David is my brother. He is three years older and had bad luck before he was even born. Mom had pneumonia during her pregnancy and David got the mumps and measles when he was just weeks old. My grandmother didn't pay attention when she was changing his diaper and he rolled off the table. He fell (or got pushed) off a two story building, fell off a motorcycle, got severe burns on his feet and got hit by a car.
When Mom was seven months pregnant with me, she was told David was retarded and her age was probably a factor (she was 38 when he was born) and that the current baby (me) would probably be worse. I was born with a cold, but other than that, I was normal. The Doctors told her to put David in an institution, but she said NO, he belonged at home.
I didn't know David was different until I got in grade school, when other kids called him names and threw rocks at him. Their parents weren't much better, they wouldn't let their children come to our house because he was different. I guess they thought their kids might "catch" it. Who would have thought adults could be so dumb?
David was my playmate growing up. He liked Tonka trucks and I hated dolls, so we got along fine, playing in the dirt. I fought the jerks who teased and bullied him because no matter what they did to him, he wouldn't fight back. Most of David's problem was speech related, he understood exactly what you said to him, but when he tried to reply, the words got all garbled up on the way out. He laughed at good jokes and managed some simple one syllable words, his favorites being Coke and truck, though it came out more like coe and truh, but I understood him.
When I was about six, Mom said she wished someone would teach David how to pee standing up and since I had taught him to tie his shoes and write his name with a crayon, I thought she was talking to me. She wasn't, but I didn't know that! While playing in the woods across the street from our house, I had to go and having seen little boys do it, I tried it myself. Then I showed David. He was much better at it than I was and Mom just laughed when I proudly told her what I had done.
David had seizures in his sleep. I was about seven the first time I awoke and saw one. Mom showed me how to hold his head to the side until it was over. Many nights, I was the only one who heard him. I guess I should have been scared, but Mom made it seem normal, so I never was.
Nothing ever seemed to bother him. Oh, he got frustrated some times when people couldn't understand what he wanted, but usually he would figure out a way to make them understand. He was fearful of little kids and small yapping dogs, but could approach the most vicious big dogs and they would wag their tails and snuggle up to him. Cats seemed to have an affection for him, too. David was always happy, laughing or smiling.
Once, when we were adults, during Thanksgiving dinner at my home, a drink got knocked over. Everyone panicked, except David, he grabbed his napkin and mopped it up, even though he wasn't the one who spilled it, and then he gave a hearty laugh and grabbed some more turkey! Now, tell me, who was the smart one?
I have a special place in my heart for anyone who is different and my Parkinson's Disease seems minor compared to David's life. I taught David how to tie his shoes and pee like a man, but he taught me how to LIVE and LOVE and most of all LAUGH!
Thank you for reading this story, I hope you enjoyed it. This is just one of a hundred stories in my book, Parkinson's Humor - Funny Stories about My Life with Parkinson's Disease. Please consider purchasing a copy from Amazon.com or your favorite online book seller. Thank you and have a Happy Parkie Day!