Wednesday, August 8, 2007


I'm heading off tomorrow to visit some relatives in another state. I'm not particularly looking forward to this visit for several reasons. First, my cousin who is my closest living relative and who has been more like an older brother to me has terminal brain cancer. He has beaten the odds and is still living after two years from diagnosis; however, the quality of his life isn't good. The disease has reduced him from being a witty, bright, athletic person to someone who can't walk, has difficulty speaking, and doesn't make any sense when he does speak. So, I'm not sure whether this is going to be the last time I'll see him but I am sure that it will be difficult to see him as he now is.

Another difficulty of the visit is his wife who has turned to spirit healers for help. The healers have told her that five dead neurosurgeons are visiting my cousin and are working on his brain to restore it. They have replaced the plate in his head with a purple glowing shield. I am glad that she is consoling herself in some way but this all seems like huge denial to me. She has also decided to completely give up living a life and spends her entire day caring for my cousin. I will definitely have to practice my slogan of "Never miss an opportunity to keep your mouth shut" around her.

I've had generally crazy relatives. On my father's side, there were the alcoholics and on my mother's side there were the depressed people. I'm lucky that I don't drink and that I haven't had to be hospitalized for depression so far. Hopefully, I'll escape having to visit any of the remaining ones that are around as this visit is primarily to see my cousin. I'm sure that seeing him will be difficult but I feel a lot of compassion for him. I'm hoping that my HP gives me strength to get through this visit.


  1. Ok, I will be dramatic in saying that you may be going into battle field, however you have a good army -- the army, your sponsor and those relationships you have built in Al-Anon.

    My dad's side, alcoholic, mom's side, depression, I was affected by both and not made aware UNTIL I became sick with both . . .

    You are ahead with tools that will aid you in this experience. Sure it may be difficult, but do not hesitate to use your resources. Perhaps you will bring something to your family that only you can with such spiritual knowledge. Perhaps you have a purpose yet to be defined.

  2. Contact Jerry Seinfeld.
    I believe you've got a sitcom in you.

  3. Syd,
    I will be thinking about you this week. I am an avid reader, just don't always comment on your blog. I agree with Sober chick, you seem to be well prepared for the battles that lie ahead of you.

  4. You are just as powerless over your cousins cancer as you are of the alcoholism and depression.However,you being there for someone like your cousin who has been like a brother to you,well that will be very powerful.You just wait and see.
    Even when the reality of his time hits you, that honor never leaves.
    I am dealing with that right now in my personal live with loved ones..but the quality of love never tarnishs nor dies.
    I wish you a peaceful visit Syd.
    I am sure you will use your tools to make the very best of the experience and if shit hits that fan, find a computer and let us have it..we'll see how we can help.
    Peace and safe travels to you.
    Tab xo

  5. Just go slow and take it one second at a time. You will be OK.

  6. Today is the day that I needed to read about "keeping my mouth shut". I was struggling with going into work this morning...I saw this post...and realized the solution to my day, I can simply keep my mouth shut. THanks

  7. I know as visits go, it sounds like s*ite, but you will see when you get there, that your rock bottom and subsequent rebirth from the ashes, using spiritual principles enables you to be UNIQUELY useful at times like these. Think of it as an opportunity for service, and you will be amazed at how it turns out. That doesn't mean force your ideas upon others. That just means 'be' there for them as an example of a human being that is comfortable in their own skin, that has compassion and empathy for other sufferers. Just being there for them, with that 'stillness' is a powerfully healing presence. You will be surprised how much other people receive from that kind of company. It goes beyond words and soothes them in a wonderful way. Anyway, good luck with the visit. Your conscience and your higher power will steer you just fine. You paddle n god steers..
    Gotta go! Work is REALLY busy, so I have NO free time right now..

  8. Ah Syd,
    I am so good at 'foot in mouth disease'.
    I have to learn sometimes just to shut up and listen.
    My oldest brother died of a brain tumour.......thankfully 2 months after he was diagnosed but towards the end he was paranoid...and bitter. That made me so he was the most positive person in my life.
    I hope you know that you're doing the right thing...and somewhere in his mind he will remember that you reached out and touched him.
    I hope his wife will get better.
    I understand where you saddens us to see our families suffering...but know that you are not alone.
    So many of us have dysfunctional families...half are crazy, some addicted, and the rest depressed..What's normal? I don't know.
    One foot ahead of the other...and one day at a time.
    Have a good weekend.


Let me know what you think. I like reading what you have to say.