Dear Nephew Colin

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June 22nd, 2010

You are the youngest, newest member of our vast, crazy family and your Great Uncle Rodney has a funny story to tell. Well, by the end of this you may not think of me as great per say; everyone just calls me Uncle Rodney anyway, even if they’re my cousins or not technically even related […]

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https://readthespirit.com/rodney-curtis/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2013/03/wpid-rcripcord.jpgYou are the youngest, newest member of our vast, crazy family and your Great Uncle Rodney has a funny story to tell. Well, by the end of this you may not think of me as great per say; everyone just calls me Uncle Rodney anyway, even if they’re my cousins or not technically even related to me.

I am in the hospital right now with a disease that finds new and highly creative ways each night to kick my butt. Oops, you’re not even a one-year-old yet; I shouldn’t curse. This disease is beating me up. But in the end I am going to win, so the story already has a happy ending.

So Colin, you’re probably still in diapers now right? The wonderful thing about diapers is you can play, play, play all day and when you need to go potty, you just do. Take my advice, my nephew, stay in diapers as long as possible. No, I’m not writing to tell you Uncle Rodney is in diapers, that would be silly. I’m writing to say how I fainted on the potty last night.

You’ve seen potties; Mommy and Daddy have a few of them and they seem so big and bright and white and make noise at the end. Well Colin dear, it’s completely understandable — to me anyway — if you’d like to wait off on what they call toilet training. I thought I was toilet trained until last night at 2:00 a.m. when the whole hospital Code Staff, Emergency Room workers and everyone on my floor was crowded into my room because I lost consciousness while pooing.

Hospitals have emergency cords right next to the toilets. I can’t describe, Colin, exactly how I knew to pull the cord. But when my head was snapping back and forth and I couldn’t focus, apparently I knew I had to pull the ripcord.

There are some wonderful people on this planet. Many of them were in my room last night. I kept hearing my name over and over again until finally I just opened my eyes and looked out to see them all. Somehow they had gotten me to my bed, attached machines all over me and even had those crazy “Clear” paddles you may have seen on one of Mom’s scary night time shows.

I was fine. They gave me all sorts of good things to make me better and last night was just a funny memory.

And really Colin, that’s why I’m writing. I know you’re too young to interpret this and I’m just using a cheap literary device to tell a story, but it’s my story. I can laugh if I want to. So many people today have said, “you must’ve been so scared.”

But I wasn’t and I’m not.

And that’s the thing about growing up in this family. You will be told things all the time about how to be and how to react but little dude, you get to make up your own rules as you go along. You will feel how you feel for no other reason than that’s the way you feel.

I think too, there’s something else lurking in my mind. Let me try and pin it down. Treatment for the disease I have has progressed so far in recent years. Right now, the very best of our medicine says to kill ALL the junk in my bones and let my body grow back the good stuff. I’ll bet … I know that by the time you’re grown up they’ll figure out a way to just destroy the bad stuff in people and leave the good safe and secure. But more importantly, let’s hope for a time where this disease never even starts.

Write your own story, my wonderful nephew. Write it every day with surprises and fun. But know there may be times when you need to pull the ripcord. And when you do, there will be so many of us rushing in to help, it will make your head will spin with the love.

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