This evening, my aunts and uncles got together for a birthday dinner for uncle Joe.
For me, it was a melancholy event. My uncle Joe, who is married to my dad’s sister, was never really one of my favorite uncles. When I was a kid, Joe’s deep voice and gruff demeanor actually scared me a bit; well, a whole lot, truth be known. Once I became an adult, though, I realized that Joe was a good guy after all.
The reason the evening was melancholy for me was the fact that uncle Joe is now about 95% wheelchair-bound. He has numerous issues that he’s dealing with… gout, edema, etc. A few months ago, Joe was a relatively healthy 82 year old man. He was always a virile, strong man in his salad days. It’s been sad for me to watch him age and have to face the reality that he is not the man he once was. That’s life, I guess.
Unfortunately, Joe’s quality of life drastically decreased this year. After a fall injury that fractured his wrist, he went downhill pretty fast. He weakened rapidly and began to fall more often. One of those falls resulted in a subdural hematoma. He went into the hospital for that one and ended up staying there for nearly 5 months. By the time he got out, he had a new pacemaker and wheelchair.
I wished my uncle a happy birthday this evening. I also wish him improving health and a return of some of that quality of life that he used to have. Without your health, you have nothing.
*Informational links courtesy of Wikipedia – the Free Encyclopedia.