My girls spent the past week at church camp with my mom…in return I watched my (special needs) brother for her…and her crazy, wiry, ball-of-fire dog.
My brother was the easy part, but the dog (Beardsley) exhausted his stay after the first five minutes when he marched into my home like he owned the place and wanted to mark his territory. That was Friday evening.
Saturday he barked most of the day.
Sunday, before church, my husband and son went on a high speed chase after him on foot for 45 minutes; he’d slipped out the door and thinks this kind of thing is a game. In reality the only one enjoying their self is the dog.
Early Monday morning we put Beardsley out to potty and within minutes the neighbor pounded on our door like the police to dramatically inform us the dog was obnoxiously barking…thank you Captain Obvious.
Tuesday was going great with the little fur ball, I thought…but at the end of the day he nabbed a syringe I’d been using to feed baby bunnies and destroyed it.
Wednesday night I passed the dog off to my oldest brother, as planned, and within a few hours he called to ask how to get him to come back to the house. He’d ran out their door and was on the loose. When this happens the best way to describe his behavior (so you really get the full effect) is to imagine the little ball in a pinball machine! Beardsley’s the little ball!! He’s crazy!
Thankfully their neighbor snagged him up and got him back to my brother’s house safely…where I’m sure he’ll be on a “tight leash” now…
Okay so let’s talk Jeffrey! My youngest brother.
I wrote recently about our family being in a car accident years ago where my father lost his life; well Jeffrey, who was ten at the time, was ejected from the vehicle and as a result suffered brain injury and has short term memory loss, which he’s fully aware of and will remind us at least a dozen times a day. He spends part of the week with my mom and the other part with a caregiver in his own apartment now that he’s an adult.
Jeffrey has a good sense of humor; the other day we laughed together because he went through my cupboards and drawers looking for a drinking cup for about two minutes, when all along his glass was sitting on the counter right in front of him!
He loves putting puzzles together and will sit focused for hours doing so. He’s actually made the front page of the local newspaper a few times to feature his story and love of puzzles. He has nearly 150 of them hanging on his apartment walls. A thousand piece puzzle takes him about ten hours to finish over the spread of a week. While he stayed at our house I got him started on a Duck Dynasty puzzle. He finished three and a half sides of the border to my half of a side.
On Tuesday we celebrated his 29th birthday with him. I got him in my kitchen to help bake brownies which he really enjoyed! Helping in the kitchen was a first for him and as a result he’s been telling people “I know how to cook now, Alicia taught me!”
And yesterday this is what happened:
He asked me, “hey Alicia is this a farmhouse?”
I smiled with satisfaction at the idea that someone FINALLY recognized my attempt to make it look that way!!!…then without hesitation I asked, “oh my gosh, how’d you know that?!!!”
….he pointed toward my kitchen and matter of factly responded, “uh because the sign above the sink says farmhouse.”
…oh…yes, of course it does…🙄
The thing that stands out the most to me about my brother is that he doesn’t judge others—just accepts them the way they are even though he doesn’t always receive the same acceptance. He doesn’t know a stranger and will talk to anyone, and especially loves it when someone tells him they know who are dad was.
He’ll spend hours everyday reading through the Bible or other nonfiction books even though he wouldn’t be able to recap any of it. The beautiful thing is though that Jeffrey has an incredible understanding of God and when his behavior flairs toward the negative he’s quick to turn it around for fear of misrepresenting Jesus to others.
Despite Jeffrey’s setbacks (memory loss, seizures on a daily basis, and an eye that constantly waters) he just wants to love God. He prays like he’s talking to a best friend and understands what so many people don’t—and he never questions or wavers in his faith.
Jeffrey knows that right now his body and mind aren’t healthy, but he believes the words from Philippians 3:20-21:
But our citizenship is in Heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
My little brother has faced more adversity than most ever will, but he trust the Lord is on his side and that one day in Heaven he’ll be made whole, without any imperfections or problems.
Thanks so much mom for having us watch Jeffrey…Beardsley, on the other hand, probably isn’t welcome back…