Thursday, 7 March 2013

My Dear Brother Scotty........Downs Syndrome

This morning I read an article on a waiter in New York who refused to serve a table of annoyed guests at the restaurant that he worked at.
Apparently the people had complained about a 5 year old Downs Syndrome boy (who was a regular at the restaurant) because he was making funny noises. The table making the complaints were quite rude and commented that 'special people needed special places to go to'.  The waiter aptly refused to serve these rude people and they left the restaurant.   *standing ovation to the waiter.

It reminded me of the time when my own brother Scotty who has Downs Syndrome, was also caught up in the harshness of reality.

Today I share this heart warming and also very funny story with you all.  It is sad as much as it is funny. My brother and also any Downs Syndrome people are not silly, they are in fact some of the most wonderful smart and beautiful people I know. They have such empathy and love for mankind and really have something special to teach the world.

                                 So here is my story :-)

Once upon a time there was a boy named Scott.....

He was 2nd born child to a loving Mother and Father and a big sister who was only 12 months older than him.
Scotty was full of life and energy and without a doubt did not let you rest for even a minute !
His Mother and Father were always retrieving balls from over fences and cleaning up spills around the house. When the toy box lid opened, it was chaos !   Toys turned up in very strange places.   Scotty left a trail of destruction wherever he went.

But his sweet smile, big blue eyes and gorgeous blonde hair could win your heart over in just a second.  He really was a gorgeous boy.  The mischief only made him cuter.  His giggle was contagious BUT NOT HIS DISABILITY. 

Scotty became very used to snide remarks from nasty people who thought that he should have belonged in a children's home and not living in the warm, loving confides of his family home.
He became very used to the stares and looks of fright that greeted him on a daily basis from others.  Yes very sad but true. This was the 70's and the world was a very different place back then.
Unfortunately some of these nasty people came to live quite close to our home, so Scotty was then forced to live with this nastiness on an almost daily basis very close to his own home.  There were many children in the street and therefore many birthday parties. 

Scotty was never on those birthday guest lists.

                                 HE WAS DIFFERENT 

Scotty's Mother remembers with sadness in her heart of the day the neighbour across the street held a birthday party in honour of her son and every child in the street was invited.....except for Scotty.

As guests arrived at the party with gifts and excited faces, Scotty stood at the front window behind the curtains and cried because he wanted to go to the party too.

How could adults.........and children let heartbreak like this occur ?
Might I add that the child who was the birthday boy was a regular playmate of Scotty's

Some neighbours were often unkind to Scotty.
Unkind words were spoken and looks of hate were a regular occurrence. Their dislike for Scotty was very obvious. One neighbour in particular, lived next door.

Scotty moved forward in his life, living every day with vigour and confidence.  He said nothing about the remarks or nastiness that greeted him each day. He ploughed on with a smile and a spring in his step.

but the day for retribution was close.....

Scotty was playing out in the front garden, his Mother was hanging clothes on the line had no idea that he had snuck out the front.
Who knew what Scotty would do next ?  
Nobody saw it coming at all ! 
Nobody saw the day that Scotty claimed his win on society.
But his victory was indeed sweet.

THIS SAME FINE SUNNY DAY, the neighbours next door purchased a brand new car.  They drove it into the driveway and parked their new possession in pride of place for all to see. The windows were down and it shone and sparkled in the sunshine. These were the same neighbours who were unkind to Scotty.

Scotty was playing with the hose.  He loved water and snapped up any opportunity to play with it or in it ! lol

He too saw the new car parked in the driveway. He saw the glimmer of the paint and the pretty interior.
He walked closer to the new car for a better look AND HE TOOK THE HOSE ALONG WITH HIM.
He pointed the nozzle of the hose at the car and into the window and filled it up with water !

Now there is a possibility that Scotty may have thought that he was washing the car. It is probably very likely.
But I like to think that Scotty was getting retribution !

The neighbours were of course horrified at what Scotty had done.  I can't say I blame them really. BUT if you look at the turn of events that led to this 'crime' then I am sure that you will smile in delight just as I am here today sitting here writing this story.
Scotty was properly sent inside and to his bedroom and chastised with a good talking too by our Mother.  
The neighbours rolled their eyes and complained and began the big car cleanup.

I just wished that the neighbours could hear the roar of laughter today when I tell this story.
I wonder if over time they have ever gotten used to people with disabilities living in the community ?
I'm not at all sure ?
I am sure though, that Scotty's actions would have stayed with them for a lifetime and reminded them of him being next door all of those years ago. I am sure it has hung in the back of their minds ever since that day, as a constant reminder. I wonder if it ever occurs to them that their ignorance and nastiness was returned to them that fine, sunny day when Scotty played with the hose ?

I would love to think that it did.

I wonder if the people who threw the birthday party ever think of Scotty. I wonder if they remember hearing his cries and seeing the tears streaming down his face all of those years ago when they invited everybody else to the birthday party but him ?

I hope that they do.

BUT I only wish these things with kindness not loathing. I simply wish with all of my heart that Scotty has taught these people a lesson in humanity. 
These people were unkind because they knew no better.  Things WERE different back in those days.

My parents generation were the new generation of loving parents who stood by their disabled children and filled their lives and hearts with untold love. They were the generation of parents and siblings that paved the way to enlightenment of people all across the world educating them on how beautiful these children were. 
Yes it was a very hard time, it was certainly very trying on one's soul, BUT THEY DID IT WITH LOVE IN THEIR HEARTS.

I am very proud of my parents and their strength of spirit in raising Scotty.  It was hard but every piece of that hardship doubled with the amount of laughter that came with too.  Scotty is a grown man now and works at a job and still lives at home with my parents. He is very well traveled and has been to some amazing places that a lot of people will never see.
His love for the human race is wonderful and he often greets strangers with a smile and a happy 'hello'.  He then turns to one of us and says 'I know him, he's my friend' (even though he doesn't even know them !)  His smile is infectious and although sometimes people don't say hello back to him, I bet he has still changed their day and possibly their thoughts for the better.

Scotty you are somebody who taught me about the human race from a very early age. You were always so much fun to get into mischief with when we were little and I wouldn't trade you for anything in  the world.  May you continue to show people your beautiful heart and encourage the world to grow.
I love you as big as the sky xoxo


    You are now MY HERO~!!! I wish I could give you a great big hug and a huge hello, just the same as you would give me. Consider yourself hugged!!
    Melanie, what an awesome sister you are to have a wonderful brother like Scottie! Both of you are very blessed by wonderful parents and each other, and a family love that has stood the test of time and meanness.
    I cheered in my heart when I read this story, and I am still smiling. I will probably wake up tonight and be thinking about that little boy with the hose, the one who now is a grown up man who loves everybody. I see him as a person who has it all...because he truly does!!
    Blessings and hugs, and many thanks for sharing this lovely story of your wonderful brother,

  2. What a lovely story, and such love for your brother. We had a very good friends across the street they too had a sister with severe autism but now looking back at the times we were very fortunate to have everyone include Karen in our play... I bet that was very hard for you and your parents. Thank you for sharing your brother with us all.. Hugs, Diane

  3. What a fine man!
    So very wonderful!
    YOU tell a great story, Melanie.
    God be with Scottie.

  4. such a heart warming post, melanie:) scottie looks very happy and you helped him to shine brightly--that is so awesome!

  5. Hello Scotty! I would be proud to be your friend!