I have been writing this post in my head for nearly a week. I had thought it would be something else entirely, but then my brother got sick.
There are 3 things I want to talk about, each quite separate from the other. So I am going to write three blogs.
My brother is going to live. He was moved from the hospital to a rehab center this weekend after a frightening bout with pneumonia that had him in seizures. My brother is 11 months older than me - "older" enough to be my big brother, close enough that people often mistook us for twins growing up.
Seven years ago David was a well know artist in the twin cities area, a par golfer, an Olympic volleyball referee. Then he had a stroke that left him a paraplegic. He is still a rebel, a crazy wit, a recovering alcoholic. He has the use of one arm. After much physical therapy, he can take a few steps by himself, with a railing for support. He is my hero.
A year ago he and his wife moved to Tampa Bay, where my husband and I had just moved. It has been great to have them live nearby after 23 years with half a continent between us. Yesterday, we walked around the rehab center where he will be for about a week, my husband, my brother and me. David in his manual wheelchair, my husband Tom pushing it. I was the one who had to sit every few yards. Not because of my lungs, because of my back.
I am losing my life as I know it to a crumbling spine. That is two. More on that later.
Back to number one. My brother quit drinking 22 years ago. On the day he got his 2 year chip, he quit smoking. He has been sober and smober ever since. He says he just "gave it up to God" and never looked back. That does not even remotely describe my quit. I had to face my demon emotions, rally legions of quick quips and clever remarks to keep Nic at bay. I had to create little storyboards in my head - push Nicodemon over the cliff, pound his hide to buttermilk, shrink him to a bug and squash him. That is my quit.
If I had tried to copy David's quit, I would have failed. I can look back now and see what worked for me, but at the time, I had no idea. If it helped my keep my quit, I did it. That is one.