October 18, 2007 | By | 1 Comment

He was nonverbal and didn’t have any teeth, but he was still able to communicate. Mentally, he was only 3. Physically, he was 60. He must’ve thought he was over 100 because everytime we celebrated somebody’s birthday, he thought it was his birthday that we were celebrating.

He moved in with our family right around the time I became a teenager. He loved to play sports and I used to rebound for him as he shot hoops with his underhanded style in our driveway. We also played catch with whatever balls were lying around the house. If I didn’t cut things off, he probably would have never stopped playing. He loved to watch football on TV and whenever I asked him who was winning the game, he would say “purple”.

He used to go to church and introduce himself to everybody. When we weren’t looking, he would kiss the ladies. He went to work every day and whenever I asked him what he did there, he would simply say “pull”. He looked forward to receiving his paycheck that was usually no more than $20 for two weeks. I remember one time when he bought me a book with his hard earned money. He was so happy and proud to give me something. Sometimes he had dances with other special needs people and would always find the prettiest girl to slow dance with.

When I went away to college, he used to point at my picture and ask my mother when I was coming home. He was always looking forward to Thanksgiving, Christmas, or camp and always asked when people would be coming home. He was really stubborn when he didn’t get his way and was a world-class pouter. He loved to eat and most of the time he got angry was when he couldn’t have more food or another Coke.

Whenever I came home, he would give me long hugs and not let go. He was always so happy to see me. He used to give me big wet kisses and I’d get slobber and snots all over my clothes when he buried his head in my chest. He had more joy and love than most of the people I have ever met and was living proof that God uses the weak and foolish things of the world to shame the wise.

He loved boats. The last time I saw him, we were at a beach and he was waving at the boats as they passed by. Even though he was really sick and pale, the site of the boats made him so happy. He was about to placed in a group-home because his medical needs were becoming too much to handle.

As we were sitting at the beach, he kept asking me if I would be home for Thanksgiving. He couldn’t wait for that time with the three things he loved most – food, family, and football. Soon, he would be asking me where we would put the Christmas tree. I would ask him what he wants for Christmas and he would answer with the standard, “a book, a hat, a book”. Two books and one hat – it’s what he wanted every year.

I knew he didn’t have much longer to the live, but the phone call today still caught me by surprise. I wish I had a chance for one more time to shoot hoops, one more time poke his big belly and hear him say “cut it out” and one more time to give him a big hug and receive a sloppy kiss. After all those years spending holidays together, things won’t seem right this upcoming season.

I know you won’t be here to receive the gifts, but I’m getting two books and one hat for you, big man, this Christmas. God knows how much I love you, how much joy you brought into my life and how much I already miss you.



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Category: Musings

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  1. moymoybien says:

    hey– this is beautiful. so sorry for your loss.

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