Last nite, my fiance, our three boys and I went to my brother in law's group home to pick him up for a nite out. Not seeing him or spending time with him other then on holidays or the occasional weekend he spends with my in-laws has really been weighing heavily on my mind. My brother in law, who is the brother of my first husband that passed away three years ago (more about that in future posts I'm sure), has been living in a group home just a mile away from us for about three years now. It was a very difficult step for my in-laws to take as they had just lost their other son six months prior and wouldn't have the daily distraction of having to take care of Tom (my brother in law's name) anymore. Tom is mentally retarded. He suffers from a seizure disorder and inoperable benign brain tumors. The doctors told my in-laws that he would never see his eighth birthday. He will be turning thirty seven in May. See what happens when you try to play God?!!? I remember having feelings of sadness when he was put into the group home because I just didn't see him living with some of the residents that were already living there. I didn't want my brother in law to be placed somewhere where he didn't feel comfortable. Where he didn't fit in. As I got to know each resident, all of those fears quickly vanished. I have never met a more wonderful cast of characters than those living in that group home!! There is "the Mayor," "the body builder," "the girlfriend" who we met last nite for the first time, "the one who says bad words all the time," "the happy-go-lucky bald guy named John," among many others. When we entered the group home, the residents were just sitting down to dinner and "the happy-go-lucky bald guy named John" was saying Grace. He ended it with the loudest AMEN I ever heard and we all got quite a chuckle out of it. John is quite a character and my three sons get a big kick out of him. I wasn't quite sure how they would react to him initially. He has the shiniest bald head you ever saw and one eye looks to the east and the other to the west. He also doesn't have more than a couple of teeth. It turns out that he has an incredible personality and the boys took to him right away. They find him very amusing and always look forward to seeing him. As I was falling asleep last nite, I thought about how wonderful it must be to not have to worry about what you wear, how you look, how you're going to pay your bills, what other people think about you, doing the laundry, what to make for dinner, the price of gas, etc., etc., etc. Today flows into tomorrow with no regrets of what you may or may not have done the previous day. Your needs are met without question and you require just the most basic of needs ~ clean clothes, food, a comfortable place to lay your head at nite. This brings me back to the title of this post. Who is to say that they're not the "lucky ones?" I know that not everybody is blessed enough to be placed in a group home like that but they have all been given a wonderful chance for a good life. A life not being driven by your ego. They truly are the lucky ones.
Many blessings ~ Wendy