It just turned November, the month of Thanksgiving.
A lot has happened in Novembers of the past: Mike, my older brother, was born this month; Dad died this month; my parents married this month. All so long ago. My brother will be 64 years old; Dad would have been 93 years old; Mom and Dad would have been married 67 years.
Doctors diagnosed Mike with infantile autism in 1952  when he was three years old. I’m not sure when they determined that Mike suffered from profound retardation. Mike never learned how to talk. When I was a kid, sometimes I thought that he really knew how to talk but didn’t, on purpose.
The good news is that I will be seeing Mike some time in the coming week. I haven’t seen him in a long time. My anxiety level is on the rise, however. I don’t really know what to expect when I see him. I am the only one in my family who hasn’t seen Mike since they moved him to a geriatric facility. Mike had been increasingly unstable in his former group home and the management decided to place him in a place with a higher level of care. The fact that I will be there with Mom and little brother adds a layer of interest to the visit. More often I would go by myself when I lived nearby.
I have been told to be prepared to be depressed.
Younger brother doesn’t remember much about Mike from childhood and had always been afraid of him. He doesn’t like to talk about Mike. I really hope that we can talk a bit about him. I hope that he can remember something from his childhood about Mike. I have been steeped in my own perspective for so long, I would welcome some illumination from another angle. At two-person Rashomon  narrative is preferable to a single eye-witness account.
However, the most abrupt change next week will be the transition from grandfather to son/brother; from the hearth of an emerging family to rejoining the remainder of my original family, in a month of significant events in our history.
 The first Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) was published in 1952. Autism was classified in the category of schizophrenia back then.
 “The Rashomon effect is a term that has been used by a number of different scholars, journalists and film critics to refer to contradictory interpretations of the same events by different persons, a problem that arises in the process of uncovering truth. The phrase derives from the movie Rashomon, where four witness’s accounts of a rape and murder are all different.” from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rashomon_effect