I’m at a loss.
I’m not sure what I’m feeling, or what is the proper reaction to the news I got today about my brother. He has cancer. Intestinal cancer that has spread to his lymph nodes. That’s all they really know for now. He’s going in for surgery next month to remove his appendix as well as some of his small intestine and colon.
My sister-in-law sent out a broadcast email with the news. You know the news is never going to be good when it starts out saying “we love you” and apologizing for letting you know via email. Right after I read the email my boss walked into my office to tell me he didn’t want me taking tomorrow off (which I had requested earlier in the day). When I looked up with tears in my eyes and told him what had happened, he slowly backed out of the office saying “that’s OK. Take the day off. Really. No problem.” Poor guy, he has no idea how to react to a woman’s tears.
To say my brother and I aren’t close is a bit of an understatement. I’ve written about our strained relationship here and here and here. For years, I’ve pretty much said the only thing my brother and I have in common is DNA, and DNA alone does not a relationship make. I’m not sentimental about family. Never have been.
Yet . . .
He’s my brother and he has cancer. And while there is a possibility that we may have many long years ahead of us to nurse our grudges and continue the estrangement, now there is a good chance that we may not.
So, now what?