What a waste.


A clammy sort of coldness settled in today, with a very good chance of more rain and thunder showers tonight. I’ve had a hard time staying warm and comfortable and my FMS is flared up.

My husband’s uncle, the one he has been helping look after, had to be transported to a larger hospital in Montgomery today. It appears a stent that was put in earlier may have become infected. Thankfully his only son has come down from Ohio so everything is not longer on Benny’s shoulders.  They are broad and sturdy shoulders, but they get tired, too.

Earlier I received news that a cousin had passed away this week. Ironically, we had just been discussing Cousin the weekend before Christmas during our holiday family time together.

In his youth, Cousin was one of most handsome men I’ve ever seen. Movie star handsome. Shining blonde hair with a smile that could have been used to sell toothpaste. Think young Robert Redford. Gorgeous, smart, charming, artistically gifted just like our grandmother. So much going for him.

Then came the drugs. And the descent.

Several years ago I saw him for the first time in years. Hollow-eyed, sunken-cheeked, gaunt. Long, untidy silver-white hair and a scruffy beard. Those once-beautiful eyes were unfocused, his speech, largely a near-incoherent mumble, something a little “off” about that once dazzling smile. Where had the promising young man with the stellar good looks gone?  He looked like a street person.

Cousin was considerably older than I am and we were not close. But I cannot help but cry a little tonight as I think of that wasted life.

And I am thankful that another clever, beautiful, talented man has not chosen to waste his life in the same way.

That thought somehow gives me hope.

About fedoralady

I'm an LA native--Lower Alabama, that is. My husband of more than 30 years and I live here on a portion of my family's former farm with two gorgeous calicos and a handsome GSD mix. My background is art education, and over the years I've been a teacher, department store photographer, sales associate and a journalist. My husband, his business partner and I have Pecan Ridge Productions, a video production company, for which I shoot & edit video and stills and manage marketing. I also still write part-time for the local paper. I love movies, music, art, photography and books, and my tastes in all of them are eclectic.

10 responses »

  1. I am so sorry, Angie. I’m glad Benny has help now. It’s not an easy journey. Condolences on the loss of your cousin, which I suspect took place years before he actually passed. It is a terrible waste, a tragedy. (I have a relative going down the same track, despite many people wanting to help and doing a lot for him.) Yet as you say, there is still hope. Take care, my dear. I hope the weather gives you a break.

    • Yeah, I think all the drugs and the abuse of his body and brain took their toll a long time ago. He has been “all there” in quite a while. As I mentioned to you, my cousin Rock tried to get our cousin back into art when he returned here, buying him drawing and painting supplies, but I don’t think he ever used them. In many ways I am surprised he lived this long. It’s just a tragedy, really. People try to help, but if you don’t want it yourself, nothing is likely to change. Thanks, my friend.

  2. Sorry for the bad stuff in your life right now. One “benefit” of living longer is seeing people who we loved when they were young and in their prime grow old and come to a harsh end.

    I have often thought that extreme good looks, especially for a woman, were a handicap rather than an advantage in life. For women, people don’t take you seriously (dumb blond), and for men it can lead them to believe that they are exempt from the normal human rules.

    An early boyfriend of mine was like your cousin: handsome, clever, charming, talented. Yet he wasted it all through arrogance, irresponsibility toward his wife and four children, abuse of alcohol and tobacco. It was the cigarettes that finally did him in. So sad, the potential unrealized, the harm done to his family.

    Yes, our beautiful boy RA does seem to have his glorious head on straight.

    • Yes, it’s hard enough to deal with the normal difficulties of getting older we all face, and then to see someone basically derail their life along the way–it’s hard.

      It’s really funny. I mentioned this to Benny earlier. Speaking of looks and the whole dumb blonde thing, most people online assumed I had dark hair until they knew better. And I guess in a way that’s a compliment, considering the stereotypical air-head image. 😉 Although I can be very absent-minded and the FMS does a number on my thought processes at times, I like to think I am not “ditzy.”

      Thank goodness Richard does have it together. He’s so incredibly gifted and he shares those gifts with us in such a fantastic way. What a non-guilty pleasure he truly is!

  3. Sorry to hear about your cousin&Benny’s uncle, Angie… 😦 I had to witness a life being wasted away to an addiction in my family and it’s hard being so helpless. If the addict doesn’t want to get rid if his/her addiction there’s absolutely nothing a relative or friend can do no matter how hard they’re trying to help,as you said. 😦 I hope your FMS symptoms will ease soon! Take care!

    • Yes, it’s very frustrating when you see it happening but there is little you can do to change the situation except hope and pray, really. 😦

      The weather is not being very kind to the FMS so I find myself spending a lot of time in bed, just trying to stay warm and comfy.

  4. Sorry for your troubles and your loss. Addiction is a terrible thing to witness and to live with. I have several close friends who have had to deal with addicted husbands. What a waste.

    • Thank you, Laurie. I am afraid there is far too much of it in our society– drug and alcohol addiction–and what damage it does beyond impacting the individual him or herself. So much of the criminal activity that takes place is related to drugs. Thefts, burglaries, muggings–addicts trying to get money for the next fix. Families destroyed. It is very sad.

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