Sunday, December 5, 2010

introducing Uncle Brian..a member of my family who I don't usually share with the world

I grew up with an Uncle who was 'simple' - well, that is what it was called back then... other names followed: mentally retarded, slow, mentally handicapped. we as children, just accepted him as he was.. growing up, sometimes friends made fun of him.. fear of the unknown I guess...but sad, all the same. I always defended him.. I didn't see him as any different. he was just Uncle Brian. when he was a teenager, he ran away to join the circus.

Uncle Brian is now 72 and lives in a nursing home, where he is safe and looked after. 'clean and fed' as my mums says...My mum had to put him there when my Pa died and no-one could look after him.. she still has guilt pangs about that decision, but it was really the only thing we could do...he has been there for 12 years now I think.. I don't get to see him much. He is like an 8yr old boy in an old man's body. as a child, it was like having a friend to play with when we went to visit Nana...

yesterday, I went to his Christmas party with my mum ~ Santa came and there was lots of party food..


.. their reunion was moving to say the least



they both had tears in their eyes as they hugged each other



they hadn't seen each other for a year


he still thinks I am a little girl - he told me that 'I was marked for life' when he saw my tattoos.. he also told me I was putting weight on... he is a sweetie.. very positive about life and comes out with the most amazing cliches when speaking of life..

I truly am blessed that he is part of my life. thankyou God.

what has been happening at Villa Maria?

the wreath is on the door..[the door will eventually be painted aubergine]

I also hung one on the front fence..

it has been raining.. like tropical rain. a sign of global warming perhaps?

the hydrangeas are absolutely brilliant. huge, huge flower heads - I guess that drastic pruning I gave them when we first bought Villa Maria, has paid off.

Joe has just about finished painting the rooms. the kitchen splashbacks are tiled. lovely big tiles in a pale blue with rust colour flecked through them. ..

thankyou, thankyou so much for all the words of wisdom in my previous post.. I anguish about revealing things like that - but I am so glad I did.

17 comments:

Winterwood said...

beautiful warm post about your uncle... bless him!
I love that hydrangea, we had a garden full of them back in the UK and that bought backnice memories... they dont grow that well here though...must be too hot!

Fire Byrd said...

How lovely that you all had a good time together.
Does look really weird to me with 10inches of snow seeing Christmas hats on with shorts. Can't get my head round that at all!
xx

laoi gaul~williams /I\ said...

uncle brian is obviously a very special person indeed~i hope you all had a lovely time together :)

i took 'green santa' from his wrappings last week and placed on the mantal :)

Debra She Who Seeks said...

How wonderful that you and your Mom joined your Uncle Brian for Christmassy fun! I'm sure he's a delightful man. And your hydrangeas are gorgeous! Even in the summer, we can't grow those where I live -- too far north!

mxtodis123 said...

What a wonderful post. Your uncle looks like such a sweet man, and it was obvious he was overjoyed. I'm glad you were able to spend some time with him.
Mary

rebecca said...

dear miss R,
how...did you find me? and in finding me, allow me to discover you?
oh sweet simple blessings.
i have been scrolling through your posts...enjoying this meeting of hearts and minds.
to keep this blossoming fresh and alive i have added you to my "saints and sinners"...
a tongue and check reference to us all.

staying close,
rebecca

Janet said...

Your Uncle Brian sounds like a warm, loving person. I'm sure it was good seeing him. He looks happy in the photos.

Your hydrangea is beautiful! I tried them here once but they died. I think our climate is too harsh for them.

Moonroot said...

Uncle Brian sounds wonderful - one of those people who brings sunshine with him. I'm glad you all had such a lovely reunion - thanks for sharing it with us.

gemma said...

People with pure hearts are such blessings. Uncle Brian is like having an angel in your family. My love to him and to your Mum and all of yours.
May your first Christmas at Villa Maria be blessed.
love

Pam said...

Great photos Robyn!
I love the caring and sharing part of Christmas.
Having much to do with people with intellectual disabilities, both in my family (a cousin) and working in high-needs schools, I have learnt a lot and know that often you laugh through tears.Other times you just laugh with delight.
I know the hardest part is dealing with patronizing attitudes,no-one has time for that when they are busy getting on with living life in the best way possible, no matter what it's challenges.
Secretly, when I feel joy or special times at work, I think there is an angel or two there somewhere.
I'm so glad you captured this special time with your Uncle Brian and Mum, and shared it here,great to see your lovely smiling face and know that you and Joe are enjoying your Villa Maria.xxx

couragetocreatewriteandlove.com said...

i am so glad we find each other again!!!
you are looking great and i see a tattoo in your arm ;-)
(what is it?)
hugs Miss Robin!

Laurie said...

Dear Robyn,
What a lovely post ~ your Uncle Brian looks so sweet ~
I remember as a child visiting relatives (I think they were my first or second cousins)who had an Aunt that had Downs Syndrome. At the time I remember she was in her 40's, but to us she was like another little girl. She loved dolls and had quite a collection. I also remember she had visions of the Blessed Mother when she was little.
Love your front door wreath ~ and those hydrangeas are gorgeous! Do you dry them?

amelia said...

I love this post. Uncle Brian is a sweet looking man who has probably brought a lot of pleasure to a lot of people over the years. So wonderful that your mum and him were reunited.
You are marked aren't you!! Your choice and I wish I had the courage (and the money) to do it too!!!

A bird in the hand said...

Heartwarming post.

Back from all my travels.
xoxo

judie said...

You ARE blessed to have your uncle and have him in a family who loves and cares. I worked for several years at United Cerebral Palsy and learned there what "special" means to families. Then I had two special needs grandchildren, one that I recently lost and one that lost her mom. They both were/are very, very special persons. You are special to understand the love that your family gives your uncle.

Serena said...

A beautiful post...Uncle Brian looks so happy and I'll bet you and your Mum made his day! LOVED the photos!

Btw, I'm so sorry I've been neglectful at visiting....silly me had placed your blog in a link list when you went private as I didn't think it would update in the active blog list. Sadly, a lot of busy-ness in my life stopped me from checking that particular list daily. However, I just tested Villa Maria in my active blog list and it updates....YAY!

Annie said...

What a sweet smile he has. Thank you for sharing your uncle with us.

"She seemed to come suddenly upon happiness as if she had surprised a butterfly in the Winter woods"
(edith wharton)