Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Good news is never why my mother calls me before I get to the office. This morning was no exception--around 8:30 my cell phone rang, and my mother was letting me know that my uncle died this morning.
Allen had been sick pretty much constantly for the last half-dozen years, since he dropped the branch of a tree on his head and damaged his brain. He's been in and out of hospice three times, and each time has suddenly recovered enough to leave. Most recently he has had an infection in his leg that the doctors just couldn't dig out, and that was what killed him. He was my grandmother's first child and only son.

The last few years with Allen have been impossibly difficult for my poor grandmother. The damage to his brain left him like an unruly child, and he's been sneaking out to drive down to her house and terrify her for years. He meant well, or as well as he could mean, anyway, but she is an old lady and it's been tough on her.

My grandmother is one of the most important people in my life. She was the only thing that was steady while I was growing up, the only person who wasn't bent on hurting everyone within reach. Talking to her this morning, hearing how barely held together she is, was anguishing. There isn't anything I can do. She is all alone in my mother's house--my mom's on her way back from out of town--and there's nothing I can do.

Quit it, 2005. I can't take much more of this.

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