Today is my brother Greg's birthday. He would have been 59.
But, he had epilepsy and, over time, suffered some brain damage. He fell during a seizure when he was 23, and passed from this earth three days later.
Recently, a cousin sent me a picture that I had never seen before of Greg and my dad. I absolutely love it.
I believe Greg is about eight here. None of us remember how he broke his arm. My folks had four active kids, close together in ages, so I understand how that might slip one's mind.
Because Greg was handicapped, my parents were very involved in advocating for the disabled. They founded a school for handicapped kids in Washington, Indiana that is now a center offering services to all ages with disabilities.
Because of Greg's influence on our family, my sister trained in special education and works with special ed. preschoolers today. She also tutors (Wilson method) kids with reading disabilities.
Because my siblings and I grew up with a special needs brother, we learned to recognize, in any situation, the person in the room who is different, or needs help. I am so grateful for this awareness. It is one of the greatest lessons my parents exhibited in our home: get out of yourself and look around. There is always something to contribute. Someone who can benefit from your sensitivity and kindness. It's why we're here.
We're thinking of you today, Greg, I know you watch over us. I know you are healed and at peace. Mom and Dad in particular look forward to seeing you soon.
Keep the light on for us.