Taking my brother out to lunch today for his birthday. I pretty much covered my feelings about celebrating David’s birthday in my post last year, so I’ll just refer you to it.
It’s inevitable, it always seems to snow in NH right around my brother’s birthday (which is Friday, by the way). This year, I’d hoped we’d gotten it in under the wire: the weather was warming, the mounds of snow from the last big storm were all but gone... but no. It’s snowing outside like crazy and there’s a winter storm warning for the county until early tomorrow morning, by which time we’re expected to get from 4 to 8 inches, mixed with sleet and freezing rain. I’m so ready for Spring, too... ::sigh::

Dunno if this is going to cancel tonight’s Eberron game or not. Most of the group lives within 5-10 minutes of each other in Milford. I live the second farthest away in neighboring Merrimack (about 25 minutes via the back roads). Not knowing how the roads are going to be, especially by the time we’re done around 10:00 or so, I’m inclined to put it off until next week in hopes actual Spring will come after David’s birthday as usual. We’ll see what folks think.
Today is my “little” brother David’s birthday. (Although he’s 35 today, he is still and will always be my “little” brother.) David is a remarkable guy, with pretty remarkable parents we are fortunate enough to share.

You see, when David was two, he was diagnosed as autistic. Doctors recommended that our parents institutionalize him, because he would never live a “normal life.” Mom & Dad wouldn’t hear of such a thing. So they worked through tantrums and outbursts (because David did have them). They fought with every school district we lived in for the right attention and programs. They helped David when he had seizures as a teenager and had to be on medication (which he's been off for years now). They provided help and encouragement along with discipline and guidance, and they taught me to always look out for my little brother.

For his part, David never gave up, whether it was parts of school where he had trouble (there are others, like mathematics, where he excels), remedial reading, finding his first after-school job, attending vocational school, or volunteering his time for literally years at the hospital where he works now (full-time), after having proven himself the hardest and most dedicated worker they had ever seen.

Now, decades after the “experts” pronounced my little brother a lost cause for life, he has a high school diploma, a two-year accounting degree, a job, a car, his own condo (and mortgage), and is more “high functioning” than a lot of the so-called “normal” people I know. Today I got to celebrate his birthday with my family, and I also want to celebrate all that he, and they, have achieved.

Happy birthday, Dave, and many, many more.

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stevekenson

July 2011

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