My Uncle is in the hospital. My Mom is handling it as best she can.
I just got the phone call tonight. I could hear in her voice before she explained the situation how bad it was.
He’s in a lot of pain.
My Uncle and I have never gotten along. We are the antithesis of each other. Once, in an offhand comment, he warmly called me a racial slur. For three years out of my life, our bedrooms shared a wall. Late at night, I’d hear him preaching to someone on the phone. Trying to fall asleep to that was…difficult. His life is based in the Bible. I am a loose Christian.
My Uncle was born with cerebral palsy, we think. Or he contracted polio. Health systems for black folks have not been ideal. He walked with a hitch, his hip cocked to one side due to whatever illness he has/had. Some years ago, he fell down the stairs in the house and broke his hip. My Mom didn’t get home until hours after the incident. He was there, alone, in pain, and could only wait. He’s used a walker ever since.
I don’t want my Uncle to die. My Mom and my Uncle have lived in that house for years with just the two of them. For most of my early years, I lived in that house. It was me, my mother, my uncle, and my Granddaddy. Then my Grandfather died my senior year in high school. And I moved away for college. So, for fourteen years, it’s been just the two of them.
My Mom is the closest thing to a matriarch in the family. She’s kind and sweet and tries as best she can for her siblings. But she is just one person. And our family has never been well off.
I don’t want my Uncle to die, but I don’t want him to suffer either. I don’t want my mother to lose her brother, but I know this ordeal is tearing her up inside.
I don’t know what is going to happen. I do know I have been through this before with other family members and, either way, I never like how this ends up.