Monday, April 10th, 2017

That Is Soul Tearing!

February 27, 2011 by  
Filed under Certified Nursing Assistant

I was just a child when my mother’s younger brother, Bob tried to kill himself. My grandfather was 18 years old who was found unconscious in the fog of exhaust fumes and carbon monoxide. She pulled him to the garage, to save his life. Since I grew up, my brother and I spent a lot of time with his Uncle Bob. It ‘been fun to be around. He strumming his guitar singing to us when the words on how it went forward. He was also a talented artist, and draw funny pictures to keep us entertained. We thought she hung the moon. She married once, but did not last long. It is supported by signs of painting for companies, and spent his free time drawing or singing and playing his guitar blues. He lived in a hovel in an apartment behind the bar. He never had a lot of drunks, but he used drugs, many of them. When I was 12 years, the number of overdose of pills. Later, he was never the same. Disappeared for weeks, months, years. We do not know whether he was alive or dead.

Sometimes one of his musician friends call and say they saw him here or there, but he never stayed in one place for very long.

When I was 19 years old, my mother died suddenly, leaving me and my two brothers, aged between 11 and 13 patients with pain. By some miracle, we managed to find my uncle’s funeral. Pain on his face was clear as he played his guitar for the last time. Shortly after the funeral went up again.

I was in nursing school, studying abnormal psychology, I began to understand what’s wrong with Uncle Bob. It was not strange. He had a mental illness. classic symptoms of bipolar disorder, paranoid schizophrenia and antisocial personality. It all started with common sense. The next time was at home, at my suggestion, he went to the doctor, started meds and started the training of rehabilitation. He felt at last on the right track. Then when you close its drugs, and disappeared again. This time, he had gone a long time and no one had seen or heard of him. We thought he was dead.

Then my grandfather was diagnosed with lung cancer. The next day he was diagnosed, someone knocked on the door of my grandparents. My uncle had returned. He said God had told him it was time to go home. Three weeks later, he played guitar and sang “The Old Rugged Cross” at the funeral of a grandparent. Their last respects to a man who loved her, but never overcame the fact that his only son was different. Three weeks later, Bob disappeared again.

Five years passed. Grandma sold the house that he and his father had built for himself and lived for 40 years. I fear that if Bob came home, he does not know how to find us. One day I came home to visit my grandmother hangs on the kitchen table crying. Fear, I asked him what was wrong. “Bob,” was all he could exclude. I thought he was dead. But the reality was actually much worse. Over the past two years he had lived 300 km away from the big city. The old hospital was renovated studio apartments for psych problems the poor, elderly and non-violent. This was his home. Concerned friend was able to find the phone number and call my grandmother. The news was bittersweet. Now he knew where he was, but it was in poor condition. I smoke most of his life, he had throat cancer and was dying. We learn that he was 53 he had now “vocal cords” to help him talk. All I could think was: “He loved to sing, and took his voice!”

My grandmother lived with him in his little room for three months. She never left her side. Other residents began to treat her as if she was the mother of everybody and they looked behind her. Bob had never seen my little boy, so I took it with me when I arrived at my first visit. He played guitar for him and drew pictures, as he did for me for so many years ago. I thought my 2 year old son would be afraid of the mechanical voice of Bob, but he did not blink an eye. He showed me the artwork he had worked and asked if I wanted to join him as he pulled out his box of markers, pens and pencils. I sat by him, and together we started to draw. I told him I loved him and that I had missed. With his eyes still looking at his drawing, he said, “Me too”.

Three months later, it was clear he had lost his battle. My grandmother and I sat at his bedside, and provide enough Roxanol and Ativan to kill a horse, but did nothing to ease her pain and anguish. The tumors were restricting his airway and he fought for breath, clawing the air wildly. We want to sit on the bed and keep talking or singing softly to him. When they finally pulled the last breath and his body went limp, we cried with relief.

During the long nights I had much time to think about my relationship with my uncle. The time it hurt me or drop me, the time I speak, the time he was sure that our family has tried to poison him. Then I thought about all the friends he had in this city. Again and again, when they get to see Bob, they slip into a quiet corner and tell me that Bob always spoke of his sister’s children and tell them everything about us. He spoke to my mother and how he was missing. “How was it that these people were able to go out and make him reveal his true feelings?” I said. Suddenly, the answer was clear. They did not judge him. They accepted that it was . No great expectations, no disapproval.

They just give Bob is Bob. To them it was the man who played guitar and sang a meal. He was an eccentric artist friend who has shared his art for free. He had only two shirts, but hey man, if I needed a shirt, then gives you his second.