Do you suppose it's a curse? Bad luck? Just the way things go? Or even just part of life's cycles? My cousin's daughter died overnight. At close to age 40 with numerous children left behind. Of a drug overdose. It's one of her two children. My cousin is just slightly older than I am (and I remind her of that often). And her children are slightly younger than me. The girl has struggled for years. Children, boyfriends, a husband, all sorts of trouble. And, today, this. I can't imagine having one of your children die. Let alone in this insane way.
Our family is not perfect by any stretch. I think that the two biggest issues to befall our family are Multiple Sclerosis (five or six people have it) and alcoholism. Alcoholism has screwed up the lives of nearly every single one of our family members to some degree. We have folks in our family who have died from none other than alcohol-related issues....no other health issues whatsoever. We've had many parents outliving their children. Suicide, Lou Gehrig's Disease, cancers, heart attacks. They've all been a part of our lives.
I don't think it's unusual for families to have to face a myriad of issues. But the drugs and alcohol really seem to have a grip. I can count probably ten people right off the bat who struggle with it in my family. That's why I'm more pleased than punch to count my sister as my friend. Her story is long, sorted, belabored. But beautiful. And she's still alive and around to talk about it. And she will.
So, today, I wonder -- are there curses? Are there genetics that dictate the alcoholism and drug abuse? DNA evidence to support it? Is it geography or food or soil or weather than drive any of it? I hate these sorts of things. My sister was just saying to me that she's sort of nervous -- that my brother, she, and I are the only group of cousins in the family to not have befallen serious health issues. Are we fortunate? Or blessed? Or just drew the longest straw? I am thankful today. But these sorts of things always cast a strange glow across the face of our family.