Hello good friends! I hope your holidays went off without a hitch, and you had a wonderful time spent with family and friends or both. This holiday, as you know, things we a little different and I had my mom’s house over to mine for the holidays. I was blessed with good food, and family, and just all around love. One person defined for me most of all, and this person has been in my life from the very beginning.
S is my mother’s brother who was born normal, but contracted spinal meningitis when he was 6 months old. Thankfully, he survived, but due to high fevers, his brain was damaged and would have classifications put on him for his entire life. When I was younger, he was my most favorite playmate. He always would play whatever I wanted to play, he let me play with his massive toy car collection (and he had the garage AND the car wash!), he never cared about being “It” for hide and go seek, or tag. He would push me on my swingset for hours and not complain about how he was not the one being pushed, or that he never got the same amount of turns.
Last Thanksgiving, we were at my moms, and decided to take photos with an orange. We were being silly and said we were going to take artsy photos. Here was mine:
Look at my art style! That deep look, pondering life and an orange.
Here was Uncle S’s:
Way to one up me, man.
The thing is, with him, he will remain the always child. He doesn’t manipulate, or stress about bills. He doesn’t try to be anything other than what he is. He loves McDonalds, he loves to play cards (watch him at War- he tries to take all the cards). As I got older, I spent less time with him and more with friends. I didn’t mean to and when I tried to understand it it reminded me of Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh. At some point, you know CR stopped going to the Hundred Acre Wood to see Pooh. You know he grew up and had a family and maybe, hopefully, CR would introduce his kids so Pooh wouldn’t get forgotten about indefinitely. On Thanksgiving, when I was sitting in the kitchen with K and other family members, Uncle S came in giggling and shuffling, and telling us to “ssssssshhhhhhh”. I wondered what he was doing and I had no idea where he went, but then I found him:
Hiding spots only work when you aren’t laughing…
Needless to say he was found and I realized he was playing Hide and Go Seek with my Sister and Girl 2. Now he was “It” and he had to find them. My heart warmed as I realized Pooh does live on, and that future generations would enjoy what I had as a child. Pure joy and love from someone who only knows how to love purely and with joy. After their game, I asked him to play War with me and that is how I finished up Thanksgiving. Me and Uncle S playing games that we hadn’t played in years. I felt the warmth and joy and love from him and it made me realize that it wasn’t he who left me, but I who forgot how to just be simple and enjoy.
You may have won at War, but you also won at life.
So to conclude, here are some lessons I have learned from Uncle S:
Simple. It doesn’t need to be complicated.
It’s okay to just lie in the grass for hours until someone calls the police because they think there is a dead body in the yard (Yes, this actually happened at my mom’s house). Sometimes, on a warm summer day, just laying out in the grass is the best activity ever.
You don’t need to color in the lines.
You don’t need a solid reason to just be happy. Just be happy.
Laughing while hiding will get you caught every time.
Hug people and often. Just know your strength so you don’t physically hurt them.
It’s okay to like McDonalds.
Thank you, Uncle S, for reminding me about all these things without having to try. You just do it naturally. The world has a great gift in you, and maybe some don’t appreciate it, but you have made lives better by just being you. I owe you some McDonalds, and the next time I go bowling, I will be by to pick you up.