Thursday, May 17, 2012


I think this is one of the hardest posts I've had to write. I've written it and erased a hundred times over. Every time, I can't stand what I read so I erase and start again. Please forgive me if this post is ramble-y and doesn't make much sense.

My Uncle Jeff (my mom's side) has been diagnosed with ALS. I'm not super familiar with the symptoms/diagnosis, but I know the basics. My mom's family is quite kinda dysfunctional. My oldest uncle died, unexpectedly, in October 2007 and it was a ceremony service with no one officiating. When my grandfather died, there was nothing but fights while he was in the ICU and absolutely nothing for services once he passed away.

The last time I saw my Uncle Jeff was the day before my grandfather died, which happened 3+ years ago.

Uncle Jeff's husband, Jeff, called my mom with news of Uncle Jeff's diagnosis. An awkward way to become reaquainted with one's family. My mom stopped by their house the other day and I asked her to ask Uncle Jeff if I could bring Paige by to meet him.

She received a text message the other day - one I have yet to see. The gist of it is this: my uncle isn't an uncle (doesn't feel like one) and doesn't feel a real connection to me and my siblings. Essentially, this is it. We'll never see him again.

I'm not expecting to start building a super close relationship after 27+ years but I would have liked to have one more happy memory of my Uncle Jeff, instead of death of Uncle Greg, death of Pa and death of him.

I'm sorry that Paige will never know any of her great-uncles on my mom's side. And I hope that my siblings and I can move past the dysfunction we've seen and be closer than that.


  1. i'm sorry shaun. i know all about disjointed families. All of my uncles (3 of them) are estranged from the family for a variety of reasons.
    when my grandfather (on dad's side) died, his wife kicked his coffin so hard that the lid nearly slammed shut. when i went up to say my goodbyes, my uncle, the youngest son, whispered in my ear what a bastard my grandfather was as well as some other choice words. when we went to the lunch afterward, police were called when the youngest and middle brother engaged in a fist fight.
    I'm not close with my brother at all and i keep my parents at a safe distance (though I am fairly close to them).

    anyway, it blows.

    But keep in mind that a disease like ALS is hopeless. I'm sure your uncle is quite angry at the world. Reach out to him, write him a letter. Send him pictures of paige and let him know that you care for him. You will be glad you tried - even if it doesnt work out the way you hope it does.

  2. I am so sorry to hear this :( Bottom line is family can suck sometimes. I commend you for trying to be the bigger person and your intentions were in the right place. I am estranged from both my brother and father and it is for the best. I thank God everyday for the family I get to choose, my friends that have more than made up for the missing family. Who love and adore Quinn more than I could ever imagine. Hugs to you mama! I know it's hard.