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When In Doubt, Protect Thine Recovery; Don’t Participate


December 2021

I love my family deeply. My sisters and brothers are awesome. My mom is deeply caring and fantastic. And we’re all a little nuts.

This year for Christmas, my sister is flying in from LA as she always does but she’s recovering from lung surgery. They had to take out a part of her lung that was cancerous – and the surgery was not without its problems. So, as you could guess, it would be real bad if my sister caught a respiratory virus – especially a highly contagious respiratory virus that kills people with underlying medical conditions… like, I don’t know, having a third of one of your lungs removed a month ago.

You can probably see where this is going, it’s like DEFCON 2 at my sister’s (who will be hosting this year’s festivities, as she has for the past several years, God bless her). There are rules and regulations that must be followed, an air purifier (or three) was purchased, booster vaccinations were required, as is a rapid test within 24 hours of showing up to the party… and my daughter was playing tonsil hockey with a kid at college a few days ago who just found out… you guessed it, he has Covid! It’s a party now! WOOHOO!

That sent my recovering sister, we’ll call her Karen for the sake of this post, into orbit. As of yesterday a rapid test wasn’t going to be good enough. She informed us, from LA, that we should be able to find a place that would do a Rapid PCR test. Somewhere. After reminding us, yet again, that she can’t catch Covid (obviously). Now, nobody had mentioned masks yet, but I expected they’d be handed out on arrival and I’m no fan of those stupid things (if they work, why don’t they work?).

And that’s precisely when I threw in the towel. I texted my sisters that we’d be staying home.

This decision was not without its problems. My sister, the LA sister, wants to see us this year and is feeling a little guilty and upset that we’ve decided to skip the drama and stay home this year. My mom, though, was glad for our choice. My other sister, the hostess, sadly can’t escape the drama but backed us in our decision and she’s bummed we won’t be there because we’re half of the life of the party…

The point of this post, folks, is to say sometimes you just have to do what’s best and avoid a shit show.

The stress, the drama, the… mess, sometimes you have to leave others to that swamp and take care of your recovery (and, as in this case, your family). In that kind of environment, one where even a rapid test wouldn’t really be enough and we’d probably have to put our daughter, my little big girl, in a corner to appease my sister, well some shit just isn’t doable. I’m not willing to put my family through that. For anyone.

The only trick, of course, is to bow out gracefully. We recovering folk are an honest lot, yes. At the same time, we have no room for brutal honesty. I did my best.



  1. Love it!!! Absolutely could not agree more! Protecting our peace is protecting our recovery! Enjoy your holiday!❤️I am sure it will be amazing 🌈

  2. Regardless of the reasons staying away was the sensible thing. Imagine if you’re daughter was the person to give Covid to your sister, would that be worth one family gathering?

    • bgddyjim says:

      What if my sister gets Covid on the bus from the parking lot to LAX? Or on the plane? Or at DTW (Detroit Metro Airport)? If my kid is negative, she’s negative… and so far, she still doesn’t have it. The question comes down to how far do you take it? Should we all stay away from people for a week to make absolutely sure we can’t get my sister sick? How about two weeks? There were a half-dozen sensible ways around this, but staying away is the most hassle-free. If I thought my kid had Covid, we wouldn’t have thought about going… and she still might, but it’s looking like maybe not.

      • I understand. From a personal point of view I’d be happier being cautious but we all have our own way of thinking and dealing with things. Hopefully nobody has it and everyone stays safe 🤞

      • bgddyjim says:

        Exactly right. 🤞

      • I just read through that again (slowly and carefully this time!) and have only just realised that it’s your sister with the health issues that is travelling. I’m sorry if this offends but man, she should be the one staying at home! She’s putting herself at so much risk with all that travel. If you guys are negative then she’s doing a lot more risky stuff already…

      • bgddyjim says:

        Exactly. And that was my issue with the whole mess. On the other hand, she’s had a pretty rough road to heal up and I can understand her wanting to get out and do something… it’s a pickle.

  3. Uncoffined says:

    You have done the right thing. The Xmas party would have been a tense affair.
    Merry Xmas everyone.

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