaires (or anyone else) who could help Shannon and I reunite, we would be so incredibly grateful if you’d reach out. And if not, that’s okay, too. We will be together virtually, if nothing else.


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8 thoughts on “A Birthday Wish For The Billionaires”

  1. Hi Jamison,

    Wrote a longer response but thought I was a bot and then lost it – anyway, good luck! Hope Shannon gets to feeling better and glad you are.

  2. Nancy Obrigewitsch

    Jamison, I wish you a very Happy Birthday! I wish I was one of those millionaires! I do have an idea. It relates to public relations! I have a sister who has worked in PR for years mostly for non-profits. Currently she’s out of the country in Uganda. However, a person like her is good for connections around you locally usually for print or even TV connections too. An example, a local Ukraine couple here had their new Kia stolen by juveniles who then crashed and totaled it all before they could get insurance on it. They had no idea Kia’s were even being stolen like hotcakes and when someone a friend showed them how to make a GoFundMe people were not nice about it. These poor folks just wanted to get to their new jobs and take their children to school. so my sister contacted the local news station told them where she worked, what her job was and the situation and the news people laid things out in a much different light. The GoFundMe was closed as soon as they had enough to cover a similar non-KIA car! So well, you never know! I hope Shannon starts feeling better. As a person with Fibromyalgia among other things I can sympathize when health takes a nosedive so do our spirits. I’m sending positive energy to you both.

    1. JamisonWrites.com

      Wow, Nancy! That is a wild story. I’ve actually heard of people stealing KIAs where we live too. I heard there’s some glitch in them that was them very easy to start and then steal. Thanks for the PR idea. That would be great. I had a bad experience with a publicist after my book came out but I would love to work with someone else. We really appreciate the good energy! Hugs to you!

  3. I was surprised when you guys were selling the house in the mountains that you didn’t decide to move to upper NY. Houses are around $120k which would leave enough cash for your mom not to work to the rest of her life and you would be 2.5hrs drive from Shan. Medicare/Medicaid is even better is NY with really good doctors and social support system. The move would be hard on you but you only would have to do it once instead of traveling that distance every time to see her. Cali is the most expensive state to live even if you are healthy working person. I’m sure you got your reasons to live there but most on fixed income live in cheapest places, like upstate NY near Canadian border. To this day I can’t figure out a reason for you staying in Cali. Eventually you could get hitched and live in both places (Canada/US), where ever benefits you the best with healthcare and support system.

    1. JamisonWrites.com

      Hey Chris!

      That is a good point. The main thing that has kept me from moving closer to Ottawa is the fact that I don’t know anyone in NY, and I rely on a lot of friends and family here in California. If I had a good support system in upstate NY I’d definitely move there. But even then, it wouldn’t be ideal because Shannon and I would still have to cross the border. Getting hitched would be a good option, but they put you through a rigorous trial period where you can’t return to your country for a full year after you get married. I know a Canadian who got married to an American and couldn’t go home to see their family when they were in the hospital because it was during the first year after they got married.

      Thanks again for your thoughts. It’s definitely something I’m thinking about, always looking for a way to be closer. Just wish it were easier.

  4. Hey Jamison!
    Just an idea for you – maybe if you improve a bit more you would be able to tolerate the drive IF you had a few people who could take shifts to drive you in a Winnebago or patient transfer ambulance. If they took shifts and went non stop you could make it in 2 days. If you could have someone sedate you for the two days and you slept in the bed the whole time and kept the shades down, keeping it dark it could be less taxing on you. The Rv community online are a pretty great community so I bet you’d find people in that community that could help.
    Just an idea – that may be more doable than a millionaire 😉

    1. JamisonWrites.com

      Hey Linda! That’s probably my best bet, but I’m limited in how long I can be on the road before I begin to feel quite miserable. I’ve actually been thinking about giving it a shot though. I’d just have to go at a snail’s pace, which might not be bad. It could be nice to take our time and see the country. My main worry is that I’d get really sick halfway there and sort of be stuck. But as you said, maybe my health will improve and it won’t be an issue.

      On a separate note, I was just about to email you about Amazon ads. I was hoping to pick your brain a bit, if you’re up for it. I’ll shoot you an email.

    2. This is what I tried to offer to Shannon two years ago when Shannon was stronger. My wife and I traveled in RV from NY to west coast twice, three times a year. I messaged Shannan on Facebook couple times about us picking her up to get these two together. I explained that she could stay in bed the entire trip. We would avoid any human contact, camp on National Forest on the way, wear masks and bleach the entire RV to kill any possible mold (she has severe mold allergies). We would drop her off by Jamison and pick her up whenever she was ready to head back to Ottawa. Got no reply.

      A private plane is a dream. I flew on them many times through my work between Cedar City UT and Albany, NY. It’s a rough ride for a healthy person. I don’t get sick on planes or boats but these small jets will make me sick as a dog. The regional jets fly under 10K so no turbulence but to go across the country, the plane needs to fly at 30k feet. Bumpy ride in a small plane with lots of noise and pressure drops. No way to get anyone with a wheelchair up on these planes as the doors are tiny. Jamison would have to walk up 8-9 steps and then 10 more feet to the upright seat. No laying down unless we are talking big plane (John Travolta style)

      Then there is a chance that Canada will not grant Jamison an entry. If there is even a hint of him becoming a burden they will turn him around, after landing in Ottawa. Every time we crossed into Canada to camp, we had to prove income, assets, show bank accounts. If you watch Youtube van life channels, so many get turned around at the Vancouver border just trying to drive through Canada to get to Alaska. US is much more lax about Canadians entering US without sufficient assets/income.

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