Monday, April 19, 2010
The Family of Michael
While growing up my brother and I looked very much alike and were often mistaken for twins. As with most things, we decided to make a game of it and I decided our names would be Monica, and Har-monica. He has these amazing blue eyes which I am sure have made a few women swoon and it has always felt like a compliment when people said we looked so much alike.
At times my brother has been my tormentor, my hero, my antagonist, my sage, my saviour and my friend. I don't know that it has ever been easy being his sister. He has made countless trips to the hospital and recently I thought we might lose him to an infection that affected his heart and ultimately led to the amputation of his right leg. When I went to visit him a year and a half ago we were both using canes as he was rehabilitating his right leg and I was rehabilitating my right ankle. It was my brother's turn to name us and we became the Cane family.
Through everything, my brother rarely loses his sense of humor and inevitably a crowd can be found gathered around him laughing at one of his stories. He is a true southern gentle-man and even though he has not traveled extensively, the world has come to him. They have come from all parts near and far to be in his presence, to enjoy his company, to learn the craft of turning clay into art and to share in his world which is so unique.
My brother has now been diagnosed with leukemia, the chronic variety, and it is hoped that with medication it will not progress to the acute variety. He will deal with this the way he has always dealt with these physical challenges - with a joke, a laugh and a positive attitude. He has already lived well beyond an age most hemophiliacs live and will be 60 in August. Should be one hell of a party in August:).