Autism Sibling & Expression

This is a difficult post to write. As many of you know, I began this blog as a continuation of my efforts to define my relationship with my older autistic brother. Mike is very low functioning as well as profoundly retarded. For 11 months I posted about what it was like for me as a […]

The Simple Life

A week ago I was just getting back from seeing my families. In my original family, my place is that of a son and a brother; in my family of choice, I am a husband, stepfather and grandfather. My granddaughter calls me Zaydie out of respect for my Jewish heritage. It was her parents’ idea. […]

It Hurts When…

When I was a kid, I went to the doctor. I think it was for a check up, but I wanted to know what the burning feeling was when I tried to touch my toes. I told the doctor, “It hurts when I do this,” and proceeded to try touching my toes. I had not […]

Looking Back

I’m home from our trip to see the grandkids. The visit airlifted me directly into the arms of a fully-formed family. It was a good feeling, but I felt a hole. I did not come by grandfatherhood honestly. It so happens I skipped the entire fatherhood thing. No changing diapers, no yelling at the kids, […]

Ending and Beginning

It seems that on this trip I am either starting something or ending something. I’m back in Chicago area, having ended a trip to New Jersey to see my original family, including Michael, my older autistic, profoundly retarded and nonverbal brother. I wasn’t hoping for a story book ending on our day trip to see […]


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 […]

More Anticipation

My upcoming visit to see my mother and my two brothers is on my mind these days. My visit to New Jersey is coming up in less than a week. I’ll be staying with Mom, and we’ll visit little bro in northern Jersey. All of us will drive out to see my older brother in […]

Practice Roll

I haven’t shot a roll of film in quite a while. In fact, I had to drive 20 miles from home just to purchase some. Today I went for a walk and took some practice shots. I didn’t trust the in-camera meter reading, so I brought along my hand-held meter. I haven’t used that in […]

Wrinkle in Time

Perfection It was the picture perfect family event. Grandparents visiting, doting over the baby they hadn’t seen in over five months. Grandpa had a special name, distinguishing him from the other two grandfathers. His first wife had a child from a first marriage and never ever wanted to go through that experience again. There must […]


Faith is a complete trust in someone or something without requiring proof. Infants have complete trust by dint of the actions of their parents. No baby wonders whether he or she will be fed, under normal conditions. It just happens, no proof needed. Is being fed, in the world of a baby equivalent to the […]