The Unbearable Banishment: Feeling Sorry for Yourself? Read On, Pilgrim.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Feeling Sorry for Yourself? Read On, Pilgrim.

Mrs. Wife’s aunt and uncle had us and few other family members over for dinner on Saturday night. Years ago, her uncle worked for a major asset management firm. I’m not exactly sure what he did there, but whatever it was, he must have been very good at it because he made a TON of money. I always found him a bit dull but there isn’t an ounce of malice in him, and that counts for plenty with me. He's a good bloke. He was on a path to an easy, comfortable retirement.

Then he got sick.

He contacted a rare degenerative brain disease. They have spent a significant amount of money trying to find a cure but apparently there isn’t one. I haven’t seen him in almost two years and his condition has deteriorated so severely that it’s painful to watch. He seems to be in a semi-vegetative state and can only communicate with his wife with a series of yelps and screams.

Here’s the O. Henry ending: Mrs. Wife’s aunt was made to wait 14 years until he married her. She could have left him and found someone else but she loved him and chose to wait. They got married and had two, maybe three good years together and then he started to deteriorate. Now, she is little more than his nurse. I watched her spoon feed him his dinner. They have an absolutely stunning house but I’ll bet they’d swap it for a room above a garage if he could have his health back. It’s heartbreaking.

I know it’s an overworked cliché but, seriously everyone, count your blessings.

* * *

There were some people at the dinner who are missing a racial sensitivity chip. Can you hold them responsible for the terrible things they say if they really have no idea how insulting they are? They have spent their entire lives surrounded by white people. They’ve never had a friend who is a minority and wouldn’t know how to behave around them. The Mom was describing the Halloween costume her future son-in-law was wearing to a party:

He went as Isaac from The Love Boat. They hired a makeup artist. His skin was painted brown and they made his nose and mouth look bigger. It looked really great.

Actually, while I was typing that I got angrier. I've changed my mind. They’re not innocents. They’re ignorant racist pigs. I should have said something. Bad on me.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

we must be channeling the same "lucky puppy" vibe tonight... we're all one phone call away from daytime nightmares.

went to see the movie Elegy today with friends... highly recommend it... tracks your post... except the fuckwit racists part.

October 26, 2008 at 10:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry about your wife's uncle xx

October 27, 2008 at 4:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Uncle and Aunt are lucky that they are able to be together. That she can keep him at home, care for him. A true blessing.

October 27, 2008 at 5:54 AM  
Blogger sid said...

She waited for 14 years? Damn! So they have no kids? Thing is that if he didn't have any money and suffered from this disease he wouldn't be able to get the best medical attention.

October 27, 2008 at 7:10 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

daisy: Now that you mention it, I remember trying to decide whether or not I should see Elegy when it was as released. It got great reviews but, damn, it’s soooo heavy.

nuse: Many thanks from Mrs. Wife and I.

annie: Money makes the difference! I keep thinking of how much I could do for my mom if I were wealthy.

sid: Yea, I never would have waited for 14 years, but you can’t apply reason and logic to matters of the heart. No kids, thankfully. I wouldn’t want to see my dad go through that.

October 27, 2008 at 8:07 AM  
Blogger Tim Hall said...

More proof that marriage is bad for your health. I wish them both well...but not the racists!

October 27, 2008 at 1:30 PM  
Anonymous Mrs. Wife said...

Just to clarify -- my family is not full of "fuckwit racists". Okay, one person just is too clueless to realize what she is saying and she has led a very sheltered life. And I didn't hear her say the part about the lips and nose. I'm sure everyone has people like this in their family.

October 27, 2008 at 7:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

shit galore in my life? - check

blessings counted anyway? - check

thanks for the reminder, t.u.b.

October 27, 2008 at 7:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@mrs wife - sorry! shouldn't have disparaged the entire clan...

"I'm sure everyone has people like this in their family.

oh yeah - much worse than just the "sheltered" kind...

October 27, 2008 at 8:43 PM  
Anonymous Mrs. Wife said...

Daisyfae, no hard feelings.

October 27, 2008 at 10:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mrs. Wife-
Sorry to hear about your uncle and knowing some of your family first hand they are awesome. What I have learned from this blog just goes to show money isn't everything. One never knows how things are in anothers persons home until they are on the other side of the door.

October 28, 2008 at 7:54 AM  

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