A good deed

I know my brother is lonely. I know that he is bored particularly since the weather has turned cold and he can’t get out on his bike. I feel bad that I don’t come home after a long day at work chirpy and dying to chit-chat. I also feel bad that every time I turn around my brother has another demand. With the last one I wanted to say tell me about your living arrangement in China…did you have a concierge service that you submitted all your requests to???

After a rather trying end of last week into Saturday, I spent a lovely day with my daughter and grandson at the conservatory. One of the problems around here is that my grandson is very selective about who he wants to spends time with and specifically screams at the sight of my brother. Mixed gatherings such as Thanksgiving and any old meal time or party are very problematic.

Luckily, I was feeling slightly more relaxed -I still had to make a trip into work to clear the OR’s after some work was done. Surprising even my self I asked my brother if he wanted to take the ride into my workplace just to get out. He nearly jumped off his seat like I was dangling a few $100 bills in front of him! He was in his shoes and jacket in a heartbeat panting like a dog at the door.

We drove to my work and enjoyed the city skyline at night, he waited while I did my little inspection and we headed to the chain home store for a special lightbulb. He was pleasant and agreeable the whole time.

As we headed home he motioned towards a Taco Bell-3 crunchy tacos!

He’s much easier for me to deal with when he isn’t breathing down my neck. He was even more relaxed when I got home today. I can do this.


Mean people get cancer too

I guess if I was starting a brand new blog about caring for my 60 year old, three times married, ex alcoholic, estranged from his daughters and living in china for the past 10 years brother who landed on my doorstep 10 months ago with a baseball size tumor at the base of his tongue~that’s what I would call it~Mean people get cancer too.

We were always the closest of all my siblings in age and being the two oldest knew the most about our shared family story. But life has a habit of knocking people around a bit, as above and while I have always been the grumpy one he was as I remember the “golden” child. Blond, blue eyes, clever and creative~mom’s favorite!

I’m not sure the exact route he took to his own particular isolation, how much inflicted on him vs self inflicted- but I can say that if you imagine that mean old man who scares little kids for walking on his lawn….that is my brother.

He just has this acerbic tongue attached to a selfish brain with no filter. I am by no means a shrinking violet but even I am intimidated sometimes…in my own house!!!

So while I will do my best to care for him til the end it is not easy. Make no mistake~Mean people get cancer too~and not all of them have a personality change or epiphany.

Why is there blood all over my bathroom?

I came home Saturday morning to find blood splatters

  • all over the bathroom
  • the kitchen sink
  • the bathroom sink

And no activity from my brother. Truthfully at this point anything can happen.

When he appears it becomes apparent by the bandage and discoloration over his eyebrow that something happened.

He tells me casually that he fell going down the stairs and proceeds to list for me for the inadequacies of the hall lights motion sensor.

Not long after he asks me if I have any oxy’s. Oxycontin. No, I don’t. I gave you the Norco I got after my surgery.

He tells me how he enjoys the high of the oxycontin. I can appreciate that he wants to escape reality.

But the question is did he fall because of the lack of lighting or because he was shitfaced on oxycontin?

I started to feel sorry for him thinking maybe he is getting frail, he’s had a good ten months and maybe the chemo is just frying him. I thought about how guilty I will feel that I didn’t do more.

Then tonight I came home to the usual in my face confrontation about the deficiencies of my house and family.



My brother has a new obsession. Marijuana stocks.

He came to me a few weeks ago comparing signing up to Scottrade to playing Monopoly. In fact that’s how he broached the subject. In his usual matter of a fact way he asked me if I liked playing Monopoly. When I gave a thoughtful and honest reply that I used to enjoy playing  but it’s better with more people…

He cut to the chase-because he is on disability and has to pretend to be a pauper and all his money is in my name….He wanted me to sign up for a stock trading account and use his money to but marijuana stocks.

His main selling points?

  • It will be fun, like playing Monopoly but with his money
  • This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. after the election 5 more states are likely to be recreational. It’s like investing in alcohol after prohibition or the car industry after Henry Ford
  • It will take 10 minutes.

He hounded me for several days until I finally told him I wasn’t too crazy about taking this on. IRS and already dodgy international bank transfers on my account. 10 minutes, he said. It will only take 10 minutes

I went ahead and opened an account after getting some advice that maybe he was right on point #2 above but I can assure it it has taken much more than 10 minutes. I’d say all told it has taken me a few hours to set up an account and make some simple trades in marijuana stocks.

Now I just have to sit back and watch that money grow….

I got this email question from my brother today

Is it possible for you to divert a sterile surgical gown, cap and booties?  One of those round mirror things would be cool, too.

Why I asked-Halloween is over


He is planning to cultivate some Psilocybin Mushrooms



Out of the blue

I received this email from my brother-the one who is dying of tongue cancer….

You’ve expressed a level of uncertainty about my intentions.  I plan to live to be about 130 and die in bed with several teenage girls.  I’m serious.

There aren’t going to be any “surprises”.  There isn’t going to be a bad hair day when I decide to hang myself or swallow a bunch of pills.  My mind just doesn’t work that way.

I’ve told you what the end times are going to consist of.  I know the exact spot where it will occur.  Not many people can say that.  I’ll take you there, if you’d like.  If you go west on 31st St. from the Gables you’ll reach the bridge over the Des Plaines River.  Before you cross the bridge, cut off the the right (north) and go down along the riverbank until you can see the flagstone building across the river.  I think we went there to get out of the wind one time when we went ice skating.  Before we were married, me and Heidi built a fire on that spot and fucked while a crowd of drunken Mexicans across the river hooted and jeered derisively.  That’s where the event will happen.

This is the definition of too much information. I replied that I don’t remember a conversation about “expressing a level of uncertainty”. He followed up with this:

You were talking about making plans and you said that it’s hard for you to make plans because you “don’t know what I’m going to do”.  I don’t know if you’re starting to dread coming home because I may have hung myself while you’re at work.  Weakness and poor impulse control aren’t fatal flaws but they aren’t really a problem for me.  I always think about consequences, not just for me for for everyone else, too.  I read somewhere that the children of suicides (and it probably holds true for other family members) are 50% more likely to kill themselves because the example has been set placing suicide in the “acceptable” column.

If I reach the point where I’m absolutely sure that there is nothing in store for me but unendurable pain and I’ll clock out but I want for everyone to know that there was nothing desperate or spur of the moment about it.  I will have withstood all that a man can be expected to take, fought the good fight and I will retire from the field with honor and dignity intact.

Alrighty then…let’s just be blunt.

It’s all about curtains

Awhile ago my brother got it in his head that we needed curtains in our second floor apartment. I don’t really see the need since we are not overlooked from any side. My only concern is that it gets cold in the living room because that window has a draft.

But no, he went on and on about it, bought a sewing machine and got a book from the library about…yes, curtains!

He took measurements and found some fabric he liked on Ebay.

Everyday day, several times a day for about 2 weeks all he went on about was the absolute need for curtains…curtains, curtains, curtains!!!

I stalled and ignored and admittedly avoided the whole subject. I just couldn’t be bothered and didn’t see a need but recently have been trying to find things for him to do. he wants to help me but most of what he does-rearrange  the furniture, put hooks on my toothbrush…just annoys me.

So this week I asked him to take two carpets to the laundry mat which he eagerly did and I was really relieved to have one less thing to worry about. Building on that success I stopped at the fabric store and bought some curtain fabric that I could live with. I said we could start with the back window and if it goes well I’ll go back and get more.

He hasn’t touched the fabric all week…he completely lost interest in curtains.

even sisters that are caregivers have limits

My brother has pretty much criticized every element of my life  since dropping into it unexpectedly 5 months ago. He has surveyed every inch of my home where he now lives alone in a two bedroom apartment….for free….and told me the water heater will need replacing soon, the water pressure sucks and it needs a new roof.

He has alienated 2 of my 3 children.

He has inaccurately and scathingly made assumptions about my behavior, actions and motivations. For example, I saw him last week fully 8 weeks after my surgery when he asked me if I was back to work yet. I nearly spit out my drink and said “Of course-I went back to work less than two weeks after my surgery” to which he shrugged and said “Oh, I thought you’ve been laying around on the sofa watching TV all this time”…..!!!!!????

I haven’t been able to figure out which came first- his obsessive lack of self monitoring or his social isolation. I think it’s all intertwined because every time he criticizes me I think -no wonder he is divorced 3 times and estranged from his 2 daughters.

I’m all for being honest but some of the things he says are really uncalled for-like he asked me what is wrong with my cat…..Why is she so fat? I’ve never seen a cat so fat and what is hanging off her belly? I’ve seen that on a cat that has just had a litter of kittens but what is wrong with her? Is she sick? She’s so fat…

It’s the repetitive, ongoing, obsessive comments that drive me crazy-

verb (used without object)perseverated, perseverating.

1.to repeat something insistently or redundantly:

to perseverate in reminding children of their responsibilities.

The last straw happened this week-My brother was all excited to apply for a medical cannabis card a few months ago. I helped him complete the paperwork and paid the fees. Then he got the letter that he was approved but no card yet. This is where his paranoia kicks in because even though he was bugging me to get pot from my boyfriend now its apparently too much to ask for him to get some really good stuff legally to pay BF back.

I asked my brother about the card a few times like over 2-3 weeks, I offered to call and see what the delay was because I anticipated based on his past behavior that he would be hounding me to death to find out where his card was. No, he replied that he was going to cut up his card into guitar picks when it comes and I should reconsider “my plot” to get access to it……….oh, really?


Barely spoken a word to him, exchanged a text/email since. The bottom line-and I guess I should say that I don’t care if he is dying of cancer anymore there are common rules of respect that apply to everyone-EVERYONE!

I did not say what I wanted to say which was I think you should look for other accommodations so my family can relax. I didn’t tell him that the reason he is dying alone is that he is such a squirrely, mean person. And I didn’t say that I don’t want to go camping with him next week….