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Teal's Modest Adventures

Life & Events > Relationships > It's Not Supposed to Happen This Way

It's Not Supposed to Happen This Way

Don, my brother-in-law, still not hanging out with us, but we are talking, came over this morning with some family photos and some devastating news. His son,Johnny, my only nephew, died of cancer this past week. He is being cremated, no service, as he wished. He’d kept his illness a secret, fighting it for the last 10 years. Don knew, but he’d never told my sis, his mom. She couldn’t have handled it. He lived on the East Coast of Florida and I saw him rarely, but we were close.

I remember his birth. It was 4 a.m. Our phone rang in Chicago. It was my sister calling from the hospital, groggy from anesthesia. “It’s a boy,” she said, heady with joy. I awakened my parents. We were all thrilled.

Johnny had his tragedies as well. He married, had three children, and his wife, Shirley, died of cancer in her 30s. He was heartbroken. He took care of his kids, and finally remarried after years of living with Jan, and despite the disapproval of his children, reluctant to accept anyone else that is often the way these things can go. I called Jan, left a message. I don’t know if she will call me back.

I loved that boy. To me, still a boy. Beautiful Johnny.

xx, Teal

posted on Feb 6, 2019 5:03 PM ()


I can't begin to understand how you must feel, but know that you are in our thoughts. I'm very sorry for your loss. I don't even know you very well, but the tone of your article here conveys great sadness, and I share in your grief.
comment by jerms on Feb 7, 2019 7:34 PM ()
So sorry for that vicious disease to infect a family member. The treatment in itself is horrible. Peace and love to you.
comment by elderjane on Feb 7, 2019 5:53 AM ()
I know you understand. Love to you and your family from me and my dwindling one. My first cousin, Connie, also fighting cancer and it doesn't look good. Jimmy, her brother, died of cancer some 20 years ago. I am overwhelmed with what is yet to come.
reply by tealstar on Feb 7, 2019 7:27 AM ()
I'm so sorry to hear this. I hope you and the rest of your family take care of yourselves. Maybe it's a good thing his mom didn't know.
comment by drmaus on Feb 6, 2019 9:19 PM ()
Before my sis succumbed to congestive heart failure, she was losing memory. I had told her about my bout with breast cancer and she had a traumatic reaction. Then she forgot. And I told her again, and it was new to her and she was again stricken with fear on my behalf. So I realized it was just making her ill and she couldn't absorb things I might have shared in the past when she was someone I could turn to. So I never brought it up after that and that was best.
reply by tealstar on Feb 7, 2019 5:38 AM ()
Finding out about it when he's already gone seems sort of rough on you. I can see where maybe he didn't want everyone making an issue of the cancer, but no time for you to get used to the idea, and then too late to tell him goodbye via card or in person. Anyhow, sorry for your loss.
comment by traveltales on Feb 6, 2019 7:47 PM ()

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