Gratitude 30Sept13 My Brother, Eddie

Eddie © 2014 llpeltier All Rights Reserved

Eddie © 2014 llpeltier All Rights Reserved

My brother, Eddie, is on my mind this morning. His life journey ended nine years ago today at the young age of sixty.

Eddie was born in 1944 at a time when infants diagnosed with Down Syndrome were often institutionalized.

My brother was blessed to be born to a woman, tenacious and strong, who demanded to raise her baby at home. With the help of family, until my father came home from World War 2, she did just that.

Always one to beat the odds, Eddie out lived many of the professionals who made claims that he would not live beyond infancy, adolescence, then his teens. I think they just gave up on predictions after that.

As a child and into adulthood he excelled. He was in the pilot class and continued with the Christ Child School for Exceptional Children and the Special Olympics. He bowled, danced, and he was quite a paint-by-number artist.

If you knew my brother Eddie, you would be one of the many who doubted the notion that he was “mentally challenged.” He knew how to work a room and was strategic in getting what he wanted.

Luckily for me, a trip to Target for the purchase of a new music cassette and a dinner of a Whooper, french fries, and Coke at Burger King was his idea of the perfect sister date.

Eddie was my sibling who spent the most time with me. He taught me my alphabet and numbers. I spent many childhood hours in his room while he sat on his bed and played cards having conversations with his pretend friends. I learned the value of imagination.
I was on the kitchen counter while it was his turn to do the dishes and I would dry for him.
I learned about sharing and in our conversations, humor.  We would dance when no one was home. I learned the gift of dancing like no one is watching. Eddie would check on me and would sneak a snack into the closet when I wasn’t doing alright. In that simple gesture, he taught me about kindness.
And he taught me what I will forever consider my most important life lessons about being accepting of those who are different than us.
Laura and Eddie © 2013 llpeltier All Rights Reserved

Laura and Eddie © 2013 llpeltier All Rights Reserved

For some odd reason, Eddie called me “Larry” for most of my life. I did not know why it just was his way. After I gave birth to my son, Louis, he began to call me “Laura.” When I asked him what was up with that, he said: “You’re a mother, now.” In true Eddie logic, that was that.
Today I am thankful
  • Those who are gone but never forgotten. I love you, my brother.
  • My Increased walking is paying off. Work, work, work.
  • Another sunny fall day and it is beautiful.

When I close my eyes and picture him, it is with his silly grin, giggling, hula dancing and rubbing his hands together. I can still hear him teasing me “Hey, Larry, wanna dance?” Always, Eddie. I will always be ready to dance with you.

affectionately yours, Laura

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