August 5, 2019 Blog


Today is my grand daughter’s fifth birthday, her birth made me a grand father.i did not see her today or talk to her though I saw her on Instagram in a piece her mother posted of her at various ages, very sweet pictures. Yesterday I saw her on a new bike with training wheels on her Dad’s Instagram page. It reminded me of sending photos to my mother of my first son when I was in Oakland and later here.My mom who died in 1978 never knew I had more children in a second marriage.

  I don’t see my grand daughter now or my grandson because I am estranged from my son and my older sons as is a long tangled tale how this came to be the case. At the beginning of the year side effects from immunotherapy for my renal cancer required me to take steroids which in turn caused my organic bi-polar brain disorder to manifest itself. Which ultimately required hospitalization because I was simply off the rails from stress and the powerful effects of the steroids. My behavior was very bad I was really suffering from colitis and my pre-existing bi-polar psychosis because of the cancer drugs side effects, the immunotherapy has stopped the cancer from growing but at a steep price. My wife who is my primary care giver suffered my behavior more than anyone I was hardly there up around the clock and very rude and disorderly. My sons put me in a geriatric psych hospital in Fridley. My wife had preferred I stay at Abbott Hospital where I had been receiving treatment but this did not happen, at the facility in Fridley my sons in a session with the facility’s social worker verbally abused my wife blaming her for my condition, indeed scapegoating her as if they didn’t understand the underlying reality of mental illness. I did not witness this abuse but I could tell from my wife’s distress that it was very real and very cruel. Later the youngest of my son’s gave me a taste of his contempt for my wife and I when I called him for help after a fall in the bathroom. This has proved to be the undoing of my relationships with my son’s and their children my grandchildren.

 I have never quite understood why they behaved so cruelly to my wife who has kept me alive and been a fine care taker through some quite difficult times? It sort of hurts more on my grand daughter’s birthday because it reminds us of how long it’s been since we have seen her. I don’t know if this situation is permanent but it is certainly painful. I will not go into details or suppositions as to why these outcomes transpired. Suffice it to say it’s complicated. But today is very sad I miss my family and so does my wife. My grand daughter was quite bonded with my spouse her grandmother. I know from other friends and experiences that these estrangements do happen but I am sad that I don’t see my grand children or my boys and that my spouse also suffers from this separation. The boys need to apologize to my wife at some point to put this to rest. But I am afraid this unlikely as people are loath to accept responsibility for rude and irresponsible acts of this sort. So the status quo remains even on this blessed day when my grand daughter turn five. I am dying slowly at an unknown rate, renal cancer of the rare type I have is a slow killer, and the immunotherapy has stopped it’s growth for now but I will not live forever with this brokenness in my family. We all pass through suffering in this life but this has been very sad on top of all I and my wife have had to deal with this past months. But my wife has given me the spirit and faith that I may live on a decade she says, her optimism and strength have made me understand that love is a medicine.

 . ..