Some Irony Going on Here
Sometimes, the more things change,the more things stay the same.
I am so surprised at how fast things are happening in some ways. Three years ago: all three of my brothers seemed to be in decent health, even surprisingly so given their history of drinking, smoking, and using drugs. They were all OK, perhaps not great, but OK.
About two years ago, Dave, the oldest, had a heart attack. He had some arteries cleaned out and some stents put in. He continues to eat a horrendous diet but believes wrongly that he can live a normal life span with the arteries cleaned out and the stents in. His behavior is exactly the same today as thirty years ago. He has learned zero. This is the brother who provides alcohol to his underage son despite losing a daughter to a drunk driver. The maturing process simply never occurred.
Then there is the middle brother, Mike. He is dying of cancer. I am awaiting the call of his death. I saw a video of him taken by my dad a week ago. He looks unbelievably bad. He dropped out of the family decades ago and I don’t blame him one bit. He is very proud of his ability to legally grow marijuana. It is so funny because he had been doing so for decades. It’s just that the authorities don’t want to incarcerate him because he is pure liability. He could die in their custody and they could get sued. He is just not worth their time and energy. He is on disability and everyone is good with that. Why take away what little quality of life he has?
Then there is the youngest brother, Bob. (All of them are older than me and are the product of my mom’s first marriage, but my dad raised all of us.) His is the most interesting story. He was a major narcissist in his teens and twenties. Everything was about Bob. When he came to Michigan, everyone was expected to drop everything to entertain him. He got caught with cocaine in a speed trap my truck-driver dad warned him about. He and his first wife did a lot of drugs together. They were two peas in a pod. They had a daughter and lived near Mike in Illinois.
Bob gets caught with coke. He does some time and tries to get his life together. He marries a woman in Massachusetts. She is a horrible human being. Her family of origin wants nothing to do with her. Bob has a daughter and a son with her. Those children are grown now and want nothing to do with her. She stole her children’s college fund and the judge took a particularly dim view of that.
He divorces her and is suddenly thrust into the position of responsible single parent. He has major guilt of feeling like he abandoned his Illinois daughter. He pays a lot of alimony and doesn’t have two nickels to rub together and lives with the younger daughter near Boston.
About six months ago, he had a medical incident where the artery between his spleen and liver was completely clogged. It turns out he has some weird blood clotting abnormality and had had a heart attack that he did not know about. He already had COPD. Last week, he found out he has cirrhosis of the liver, probably due to a lifetime of alcohol consumption and recently reduced blood supply to the liver. He wants to live! Badly.
I have offered to give a chunk of my liver to him. I have no idea if I am a match or not. But, if it will give him a few more good years, it would be worth it. I am not married and have no children. Nobody depends on me.
Bob is coming to Michigan for the July fourth weekend at Dave’s place. When Bob said he could not have a beer, Dave was aghast. “Not even one beer?” “Nope. Not even one beer.” Dave’s priority is, apparently, beer. Are you freaking kidding me?
I would never offer a chunk of my liver to Dave because he is a practicing alcoholic. No doctor is going to give a transplant to someone that still drinks.
I can’t believe that Bob is the good guy now. Bob is learning and growing, albeit the hard way. I am always willing to support someone’s sobriety. I did it for thirty years for Barry. I know how to play this role.
My goal? To give Bob a few good years so he can see his grandchildren in Illinois. That daughter is married and seems to be extremely fertile. Barry’s grandchildren were everything to him. Bob’s younger children are in their twenties. The girl is a nurse and the boy is a cop in Everett, MA. They have no children. I would like Bob to live long enough to see Massachusetts grandkids.
Of course, I may not be a match.
And it is starting to dawn on my parents that I am likely to be the only one that lives long enough to inherit anything whatsoever. Me, the one with suicidal tendencies. There are simply too many levels of irony here to even count. All of this is so twisted.