As you know from a previous post, today's was Poe's birthday. And it turned out to be one of those
Work was okay, though we got finished with everything at the newspaper by 8pm. Today was my boss's 30th Anniversary at the newspaper. Thirty freakin' years. I've only been there 8 and I'm scrabbling and scratching to get the hell out....Nonetheless, a small celebration was held for him and I got free cake. Delicious cake, too--not one of those grocery-store-bakery models that taste like sawdust rolled in powdered sugar. It was nice...but I ended up being dismissed early because there was, quite literally, nothing at all for me to do. I'll make it up in February when the Neighborhood Edition ads start coming in, but for now...I could've used to extra money.
Whatever. That meant I could stop by the bar that much sooner and hoist a pint to good ol' Depressing Eddie! Had a wonderful sup of Ephemere, the incredible import cranberry brew that Kirsten and I had when we went there about a month ago. May the Other Gods bless DiMarco's for having such a wondrous collection of import ales on tap!
I left after my token beer and went home...where I was surprised to find my mother waiting for me. My uncle George (her brother, and one of my alltime favorite relatives) had come to visit today with his wife Madeline, and I'd assumed she'd still be hanging out with them on her side of the house. But no...she wanted to tell me something, and had come over to my place to wait for me to show up at 11:00 to tell me. My uncle George was asleep. In fact, he'd been asleep since shortly after I'd left for work at 5:00pm. The reason he was asleep was that his health is failing.
My uncle George is in his 70s, and he was MS. He was diagnosed three years ago, or so. In fact, it was due to his
diagnosis that I went through all the tests to determine whether or not I
had the same last year, since there seems
to be a genetic component to MS which I might have picked up. Thankfully, though, it all just turned out to be fibromyalgia, which is annoying but not dangerous. My uncle, though, has it middling bad. It also doesn't help that he's in his 70s. Apparently, his health has really begun to fall apart lately. So he told my mother earlier tonight, and so she told me.
Needless to say, this has me bummed the fuck out right now. Not horribly, mind you....I fully realize my uncle is definitely up in age, which is more of a threat to his health than the MS--and I've known this for years. But...he's one of the few members of my family I've ever truly liked, and always trusted. He was a DC cop for most of his life. He fought in the Korean War (briefly, but still). He would often bring up his collection of old automatic and semi-automatic weapons so he and I could take them out back and shoot the hell out of bottles and targets. He was a great man--always calm, always level-headed...the complete opposite of my mother and virtually every other member of my family (including me). I wish I could've faced the full revelation of his bad health with the same demeanor as he faced it: with a shrug, and a "Well, whatever. I'll deal with it." But to think of this one man whom I've always respected sliding away so ignominiously has really shaken me up. Not horribly,
mind you, because as I said...I've seen this coming for years now. But I didn't think it would come this soon.
He's not dying. He was still able to drive up here from Washington, DC, after all...even if it sucked most of the life out of him to do so. He'll most likely be around for a while yet, but....The shadow has fallen faintly across him. I've spent some time chatting on AIM with some friends (thanks, siliconedreamer
!) to just take my mind off of stuff, but I wish I had someone to talk
to right now. Just to get a bit of this out of my head. But everyone's asleep or elsewhere, and that's all good. *shrug* I'll deal with it. This isn't anywhere near as bad as it just feels
right now. Tomorrow, I'm leaving for Pittsburgh to hang out with my old friend Jamie and almost certainly make it out to Chaos Nite at the Upstage. And Saturday I'll get to see Kirsten again, which will no doubt make a WORLD of difference. But for now...tonight, on Poe's birthday, of all days, I reserve the right to be a bit maudlin and a bit twitchy. You can't have joyful days without a few downturned nights. And even if my uncle's here asleep most of the time...well, hell, I
am asleep most of the time, too! We're both still here, and both still doing Our Thing. There's no sense fearing endings when there're still pages and pages of narrative left to go.