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My little brother has just completed his last class to complete his BS degree from ASU, in computer graphic design (or somesuch thing). He did so nearly as quickly as I did.... he is 25 years old (for reference or our relation in age I am 34). Now, my long college career had many self inflicted troubles and detours.... mostly involving beer, lack of focus, and just general stupidity of youth.

Tim's path has been long and arduous for much more compelling challenges. My little brother has cerebral palsey. I have never heard him complain, and never heard him make excuses. But, in reality the kid has had more challenges in his life than I ever did. It would have been understandable to be a little bitter. But, his entire life, the kid has been a bundle of personality that all around him are fond of him.

What I have heard him say is how lucky he is when exposed to others with far more debilitating involvement of cerebral palsey. My little brother walks fine (noticably different), runs, drives, speaks completely normal. He overall, lives a "normal life". His biggest challenges are in fine motor skills. You take for granted the complex action of tying your shoes or cutting up a steak. He had the challenge of trying to write notes he could read in his classes. He has become a wiz with a keyboard and a mouse. He eventually took "shorthand" notes with his laptop in classes.

Tim grew up in our household an ordinary member of our family. I treated him like all of my other brothers. I teased him the same as them. Wrestled around with him like my other little brothers. He always played in the backyard football games still a common event at grandmas house now with my sons joining the big event.

Never really even thought of the kid being different day to day. But, he was different. He was different in the challenges he faced. And, he was different in the outlook he maintained in facing those challenges.

I recall his young childhood struggling to walk (he didn't walk until he was three), ride a bike. I recall the numerous knots on the head falling down on the sidewalk stiff as a board unable to reflex his head up on the way down. But what I recall most clearly is the ear to ear grin the kid always had. I recall that when we picked Tim up at school everybody said hi to Tim. Everybody knew him, everybody liked him. Nobody dared mess with him as he had a couple of friends that looked out for him. I recall the hours Mom and Dad spent at the kitchen table with Tim working on homework. Imagine the challenge of grade school "cutesy projects" when a kid can barely operate scissors, can't draw straight lines, and struggles with most anything involved. I recall the poor troubled kid always wearing a Chicago Cubs hat. I had plenty of fun with the tortured existence of a Cubs fan in our household.

I also recall.... when it wasn't so good. When Tim reached puberty, it hit him pretty hard. His friends started to develop and get athletic frames. They played sports and the like. This would be the one period of Tim's life so far that it got the best of him. He suffered a bout with depression, found plenty of trouble, and stretched my parents patience to the breaking point.

He did get through it. It took him five years to get through high school. He graduated and went on to community college. Shortly, before graduation, the old Tim started to emerge. The transformation continued in college. He spent three years at the community college taking general studies courses. The trouble making stopped. The smile returned. And Tim, put his nose to the grindstone and became a student.

Upon transfering to ASU, Tim moved out of my parents house and in with my sister who lived close to ASU. Mom and Dad had still been doing much to help him. Mom was usually dragging his butt out of bed mornings so he wasn't late for class. He found self sufficiency at sisters house. My brother in law was an excellent mentor to Tim over the last three years. He had a way of a gentle nudge for him to get his act togethor when he was slipping on meeting his obligations, budgeting his time and the like. What my sister and brother in law did for Tim, in providing a next step in independence, I will always be indebted to them for. They were very newly married and had lives of their own.

Well this summer he had one class left to get his degree.... a statistics class. Well, math has not been his strongsuit... and for some unknown reason the goofy kid signed up for an upper division statistics class to meet the requirement. LMAO

It was pure hell for him. But, three times a week tutoring sessions, some midnight oil.... and some blind luck, and the kid squeeked by to pass the statistics class.

Tim now hold a Bachelors of Science from Arizona State University.

Lately, the kid is constantly studying. He always has a book in his face on Pagemaker, or Adobe this or that, or marketing or business concepts. He has become a sponge for information.

I am proud of him... My little brother Tim is one of my heroes.

Gwen, I'd like to buy a round for everybody in the bar.... and everybody please tip your glass to my little brother, you did good kid.
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Congrats to your little brother. And good luck to him in the future!

ASU doesn't graduate a whole lot of folks (from my experience most transfer out --- I did).
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Great graduate.

Great story.

Great writing.

Great thanks.

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Thanks for that story about your li'l bro. It helps me tremendously.

My 5 year old son also has CP. It sounds like he's a bit more physically involved than your brother. He can't walk yet, although he loves to work at it. But he's a wiz in his chair - except for hills, but that will come with time.

He's also a charmer, and seems to have fairly typical intelligence. He starts kindergarten this year. We debated a bit along with the school, and decided to continue with special ed classes for another year - mainly because he still needs help with eating and the potty.

But I keep holding out hope for the future - the future that your brother has achieved. We're taking one thing at a time, but so far we have no reason to rule out attending a college graduation in 20 years or so.

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Felt really good to read that.



PS: Relax members of the Pub, I'm not going to start posting here. :)
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Go Devils!

(and way to go)

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My first wife had CP. We parted because we had divergent views on where we were both headed – want to get that straight at the beginning. And, no, I didn't marry her because of pity but because she was (and still is) a good person. CP was incidental.

She did not have a supportive family. I think they were trying to be kind in reducing her desires because they didn't want her to be disappointed. They saw her as incapacitated (her legs were affected and she walked with a rolling lurch) and, therefore, unable to achieve what her sisters could. So they in their own way tried to prepare for disappointment: don't expect to have a job or be attractive to men or marry or have children as her sisters would.

For a number of years she believed all this yet, one day, when she was 19, she cracked and set off with determination to get a job. She was hired by Bell Telephone as a 411 operator (realize this was 48 years ago when you still could talk to a person at the telephone company). She got raises and got promoted.

She worked for Bell for several years and then we met. Once again the preparatory to disappointment: who is he and how could he love you? He's a 25 year-old copywriter and you know how unstable that is; he's taking advantage of you because you have a good job. Yet she was determined to go through with it and we married.

We had three absolutely incredible children. She looked after them as a SAHM while I toiled in the word vineyard. At 30 she had everything her family tried to shield her against: a history of working, a marriage, and three children.

Life with me in those days wasn't easy. I skittered from job to job and sometimes we had a lot and sometimes not. Yet she had that determination to just 'be'.

Now she is surrounded by grandchildren (another thing not prophesized by her family). She lives in her own home, takes care of it, and does her own shopping. I wonder if some look at her wheeling her shopping basket down an aisle with that lurching rolling gait and think how bad it must be for her when, fact, she got what she wanted by believing she could

In my way I still love her.


Gwen, coyote's money is no good. Whatever he wants, put it on my tab.

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Conga rats to your bro! I'd say he did better than you, in spades!
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I'd say he did better than you, in spades!

You know.... I don't know if the little punk plays spades.... but, I have beat up on him pretty regular at hearts over the years. LMAO

Hey, he is still a little brother. :-)

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"PS: Relax members of the Pub, I'm not going to start posting here. :)"

"Gwen.. send a double shot and a tall beer over there to the gentleman who finally showed up so he can catch up."

Jedi-san... as you know already, civil discourse is the norm here and you appear a mite sensitive to troll acts of civil disobedience. You didn't 'cause' trolls to exist you know, they just walk in off the street every once in a while.

Regulars already know that the smell and offal eventually disappear after the trolls no longer are able to feed and move on...

Not saying it won't happen again, but for the patrons to change habitats due to their uncouth demands is I think granting them their perceived reward for their uncivilised behavior, thereby reinforcing their personal selfishness.

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My sons were in a boy scout troop along with a young man with cerebral palsy who was wheelchair bound. All the boys in the troop earned the Disabilities Awareness merit badge. It was really a necessity as this young man went on all of the campouts and events and required extensive help to enter the pool or get down a muddy path or deal with a broken wheelchair or go to the bathroom in the latrine. This young man taught valuable lessons to all of the boys in the troop, mostly with his eternally cheerful attitude and the development of an awareness and sensitivity towards those who have disabiities. He was totally incorporated into the troop. His parents were supportive with an attitude of 'we'll figure out a way for you to do this.' Someone (boy scout) was always on hand to help assist him in accomplishing his needs and goals. He filled leadership positions and participated in most all activities. My boys are no longer directly involved in BSA as they are college age. However, when they left the troop, this young man had earned 'Life' and by now may well be an Eagle Scout.

Here's to your brother!
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I was just passing by and heard the noise. Came in to eavesdrop for a moment.

Thank you for this wonderful post, and the replies.

Leaving now with a big smile and damp eyes...
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That is so touching, your brother is a hero in my eyes too. But, you know what? You are a hero in my eyes too.

You are such a strong person for your brother to lean on, and this partially why he is as strong as he is.

If you were to abandon him, or think him not worthy, he would not be as strong.

You continue to take care of your brother Tim, and he surely will continue to take care of you. Each of you will nurture each other.

And, your testament will nurture each of us.

Thank you for sharing and thank you for letting me in your pub!

Here is champagne! (If I have any more tonight I will be sorry tomorrow!)

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