Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

To See A Close Family Member In A Different Light

March 2, 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.

From time to time, would be one of his musician friends call and say they had seen him here or there, but he never stayed in one place 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 realize what was wrong with Uncle Bob. It was not weird. He had a mental illness. The classic symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia and bipolar disorder Anti-social personality. Everything started to make sense. The next time he was at home, at my suggestion, he went to a doctor, started on medication and began vocational rehabilitation training. It seemed he was finally on track. So he quit taking his medication, and disappeared again. This time he was gone for a very long time and nobody had seen or heard of him. We thought he was dead.

Then the father became ill with lung cancer. The day after he was diagnosed, there was a knock at the door of my grandparents. My uncle had come home. He told me that God had told him it was time to go home. Three weeks later, he played guitar and sang funeral “Old Rugged Cross” grandfather. His last homage to a man who loved her, but never got over the fact that his only son was different. Three weeks later, Bob was gone 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 small room three months. She never left him. Other residents began to treat her as if she was the mother of the world and looked after her. Bob had never seen my child, so I took him with me when I got my first visit. He played guitar for him and drew pictures, as it did for me many years ago. I thought my 2 year old son would be afraid of the mechanical voice of Bob, but do not blink an eye. He showed me the artwork that had worked and asked me to join him as he pulled out his box of markers, pens and pencils. I sat next to him, and together we began to draw. I told him I loved and lost. With his eyes still staring at his picture, 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 those long nights, I had a lot of time to think about relationships with my uncle. Time has hurt the feelings or disappoint me, every time he does not speak for me, the times he was sure that our family was trying to poison him. Then I thought of all the friends he had in this city. From time to time, when they come to see Bob, pulling me down quietly in a corner and tell me that Bob has always spoken of her sister, children and tell them all about us. He talks to my mom and how his absence. “How is it that these people were able to do for him and convince him to reveal his true feelings?” I thought to myself. Suddenly, the answer was clear. Do not judge him. They took him who he was. No great expectations, not criticism. 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.

I only had two shirts, but, hey man, if you need a shirt, which would give another.

When I saw through the eyes of his friend, I began to realize that I had ordered instead of looking for what it really was. He was my uncle Bob childhood playmate, singer / songwriter, guitarist, artist. He was a pious man. And a good man.

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