Monday, August 29, 2011

Here's to Irene

     I was worried about my brother Kevin as the hurricane rolled in.  Not so much because I was concerned about his group home staff's ability to protect him from harm, but just because a natural disaster makes you want to stick close to family.  I knew he wouldn't be scared.  Having intellectual disabilities means he doesn't worry about things he doesn't understand.  Rain is rain, wind is wind. That's all there is to it.
     When we lost power on Sunday, I called his group home.  The staff are so used to me calling that they immediately handed the phone to Kevin before I had a chance to ask about the power.  Asking Kevin if he had electricity would mean nothing, so I picked something to which I knew he could relate.
      "Are you watching TV?"
     "Yes," he replied, but he sounded a little unsure.
      "Is your TV on?" I asked. "What are you watching?"
     "Movie, Sissa."  It was his patent response, but then I heard the drone of the TV over the phone.
     But the normalcy was short-lived.  I received a call from the group home manager this morning, saying that the power was out and they were mandated to move the residents to a hotel.  I worried about the transition for Kevin.
     Tonight, my fears were calmed.  Kevin was eating out, his favorite activity.  He had been in the hot tub and the pool of the hotel acting, according to the manager, like he was on vacation.  It is at a time like this that I marvel at my brother's ability to find joy in every situation.  And I could hear in the voice of the group home manager his joy at watching Kevin revel in his new surroundings.


  1. Pat: Nice piece. And I'd like to say that the love you have for your brother flows from each word and it is so heartwarming. Keep on writing! Valerie

  2. Thanks, Val! I hope your writing is going well. I miss you and congrats on graduation!

  3. Pat, I can only echo MahoganySpaBaby's (love the name, Val) words of your love and insight. I think your insight on what could be an otherwise difficult situation is priceless and so very special. It gives true meaning to what love really means, what it is all about. You not only offer up new meanings through your writing, but you show it through everything you do and say - whether to Kevin or to those others you care about - through your actions, depth and sensitivity in your writing. You are such an inspiration to all of us.

    See you soon!