Sunday, July 4, 2004

ABC's

It's 3:10 a.m.  Why am I still up?
Well, it's because I went to see the 'Spiderman 2' late show (great movie! go see it!), and then, when I got home, I jumped at the chance to use my first free time in a couple of days to journalize.
The world is not going well for my dad's side of the family.  My mom's side is still pretty intact.  Fragmented v. whole, and also redneck southern city v. transplanted country folk.  And that's me in the middle.  The only Philosophy major/space geek/quiet one of the bunch.  I never quite fit in, but they forgave me for that when I produced my daughter, whom both sides adore.
So when my dad gave me Friday's update, I've cried and haven't been good for anything...Why is it that when one thing goes bad, they all go bad?  My dad was busy all week long with the traumas of his sister and two brothers, my aunt and uncles. 
One uncle's issue this week is jail (he's the black sheep), and the other one's is divorce (after 25 years of marriage).  (Don't go thinking my dad's the trauma-free one, as he is the one who ended up in the hospital a few years ago with a gunshot wound.  He drove himself to the E/R.  That's a tough military man for you.  It will take quite a long time for him to live that one down.)
But it was the update on my aunt that stopped me.  The cirrhosis of the liver was caused by...hepatitis, after all.  I don't know how the hospital said that she didn't have it, and now she does.  But she does.  We don't know how.  She did work in a hospital for years and years, so maybe that's how?  The other news is that she only has about 20% of her liver that is actually functioning.
I had so many questions.  What does 20% functioning mean?  Is that good or bad?  How long can it function like that?  Will it get worse?
She goes back to the specialist this week and then we'll know more. 
My cousins still hadn't told my aunt, either, about any of it.  All they have told her now is that something MAY be wrong with her liver and she is going to need more tests.  My dad is going out there to tell her the truth.  I know that the reason my aunt doesn't know yet is because my cousin, who acts as interpreter, just cannot tell her.  I can't imagine having to be the one to do it.  I'm glad that it's going to be my dad, who's known and loved her the longest...
"Life is a joy, and a privilege."  My preacher said that this week.  He is over 70 years old, and lost his beloved wife of over 50 years to cancer, a year ago this week.  He is still ministering to people, still reminding people of what's important.  He's still reminding people of how to LIVE.
Life is a joy, and a privilege.