Thursday, 3 March 2016

Adam Is Visiting

My brother Adam is visiting with me for a few days. He's come up from Lake Charles, Louisiana, taking some time to stay with my Mom and Ray, then taking a week to spend with me, including a short run up to Edmonton to see my brother, Jim. It should be an interesting week, one with some fairly serious discussion. He is getting an opportunity to see, first hand, what it is like to live with ALS.

It's not that he is unaware of my condition. I know he reads my blog regularly. We also talk on the phone periodically. But there is nothing like seeing things first hand to get a better read on my situation. Yet even when seeing it straight on, it's hard to grapple with the conundrum of ALS, the way it masks and blends with the effects of aging, the way it makes ordinary into extraordinary, how it turns the simplest task into a complexity.

Aside for seeing things first hand, we should have some fun together. We are both lovers of good scotch. We both enjoy cooking. We have a lifetime of memories and stories, some told rarely, others told over and over again. We can look back on our childhoods, even though they seem different worlds at times, we went through much the same things. He is my older brother, the oldest of all five of my Mom's sons. His perspective differs from mine, and from that of my other brothers.

I have always struggled with our relationship. Being "second son" has never sat well on my shoulders. It seems all five of us boys are "alpha males". We all have an overwhelming need to be in charge, to take control, to get things done. I wish my Dad could have taught us better how to cooperate when we were younger. We would have made a hell of a team.

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