Jun. 22nd, 2017

dendren: (Default)
Still in a bit of recovery mode after the cruise. I spoke with Marlene yesterday, she and my Mom are talking again, much faster than I expected. She is just putting the bad times with my Mom behind pretty easy so I’m glad for that.

We had my Mom over for our weekly dinner last night and I got some updates on my cousin Randy’s death and cousin Becky’s health after her seizure last week. Randy… he has struggled with meth and other addictions most his life. His mind and body were so damage from all the years of abuse that it was always still just a bit of a surprise he was still alive when we would see him. When I saw him at Christmas he was barely a living skeleton. His mind was so drug damaged from all the years of abuse that you would have sworn he was on meth or speed just listening him talk, and talk, and talk, and talk. On Christmas he literally drove 2 hours from SF to my Gram’s house, spent 20 minutes there talking non-stop, then turned around and drove back home to SF. 4 hours drive, 20 minute visit, and I was so glad he didn’t stay longer. He was a mess and has been since he was young and was bounced around living with his mom (Linda), then his dad (my Mom’s brother) for a while, then my grandparents for 2 or 3 years and finally back to his mom. I suppose things may have turned out different if he had been able to stay with my grandparents, but it was his time with his mom after that that things just went to shit for him.

A few weeks ago, Randy moved with his mom Linda to Galt, about a mile from my Gram. Linda’s latest husband died a few months ago and she left SF for a clean break of sorts and I guess to be closer to family (though oddly not her family but ours) last month. Anyway, Randy got up on Thursday and told her he wanted borrow her car to drive to SF to see some friends. He told her he “knew he didn’t have much longer and wanted to say goodbye”. Randy has been sick in mind and body for so many years she didn’t think much about it. So, he took the car, spent the day with friends and called her in the afternoon to say he was going to stop at a fast food spot to have a bite to eat then would be heading home. He never came home. Linda got a call from the police the next morning saying Randy had been found “unresponsive” behind the wheel of his car in the restaurant parking lot, partially eaten bag of fast food in the seat next to him. There was no sign of trauma or anything, he just looked like someone who had passed out I guess. It sounds like he literally just… died. Right there in between bites of his Big Mac or Whopper or whatever. So fast and probably painless. A good way to go really. He was only 52 years old.

I tend to forget he and I were pretty close when we were young. He was my crazy and funny older cousin. He and Becky were the only cousins I was really close with, oh, and I guess Teddy too, but I was more big brother to him instead of the other way around. We spent so many years after his childhood with him being the Randy that was in trouble, on drugs, in jail, in the hospital, stealing from my grandma etc etc etc that I’ve sort of forgotten the Randy I looked up to and laughed and played with when we were kids. Remembering that makes me a little sad for his loss, but really he was lost decades ago so who knows. I just wish he could have had a better life.

Becky… she is out of the hospital. She had a grand mal seizure shortly after she was told that Randy died. She and Randy were super close but I have a hard time thinking it was his death that caused the seizure. She swears that is what set it off though. Poor thing… when she finally came to in the hospital she had zero memory of anything before or during the seizure, which meant also had to be told Randy died, again. She was pretty crushed, again. Anyway, even though she is out of the hospital, she has lots of tests to do. They are saying epilepsy but who knows exactly what that means. She has had much smaller ummmm… I think they call them auditory seizures for years now but doctors either never could figure out what was causing them, or didn’t believe that she was actually having them. I guess they believe her now.

She is staying at my Grandma’s house… a very full house at this point for a 90 year old woman to have to deal with. Let’s see… at last I heard, the house had:
*Gram and Aunt Garland (Becky’s mom) who live in the house together
*Becky, post-seizure,
*Becky’s daughter Amanda who mysteriously showed up 3 months ago on Gram and Gar’s doorstep, 8 months pregnant and with *one* of her two young children. She had the baby a month ago and we still have no idea why she left (I keep saying “escaped”) her husband, with only two of 3 children, and where her husband and daughter are.
*and last, little Gianna… Gram’s 5 year old great great granddaughter who is living with them because her mother Katie is in jail for grand theft auto.

Ugh… 90 years old with all those people in the house, 3 of them under 5 years old. Poor Gram.

Anyway… Becky is in a bad position. She can’t drive due to the seizure and her license is suspended for the time being. Her job as a caretaker for an elderly family is in a rural area outside of Galt (rural and rulal-er LOL) and there are no transportation options for her, so it looks like she has to quit her job. She loved that job and is pretty heartbroken about it. Also, my understanding is getting disability for epilepsy is darn near impossible since technically people can work most the time, with the occasional seizure here and there. Sigh… another mouth for my Gram to feed is what this is looking more and more like :( Hopefully they will find out what is wrong though, and maybe get her on meds to control this. I’ve always been pretty close to Beck so am really hoping she pulls through this ok.

It’s so weird, when I first found I was HIV positive, my assumption is I would soon be dead and my cousins would all have to deal with losing me (or not give a damn as the case may have been for some of them). I didn’t expect to be outliving them instead. I’m sure my Gram feels much the same… she didn’t expect to watch her children and grandchildren die before her. Life is a crazy bitch sometimes.

I suppose at some point I will have a silent toast to Randy. I guess a drink would be a poor choice, considering his addiction issues LOL But maybe a donut or slice of pizza. Not that he had any connection to those for me, but I like donuts and pizza… so why not raise one to him in his memory LOL


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July 2017

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