How much more can one family take!!???

It is hard to believe, but it was less than three months ago when this whole thing started…

We were on our way home after a holiday in Malaga, Spain and switched our mobile phones on in the airport. Somehow, a text message tracked us down to tell us that my uncle had been diagnosed with lung cancer. For a time it seemed that it might be operable, and he had appointments set up with the best that the NHS could offer, but in the end a biopsy showed that it was inoperable and he and my aunt packed up their things and moved back to Cape Town, where his family (and mine) all live, to begin radio/chemotherapy - and, essentially, to get ready to die… he was been given 6 to 12 months to live.

We helped them pack up their home into boxes and decide which of the accumulated bits and bobs of 25 years were worth keeping and which should be thrown away or given to charity. And then we said goodbye, knowing that while my uncle might survive until I go home for a holiday in March, this could well be the last time we see him (this side of heaven). For us it was hard (they have been like surrogate parents to us in the few years that we have lived in the UK), but for my aunt it was even harder - not only was she leaving her home of the last 25 years and the country where she was born, but she was leaving her frail and elderly (92 yrs) mother and her mentally handicapped twin sister behind to go with her husband…

It was some six weeks later that we got the news that my great-aunt had fallen and was in the hospital. This was a Thursday and we made plans to go and visit her on the weekend - by Friday afternoon she had developed pneumonia and we were told that she had less than 24 hours to live. My aunt was on that evening’s flight from Cape Town and we rushed down to the hospital to spend the last hours with her. My aunt made it in time to say goodbye and my great-aunt died peacefully and quietly.

More packing up of a collection of life’s debris, more decisions on what to keep and what to give away and my aunt returned to be with her husband (what else could she do) leaving her sister alone (apart from us of course…).

As if that was not enough, this morning I get the news that their son-in-law (my cousin’s husband) has died of a heart attack. He’s in his 30’s and they have been married for only a couple of years. She is 8 months pregnant with their first child and still in the process of recovering from ME.

What more, LORD? How much more heartache and pain can you send to one family? Oh yes, their one son died in a car accident several years ago and their other son has multiple sclerosis and is confined to a wheelchair - lest we forget…

This sucks nearly as much as it blows!! And I don’t really even have to live through any of it - I’m just an observer in this episode of life’s unfolding tragedy… I’m telling you, if I get to heaven and find that this family are not seated at one of the top tables, heads are going to roll!!


Wow, that sucks. My thoughts are with you.

Okay, I’m officially asking whoever is responsible for all the general unhappiness to lay off the Dopers for a while. Seems like a whole lotta bad times is happenin’ 'round here lately. Enough, peace, give us a collective break for a bit, would you?

That does indeed suck, grimpixie. Sorry to hear it, and hopefully things’ll get better soon.

Our best to y’all.

Good news and bad news.

My cousin’s baby was born safe and healthy - big and fat with a shock of dark hair. She has been named Kayla J - no second name, just an initial (and no relation to jkayla ;)). We think the J is after her dad - Jacques. From all reports she is a happy, loveable baby and my dad tells me that my mom is getting broody - the pressure is on for grandkids of her own!!

My Uncle died yesterday morning. It was apparantly very peaceful, and he was playing with his granddaughter just half an hour before he passed on. All his children and his wife were there with him when he died in his bed at home. We knew that he’d been getting worse, needing oxygen and morphene more often, but I am going to be going home in two weeks, and I had really hoped that he would still be around so that I could say goodbye properly. When they left the UK, it was such a mad rush that there was no time for a real goodbye, and anyway, we really expected that he’d be able to live for another 12-18 months at least. He was such a nice man, almost a surrogate grandfather to me (both my grandfathers died before I was born), kind, gentle, with a naughty streak and an infectious laugh.

He will be greatly missed…


My condolences, grimpixie. :frowning:

And at the same time, congratulations on the new life brought into the family. Yes, it’s incredible the twists and turns life sometimes has in store for us, isn’t it? A rollercoaster of emotions within the time span of a few months… you’re not to be envied right now.

Keep your chin up, man - you’ll be OK. As they say back home: alles sal reg kom.

Thanks mate! 'n Mens moet maar “staan en trap” ne?


I’ll admit it: that one’s new to me, and it doesn’t resemble a Dutch expression either. I recognise the words just fine, but what does it mean? Something like “a man just has to dig his heels into the ground when the going gets tough”?

Something like that…

It comes from bicycle riding - when the going gets tough, you have to get up out of the saddle and “stand and tread” to keep moving. Just so in life - if you don’t “staan en trap” then life is going to come grinding to a halt, so while it may be hard work, that’s what you’ve got to do to keep going.

:slight_smile: Grim

Ah! I never associated it with bike riding at all, how un-Dutch of me. :smiley:

Yup, the Dutch verb would be trappen in this case, and staan is identical. Thanks for the explanation!