I took a road today that I've never been on before. This old dirt road was narrow and rutted in places, with rocks to spare, but I've seen far worse. Hey, and just look at the view!
I spent the day down at my oldest sister's. I delivered an old air conditioning unit that was sitting in the parent's storage unit to their house because she could not afford the gas to do so herself. I also wanted to see my nephew, who has been battling with a rare auto immune disease, and my oldest niece, who just turned 21 and has already been married and divorced. It breaks my heart to see them suffer these hardships. When I got down there I found my niece not looking so well. Her boyfriend had recently broken up with her. This guy was a stable and positive force in her life, but he was young and I feel that he just couldn't deal with her anymore.
I love my niece to bits. I had a hunch that things weren't going well in other areas in her life. I found out that she is in debt a little over $7,000 and has not had a job for months. I tried my best to sort out her bills and figure things out for her. We sorted out which bills needed to be paid first and I told her that I'd float her the first payment if she would get any kind of job that would be decent--I couldn't live knowing my niece was stripping or something like that. I don't think she'd resort to that, but she has done things in the past that have been really disappointing. Did I mention that I was supposed to be on vacation? Even if it is just day trippin', I still think I need a break from this.
It really wasn't a bad day. In fact, I was glad that I could help out my family. The thing was that I left a voice mail for a close friend of mine where I was all acting goofy and wishing him a happy birthday (his birthday on the 2nd). I was on my way home when I did that and when I finally arrived I find out that his mother, who had cancer, had passed away around 4:00 pm today. I can't even start to imagine how hard that must be on my friend. He has been taking care of her and helping with his three adult, mentally handicapped siblings. Now it is him and his dad left to run this household. His youngest sister is a sweet person, but not really able to handle such things herself.
The older siblings, in my opinion, dump a lot on my friend because they figure that if he is 40 and not married yet that he should be the one to deal with it all. I don't know if it ever occurred to them that he might be single because he has to deal with it and doesn't get much time for socializing and developing competent dating skills. This friend of mine is dealing with his own limitations in learning disabilities and does exceptionally well, given the hand he's been dealt with in life. Actually, he is more successful than some educated people that I know.
He has been a role model to me--a big brother. I may be able to run intellectual circles around him, but he has taught me much about how to treat others and how to live a moral life. Plus, he is about the funniest human being that I know of, and he does it all without being derogatory or vulgar.
Norm, I love you man. I don't know exactly how much your mom meant to you, but I know it was an enormous amount. I know that losing her is tough, not only because you will miss her, but because you lost the one who knew how to manage the family, the family that you now must try to explain what death is and why their mother has gone away. You have put your own personal life on hold for your love and devotion to your handicapped siblings. I believe in God and if it is any consolation, he has a place in heaven reserved for you. Outsiders will dismiss and mock you, a straight arrow of 41, that chooses to do the right in life despite want. But I and a few in the know have got you sussed. You are about the best God has to offer in this fucked up world. People just don't know a gift from above anymore and I know that you get flack for being the way you are. I hope you do get what you want, but I also hope that the core person that is you never changes. I feel blessed to have you as a friend and as a standby older brother--because I always wanted two.Cheers mate.
4 years ago