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Sep 16, 2007
Loved one DX
Hi all,

We (meaning my husband and I) have known for about 2 weeks now about my father-in-law's diagnosis, bulbar-onset ALS, fairly progressed. We had the followup appointment with the neurologist to ask any questions we wanted, but the one question I couldn't ask was about telling FIL's brothers and sisters. They are not close emotionally, usually only talking to each other at Christmas and birthdays and mainly only through cards. One brother is only 30 minutes away, his sister about an hour away, and his other brother is on the other coast. They have no idea about his health getting like this even though it all started back in July, and we are trying to figure out a place to get together with his family to let them know. Restaurants are out of the picture with FIL's feeding tube, and none of them are really part of any organized religion that may have a meeting area. I know it seems our house should be an obvious choice, but believe me, it is small and still recovering from the hurricanes we had here a few years ago :oops: If anyone has any suggestions for a meeting place, I would appreciate very much.

Hi Marisa. Does anyone in the family belong to the VFW or Moose Lodge or similar organization? They usually have a room you could rent.
Where are you from? You mention Hurricanes? It's either Florida or Louisiana? If your in Louisiana, your not far from me.
Does your FIL really, really want everyone together? My mom just sent her brothers and sisters an email. Getting together would have been impossible for them, but I really think she wanted to avoid seeing any of their reactions---dealing with their emotions (or lack of emotions). The fact that your FIL is not close with his family, despite living close to them, might make the "getting together" factor a little overwhelming for everyone.
That's not really what you asked though. How about a covered area in a park. I'm assuming it's hot where you are.
Al, my FIL is a vet but is not part of any of those organizations. We do live in a very active wintertime retirement community and have a lot of vets, so I will look into those options. Thanks.

Jamiet, we live in Florida between Tampa and Lakeland. Charlie missed us at the last minute, but Jeanne and Frances both got us. We live in a rural area and most of our damage was outside, but we are still trying to catch up financially and haven't even gotten the two trees that were downed cut up and removed yet.

ccox, FIL's family is upset with him right now because he wouldn't talk to them on his birthday in May. He is not comfortable talking on the phone and wasn't even before his voice issues. We don't want their relationships to be that way with his health now. I am sure if we called them, the two who live close would be here in less than an hour. We just need as few disruptions as possible right now. I work from home, my daughter has ADHD and does not deal well with changes in her routine, and my son is just, well, a bit too rambunctious (he's 6) to make carrying on a serious conversation easy under any circumstances. It is hot right now, but there are a couple of places with indoor areas we might could check.

Thanks for the suggestions,

If they aren't that close, I can tell you from experience that getting them together to give them the news probably wouldn't really be the best idea. You may want to let them know yourself by phone and then get their feelings on the situation and plan from there. You never know what is truly in their hearts. Afterwards, they may all want to plan an event, where you all can do something special together.

Getting them all together to tell them about a diagnosed would be depressing IMHO, but getting together to celebrate his life would be great!

Try to take one day at a time. It is hard to do, I know. Children involved make it more difficult to plan, but they are resilient.

I have a seven year old and he gets upset and he has his own probs, but he will get beyond them with my help! So please just call your husband's family. You may find a more caring group of people than you expected. Hope I'm right!

Let us know what happens.
I like the idea of getting together to celebrate his life! We don't do enough of that, IMO. Good idea, CJ! Cindy
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