You can have valuable parts of your life that you don't always treasure. My big treasure is my developmentally delayed brother.
Yesterday I went to the yearly meeting to discuss his goals at the workshop he attends. He has acquired a problem of cursing and using derogatory terms. Where did he get this? Probably the other clients. Why are they focusing on this? I have told them to not tolerate it.
My brother goes with me everywhere. I am not happy with the fact that I have no personal life. I am happy that these folks that live with me are happy. You just can't have your cake and eat it too.
When the issue was discussed, he teared up. He likes to be a good person.
I've seen him and other clients of the workshop in the bravado of the moment. Some clients carry a clipboard without knowing what to write or how to write; one client has long towels he tucks in his back pockets; many clients like to instruct and inform. They understand they are slow and they want you to know they are not stupid. My favorite is the client who leans forward giving advice and information to an imaginary person. He will always stop and give me a cheery smile.
My brother is a good person. He is not developmentally where he should be to understand why you should not use bad language. I take my brother to plays, out to eat, or wherever I go. We live in a sexist society. I can't tell you how many people carefully explain everything to him. You can't look at him and see there is a disability. He's a good looking man if I do say so myself.
In addition, so many people do not understand what being slow is about. I hate the performance "geegaws" they do with him. It's great they accept him but he's not an idiot. You can talk to him like an adult. You can also talk to me. People will give me a brief lesson on how I can work with him to help him.
I'm strict with my brother and that standard is not always there for all the clients for a specific reason. They go home to a group home. Their social occasions are with other clients. The facility my brother attends has a good program. However, their language skills, etc decline.
Dementia affects many as they get older and an emotional bond with so many is not developed to help in their care. People have to go to work and deserve to live a life. Circumstances prevent them from visiting or spending time with a handicapped person. Nursing homes have patients that never get visitors.
I can't fix the world but if anyone reads this and can slow down to visit at a nursing home or volunteer to be a friend to someone like my brother. It will be a chore. The conversation will be boring. You've got better things to do. But on a blue moon, you will know what real roses smell like.
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