There was no good news from our family in California. My Grandpa T. had been going to Mexico to get laetrile for as long as he could safely take it, and it had seemed to put his cancer in remission. The doctors had given him six months to live and he'd gone nearly five years. Now his cancer was active again, and spreading quickly. Laetrile can only be taken for a limited time before it will poison your body. My Grandpa had reached the maximum level, and may have been poisoned if he had continued taking the medication. My Grandfather often wrote to me, and told me he was in pain. He told me to never eat processed foods, including sugar or white flour. He blamed processed foods for his cancer. He smoked, and even though he knew the correlation between cigarettes and cancer, he personally didn't blame the cigarettes for causing his cancer.
My Aunt Avis wasn't doing much better. She apparently was very unhappy with her life and had attempted suicide several times. Most recently she threw herself out of the vehicle my Uncle was driving. She had also tried slashing her wrists, stabbing herself in the stomach and taking pills. Thus far she hadn't succeeded in killing herself, but she had tried so many times that it became obvious she would probably succeed one of these days.
After trying to derail a train, my cousin Michael had moved home. The friction between Michael and my Uncle Tim had increased and my Aunt Avis coddled Michael, probably to make up for the lack of caring from my uncle. After he had been home for awhile, my Aunt Avis convinced my Uncle to buy Michael a car. The car Michael selected was a brand new corvette. Michael didn't have even a week with his corvette. He wrecked the car, crashing it in a single car accident on one of the local freeways. The brand new car was totaled. Michael wasn't working and he wasn't going to school. He would sleep late and then just disappear, to do whatever he did in the afternoon and evenings. Michael had never learned to read, and now I would suspect that he was dyslexic. Lack of the ability to read was devastating to my cousin. It prevented him from being able to work, or to continue his education. And so he began hanging around with seedy characters every day.