Here I am again, reading and commenting on the sixth post from Rat in the Walls, the blog I wrote during the final year of my brother’s battle with ALS. The post is titled “Empathic Alchemy,” and you can read it below the video.
Here’s the third video in Rat in the Walls, in which I read the third post that I wrote during the last year of my brother’s life. A copy of the post appears below the recording.
I recorded the video at BayCon 2017 but have delayed releasing it. Approximately 45 minutes after I got home from the con, my sister called to tell me that Mom is back in the hospital, so my sister is now watching over our 91-year-old Mom in the hospital while I take care of our 95-year-old Dad at home. More caregiving.
My brother died of ALS in February 2008, after blogging almost daily about his illness following his diagnosis in December 2003. I began blogging about caregiving in a companion blog during the final year before his death. I called my blog Rat in the Walls.
After he died, I stopped posting and let the rats fall silent.
In May 2014, I finally revisited the site for the first time since his death, and I posted this:
When I first started on Blogger, my handle was Ratty, maintaining anonymity so that in my Rat in the Walls blog I could write about my brother’s fatal illness without giving away his identity. Under that pseudonym, I could voice things I couldn’t elsewhere. Rats thrive in the dark. ::: Now, five years after his death in 2008, I’m coming out of the walls and reclaiming my humanity.
I didn’t reread any of my posts in 2014. Too soon.
Now, in May 2017, I’m ready to reread them.
So, here’s the project: as I open each post and look at it for the first time since my brother died, I’m going to make a video recording in which I read the post aloud and say something about it.
I don’t remember much about the posts, except the following:
They are short.
Some of them state a brief lesson about caregiving that I learned that day.
Some of them respond implicitly to the post that my brother made in his blog that day or a preceding day.
Here’s a link to the video I made last night while looking at the first post.
The original blog post says:
Title: Knock Knock
Scurrying, nibbling, hiding. That’s the Rat in the Walls. Knocking about at night, avoiding the light, coveting the cheese.
You only see the leavings: the dry little kernels that trace Rat’s passage through your cupboards; the holes gnawed behind your stove. The fruits of your labor, tooth-marked, scattered.