Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," looking back through the mists of time and seeing nothing but ugliness...
... Well, those mists of time would be my own life, which was extremely difficult from ages 2 to 19.
Today my sister sent me an email. She has had a number of problems with her health. Last time I visited, I watched her consume more than two dozen different pills in the course of a day, most of them expensive vitamin supplements. These were urged upon her by a physician in Alexandria, Virginia -- not a location associated with medical crackpots.
Sis's email today was about her visit to a new doctor in Shippensburg, PA. And that doctor more or less told her she's too sick for treatment. He pointed to several things I had forgotten about completely, all having to do with brain trauma.
Sis and I were young in the 1960s, when basement staircases went straight down, and kids were plopped into walkers before they were ready to walk. I was almost five when Sis was born. Of course I resented her intrusion into the household -- maybe a little more so than most older siblings would. (I've never taken a poll on older sibling jealousy, so give your opinion freely.)
The day Sis decided to explore the basement stairs in her walker, I was standing nearby when she plummeted. As memory serves, I might have been standing close enough to grab the walker before it jettisoned Sis down a flight of stairs. As it was, I watched Sis fly through the air and land on her head with more curiosity than sympathy.
Sis's new doctor thinks that this basement-stairs-and-walker event may have damaged Sis at a tender age. I'm sitting here remembering a seething six-year-old (me) who might have been able to intervene to stop an accident.
I know, I know, six is a young age to be placed in such a position. And later on, I did serve almost as a mom for my sister, since our mother was dangerously sick all the time. But maybe I could have stopped Sis from plunging down a flight of stairs in her walker, which would be one less trauma on her list of ailments today.
Anyone have any suggestions on how I can put myself right about this? I feel bad.