One of the ways that I am combating some of the feelings that I have about my uncle's condition and that whole complicated situation is by writing a blog that was inspired by his imagination and coping skills.
One of the things that happened just before I stopped going to the hospital on a very regular (few times a week) basis was that my uncle started telling these stories. Hilarious stories that he was making up involving these two teddy bears that someone brought him. He would use the teddy bears to express his own fears/pains/concerns when it started getting harder for him to voice his problems. One example: he had lost the ability to get up and go to the bathroom and had been put in adult diapers so he decided that he's find the humor in the situation and made up a story that his bear was feeling left out because he was the only one in the ward not wearing a diaper. He asked my mom to get a little towel for him and he actually fastened the towel to the bear as if it were a diaper. To make the bear feel like it fit in. At first I thought it was strange - a grown man, my uncle, playing with stuffed animals? But the more I listened to the stories the more I understood.
It was a coping mechanism for him - and a good one at that. The stories brought (and still occasionaly bring) laughter to our family when really there is nothing to laugh at.
So I started writing them down. Not formally, just little notes here and there so that I would remember them long after he's gone.
When I started this blog I thought to myself, my uncle really wanted these stories to provide comfort to other families, especially families with children undergoing treatment for cancer. What better way at reaching out to the masses than a blog?
He is very adamant on creating good out of bad situations. And also on the importance of having fun every day. These stories have become his form of fun - thinking up new adventures for the teddy bears. Now I'm making them my weekly fun - doing something nice to commemorate my uncle and at the same time brushing up on something I love - writing, and in particular fictional stories for children.
I've been keeping the two blogs separate for pretty obvious reasons. Some of the things I talk about on So Crazy I'm Sane are just not.. umm... family friendly. My parents are reading the stories about the bears, and they are sharing the blog site with many of their friends. I didn't want the two connected - I didn't want their friends finding my blog - or even worse, having my parents find my blog. But after much testing and studying of the intricacies of the blogger search engine and privacy settings I have decided to let Juri and the Bears out of their closet. And if by doing this I am inadvertantly letting my alter ego, NaVe (read:the REAL me) out of the closet, then so be it. Que sera, sera.
I invite you all to read along, comment if you would like, but PLEASE keep in mind that I'm leading a slightly twisted, convoluted double life and would be DEVASTATED if my two worlds came hurling together... so if you comment please help me maintain my anonymity.
There will be a new adventure once a week, I usually try to post on the weekend, so if you have a few extra minutes - there's only 3 chapters up so far so not too much to catch up on ;)
Hope you all enjoy :) Pass the word along if you know ANYONE who you think may find comfort in a bit humor in a tragic situation.
Click here to visit Juri and the Bears