With Sweetest Day approaching, I thought I’d focus on my brother’s love life! Welcome to Day #17 of this series (if you have missed a post, you can click on the “31 Days with My Brother” tab near the top of the blog to see all previous posts in the series).
As I mentioned before, my brother has been dating his girlfriend Sarah for a long time (probably about 20 years). She also has Down Syndrome. They went to school together when they were young, in a neighboring town, and then I think they reconnected through Special Olympics. They don’t see each other a lot, but they are loyal and devoted to one another. I don’t think Brian would ever consider breaking up with her; this concept doesn’t make sense to him. His loyalty is such a wonderful characteristic. Many people would do well to emulate this quality. Brian will love you through good and bad (and sometimes will remind you of the bad). When I was in high school I made a bad choice by lying to my parents. I told them that I was going out to eat with friends, but really we went to a party. Needless to say, it was a big deal. I broke their trust and was grounded from Halloween to Thanksgiving (and my parents didn’t really believe in grounding). Occasionally Brian still brings up the incident and says something like, “Just say no” or “Don’t lie.”
Sometimes Brian and Sarah meet up for lunch (with my parents in tow) or at dances put on by a local organization. We tease Brian and ask if they held hands or hugged and such at the dance. He usually answers by saying, “A bit”. Sometimes they talk on the phone (okay she talks and he mostly listens). They have exchanged Valentine’s, and birthday, cards and presents. Cologne and perfume are frequent gifts and chocolates too.
Since Brian is the second born, he assumed that once I did things then he would be next in line- like going to college, moving out, and getting married, etc. I think it was hard for him when he didn’t do those things; because he thought he should and wanted to. He went through a phase (for years) when he would talk about getting engaged to Sarah and getting married to her. I think it got even harder when my sisters (who are younger than him) moved out. I am sure he felt left behind, especially when he was done with his young adult program at 26, and was the only sibling still living at home.
When my husband and I were engaged, he would ask Brian what he thought of him kissing his sister. He would respond with things like, “Aww! Aww sick! Aww yuck!” Brian was a groomsmen in our wedding, and definitely the most excited, of the groomsmen, about his role. He was so proud to be the “bro-of-the bride” and to become a “bro-in-law”. When my hubby and all his groomsmen went out to lunch for the Bachelor Party, Hubby told Brian that he was going to squeeze my buns and Brian answered, “Then your name is Mud!” Gotta love that sibling loyalty.
Recently, Brian moved into a group home nearby. It has seemed to perk him up. He now can say that he moved out. He attends a center during the day (where he can take elective classes, go on field trips, and be around his peers). One time when Brian was looking at a group photo from camp, at Cran Hill, he said, “My own kind”. My mom said, “We’re your own kind too.” Now he lives and plays more with “his own kind” as he calls it. He comes home on the weekends, which is a win win for everyone. He gets more freedom and independence during the week, but still has the security and fun of home life with the family.
We love you Brian! We are proud of the man you are and how you are loyal, kind, and loving.
Deep Breaths: Do you have a loyal friend? Someone who has seen you through thick and thin, hard times and good times? Are you that kind of friend to others?
Regardless of your friends, and their loyalty or lack of it, Jesus promises to be there for you; closer than a brother. Take a moment and thank Him for His nearness, steadfastness and friendship. In a world of change, uncertainties, and disappointments- He never changes…He is the same, yesterday and today, and forever!
Thank you Lord.