A couple of months ago, I was asked to write a blog about having a brother with CTD. I promptly dragged my feet in doing it. What was I supposed to write about? That it sucks? That’s not true. That it’s great? That’s not true either. With my first draft, I aimed to get to the real meat of what it was like, but it spiraled into such a David Lynchian hodgepodge of existentialism and frustration that there’s no way I could possibly show it to anyone let alone a blog on a charity website.
So here I am, round two of what it’s like to have a brother with CTD. What do you want me to talk about? The seizures? The hospitals? The biopsies? The tears, the heartbreak, the dread? The fact that I will have to take care of him for the rest of my life? Why bother? You know all that stuff already. Our circumstances may be different, but those feelings are certainly the same. That’s our bond, you and me.
I used to focus on that stuff a lot. For years really. But the older I get, and the older Chad gets, the less and less that stuff is in the spotlight. It’ll always be there, I guess, but for me at least, I’d rather focus on the good stuff: the laughs.
Chad is the funniest person I know. But whereas most comedians find their humor in cynicism and sarcasm, Chad finds his in joy. Because Chad is the happiest person I know. He doesn’t have to worry about taxes or terrorism or traffic or Trump. The only existential dread he’ll get is if Nickelodeon cancels Spongebob (God help us all).
I don’t get to hang out with him much anymore, now that he’s moving cross-country, but when I do it’s a blast 90% of the time. He only wants to have fun. That’s all he ever asks for. I think we can all learn a lot from that.
So we may all share similar negative things when it comes to CTD, but embrace those positive personal moments. I love Chad for those moments. They’re the only ones that matter.