Loosely applied, especially in this post, the ancient Greek
Humoral theory, holds that good health relies on a balance
of four fundamental fluids: blood, choler (yellow bile), phlegm,
and black bile. I've been out of balance for the last two
months and not been in a communicative mood and not posting.
Shame on me. But it has caused me to reflect on the short and
unpredictable shelf-life afforded mortality, and the chronic
afflictions that diminish our spark.
My older brother, David, was a civic-minded, nonsmoking
teetotaler who walked five miles a day with friends from his
childhood. He had a racehorse metabolism and frequently
enjoyed a Hobbit's habit of second breakfast, lunch or
dinner. He married well and raised two great children. I
thought he would outlive me. Stomach cancer, out of
For twenty-five years, five a days a week, I met with
another supervisor to confer and discuss the complex
administrative tasks facing our respective shifts. That
kind of vital information exchange will either bond you
or break you, as a team. He was one of the few middle-
class men I have ever known to actually realize his life-long
dream. He wanted to be a gentleman farmer, raise chickens
and be left alone, on acres of pasture and piney woods.
Frugal to a fault, disciplined, he and his wife on the
eve of his retirement had amassed enough savings to
purchase 80 acres of pasture, woods, ponds, barns,
and homes. While I doubted the wisdom of such a
project when you are in your mid-sixties, he was
undeniably the happiest man in my world. I am unsure
now, on the exact time line, but within a year he was
diagnosed with Lymphoma and and a bit later, Leukemia.
If life was fair, I'd be buying my eggs from him. Everything
you have is on loan.
Three years ago I began experiencing epic bouts of
horizontal double vision. I got a million dollar work-
up. Myasthenia Gravis. Huh? Are you kidding me?
Well, we adapt. A month after Logan died, I had
symptoms consistent with a bladder infection. Six months
later I am still miserable with Chronic Prostratitis. Huh?
Are you kidding me?
Can I get a some new Humour?
Today I post not to complain, just explain. Which
means I am feeling better. More to come.