Monday, March 16, 2009

The "Retard" in my life

I know that nearly 100% of you have no idea about my who or what my family comprised of. But I will tell you the speech I posted below was so sweet. It made me think of my brother who was actually my grandmother's adopted son named Tom. We moved in with my grandmother when I was 12 years old. My mother had committed suicide that year and so we became my grandmother's children and Tom became more like a brother than an uncle. I love Tom and when I think of him a smile always comes to my face. I can not wait for the day when I meet him in heaven and he is whole. From what I know and this may or may not be true, but Tom was smothered as a baby by his father and a pillow. He had permanent brain damage and was considered mentally retarded and forever the age of 5 or 6. He LOVES people and all the business of others. To be included in the daily dramas of life, well dramas to him but not really to anyone else. When he gets excited or upset he gets very loud. My favorite thing about Tom is that he always says, "Hey, let me ask you a question." But then says a statement and never a question. LOL He is funny and sweet and innocent and unfortunately changed by many influences. He lives with the help of an aid in his own apartment now and participates with special olypics and has many activites that keep him busy as well as friends who are also like him in mentality. I haven't seen him for a good 6 months now but he is getting older and is looking it. :) It is almost strange to see Tom who is always "young" grow older. I believe this year will bring his 46th birthday. I have never in my life called him names even as a child who didn't really understand what was different about him. I have heard him be called retard many many times in his life and have seen him bullied and taken advantage of. He never understood what was happening except that he knew it wasn't good. It breaks my heart that others can be so flipant and callous as to think that what they do or say has no lasting impact and I am glad to have stumbled upon the speech below. It is great that a teenager would stand up in front of the entire school and defend what is right. May we all be that strong in our lives.

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