The world is still turning and spring is here again. Last year I found myself swept into a maelstrom that sucked me down and tried to drown my soul. It started at the end of May with the death of my sister-in-law, Cheryl, and culminated with the death of my brother, Morris, in early October.
With her sudden passing, I stepped up as his sister and his nurse and helped him with the horrors of health care for a Vietnam Veteran afflicted with a particularly virulent form of Parkinson’s Disease that resulted from exposure to dioxins (Agent Orange) while he was in Vietnam. I planned to do articles on the procedure that would stop the tremors. He had the surgery to implant electrodes to counter the effects of Parkinson’s. I took photos and posted them on Facebook for family and friends to see.
The irony of life is overwhelming. The mere placement of the electrodes stilled most of the tremors without the unit being turned on. Then, he grew weaker by the day, as though the gods were displeased at the effort to repair him. Another trip to the hospital and the rehab culminated in the call that I wish had never come. In the ultimate disaster, he had a brain stem bleed and was on an anticoagulant that has no antidote. He died and I collapsed from exhaustion and grief.
Six months have passed and I am finally able to write a coherent sentence again. The world is beautiful and life continues. I will defy the witch in the mirror. I will go on.
Morris and Cheryl now rest together for all time.