Things Go Better With Bro

I was really tired yesterday after working with my brother Dave in Mom’s apartment. We drove back to Dave’s house and I couldn’t find my computer. I realized that I must have left it at Mom’s. I had to do my entire blog post on her iPad. This morning when I woke up, I saw that my computer was leaning next to my pack. I must have taken it out of the pack and immediately forgotten. I was that tired.

Our mother died about a week ago, about a week after her 90th birthday. I’ve been out here is the frigid east coast since she died, working with my brother to clear out her apartment.

Dave and I are four years apart. I am older. Our brother Michael is older than me by about 3 years. Mike is very low functioning, autistic and nonverbal. I describe in much detail my experience as a sibling of an autistic individual in the earlier parts of my blog. Dave doesn’t remember a lot about him. Our parents said they tried to shield us from the effects of having a disabled, autistic brother.

Our family was composed of two very bright parents, two bright children and one child so profoundly disengaged that he was unreachable. Our family dynamic was far from that of the Leave It To Beaver template that was the standard for the 1950s.

I tried to be a good big brother to Dave, but we didn’t really get to talk that much on an equal footing. My current visit, although it has encompassed a milestone in our lives – the death of our mother – has enabled us to discuss things we haven’t spoken much about before: perspectives on growing up in our family; individual recollections of events at which we were both present; new realizations about our parents; new realizations about each other.

Photograph: Brothers

Digital Photo

I mentioned the other day that since Mom died, there is no one around who has known me my whole life. I am proud to have been around at the start of my brother’s life and, although I can’t give him much information about his first few years, I can support his recollections of family life from a very early age.

I spent one day alone at Mom’s apartment after she died, trying to clean up. It was very difficult. These past couple of days with my brother Dave there with me, have been much better.

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