Saturday, October 14, 2006

Lessons and Loss

My ex-brother-in-law (my sister's ex-husband) died today. He was always very good to me. He was an avid reader, had a wicked sense of humor and a sharp wit, and was a gourmet cook. He had wide-ranging interests, loved his kids (including my niece), and was incredibly generous. He had been a brilliant, well-known trial attorney until he retired to raise cattle on a remote farm in Oregon.

He was also an alcoholic, and that's what caught up to him today. He'd been an alcoholic for as long as I'd known him, although it wasn't obvious at first. He'd had his sober periods, but could never stay away for long. This final binge led to fatal alcohol poisoning. He is the second of his brothers to die of alcohol-related ailments, and the only surviving brother has recently had a liver transplant.

I don't drink. I resist using medication. The closest I get to mood-altering substances are daily chocolate, occasional caffeinated beverages, cuddling, and NIN. My choice to not drink or use drugs is a lesson I learned from my former brother-in-law. I saw him, his family, and indications in my family that my path could lead down a similar road. If such an intelligent man could not battle his demon, this horrible disease, I surely had no hope of doing so. It is a lesson I am glad that I heeded, but I'm sorry it came at such a high price.

Rest in peace, Wade.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry! Send my condolences to your sister and niece, as well.

colleency said...

I'm sorry for your loss.

Dr. Lisa said...

Thanks, all. I'll be more content once I've talked to my niece, but she's not taking calls right now. I miss being close to home at times like this.

AaronJV said...

shudder

Jon Hansen said...

Sorry to hear about it, Lisa.

SarahP said...

Condolences.

Dr. Lisa said...

Thanks, all. My niece is doing better, so that's all I care about at the moment.

Michael van Eekhout said...

I'm sorry for your loss.

Dr. Lisa said...

Thanks, Mike.

Michael Jasper said...

I'm sorry to hear about this -- take care.

You are unbelievably smart to learn from his life and how he spent it.

Dr. Lisa said...

Thanks, Mike.

People at home are holding up well, so I am well.