happy birthday matt

Today my brother Matt turns fifty-four. For the past six years or so, since before he and his wife Stacey got married, they've been taking care of my mother who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's about a dozen years ago. As a result, Matt and I are living strangely parallel lives in that we are both primary caregivers for disabled loved ones. It's a tough road taking care of these family members, Calvin and my mom, who have great trouble communicating, must be bathed and toileted and fed and supervised, who are unsteady on their feet and who take loads of medications, Calvin for his epilepsy, Mom for her Alzheimer's.

Taking care of Calvin means I have a hard time getting away to see my mom, much less enjoy a vacation of my own. Matt and his wife, I imagine, feel equally trapped, not that it is impossible to vacation, just not easy.

So, happy birthday Matt. I hope you can get out for a long walk and a nice dinner and try to relax some. I'll be toasting you tonight.

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