Monday, June 25, 2007

family matters

So, I've been stalling my blog because I learned some sad news about one of the members of my family. I didn't know if this was the place to vent; I didn't know how to vent, or if I even had the right to. What happened was my sister took my niece to the doctor's for a long overdue checkup, and through a series of tests and examinations found out that she has a bone disease (something that she's had from birth) that is causing her bones to grow out of alignment. And they may not be able to do anything about it.

Now that doesn't mean she's going to die, but it does mean she could become disabled by it later on, because if they are indeed unable to help her, her bones will get progressively more deformed-it could become painful for her, painful in ways that are beyond physical discomfort. Actually nobody in my family is especially healthy. My sister (my niece's mother) has had Type 1 Diabetes since the age of 5, I already told you about my mother's cancer, and I have my own serious health problems. But most of our issues are the kind that are not seen on the surface-the average person could not look at any one of us and tell that we're chronically ill. That won't be the case with my niece. She will probably be ostracized for her illness, merely because she looks different, she'll be treated as unnatural..and there's nothing I can do about it either.

Beyond not knowing how to help her right now, I feel at a loss as to how to help prepare her mentally, physically, and emotionally for her future. How do you teach a person to be stronger than anyone she's known? We can make her tough, but I fear we'll sacrifice the open, sweet spirit she has right now. I want her to be wise, not pitiful. I don't want to make her into a clone of me, I want her to be better than me, because I know she can be. Heh, she's already better than me, she already has this ability to put herself out there, to enjoy life, even if it's hard at times. I don't want that to be taken away from her. I want to teach her to hold onto that, but I have to grab hold of it myself before I can even begin.

So, basically during my break I've been trying not to rationalize my frustration away, trying to seriously analyze it. Trying to convice myself that her life is not over, just because right now I can't make sense of how it will go on. She's not me. She won't give up on herself, I won't allow it, and neither will anyone else in my family. I'm also learning that it's okay to be frustrated with no one in particular, I don't have to be mad at myself or anyone else for what's happened, I still have a right to say, "It's not fair. Life is not fair." But I don't have a right to make this all about me. It's not my burden to bear, but I can help make it a little lighter for her.


Celine said...

I am so sorry, D! yes, life really is unfair, aiming its crappiest shots to those who deserve good things happening to them instead.
you and your family are in my thoughts and I know you will support your niece to the best of your ability, and love her to pieces for it too.

danucal said...

Thank you so much for your kind words, Celine. As cliche as it is, taking it one day at a time is tried and true, so that's what we're going to do. I guess that's all we can do.

I'm actually happy that the news wasn't worse, you know? I don't know anyone who doesn't have some kind of physical ailment, so why should my family be any different? Well, it's still depressing, but I really appreciate your support.