My Great Uncle Ellie died on January 8th. He was 92 years old and lived a long and full and happy (I think) life filled with family and love. We were all very close to him. Up until a couple of months ago he was exuberant, hilarious, tequila-drinking, lady-charming and very much alive. His health failed quickly, and the truth is, I'm grateful he didn't suffer for a long time.
My 17-month-old nephew, Lex, who has Cystic Fibrosis was admitted to the hospital on January 23rd because he had a horrific cough that hadn't cleared after a couple of months of extra treatments. Luckily, he is doing better and will be released, it looks like, tomorrow. It was scary and a wake-up call for me. I try to not think about Lex's illness and what it could mean for his future. This forced me to think about it. As a result, Ian and I have signed up to the Great Strides Walk which is a fundraiser for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Feel free to support me by going here.
On that same day, Ian fell off of his skateboard and broke his wrist.
In the process of making plans to go visit Ian's 96 (I think) year-old Grannie in Vancouver, we heard from many family members that her health seems to be drastically declining. I don't know how much worse it'll be (we go next weekend) from when we saw her last, but I have a feeling it will be shocking. The timing of this visit, which will surely be upsetting in terms of her physical and mental health, fits into the overall theme of our life lately.
My sister-in-law, Ian's sister, has had issues with drugs and mental health for as long as I've known Ian (she was about 14 when I met Ian). She is now 23 years-old and not doing well. She has spent much of the last several months in and out of a mental hospital and I don't really even have the words to talk about this.
Last night, sometime between January 31st and February 1st, my Uncle Brian died. He is...or was, I guess....my dad's brother. It is complicated. He was somewhere on the autism spectrum, or had some other sort of major developmental disability that was never dealt with or diagnosed. He was also diabetic and had lost both his legs and one of his eyes to infection over the past couple of decades. He lost his wife just over a year ago. His life is sort of sad to think about, but in the last year, we saw him more than we had in the previous decade. He didn't have a mean bone in his body. I feel glad that his last year had him surrounded by family and living somewhere where he had a religious and social life. I also know that had this not happened, his loss would have hit me far less hard. Bittersweet, I guess.
I will end by pointing out that it is now 2013 and I am still no closer to being a mother that I ever have been. My life is filled with medical centers, doctors, vials of drugs and needles.