Sunday, October 23, 2016

Bil and the Park

They sat in the park, my brother in law "Bil" and his mother.

My sister in law said later, about watching them, that they looked like an old married couple.  But they aren't married.

My brother in law, Bil, has a developmental disability called autism.  His mother, my mother in law, has cared for Bil all of her life.  He isn't as deeply affected as some with autism are - he is verbal and can take care of his physical needs.  But he is far from independent.

They sat on a bench, I was told, close together.  It wasn't a romantic type of sitting, but was more like an old married couple, she said.  They sat close, but not touching.  They leaned into each other without touching, presenting an aura of "you and me against the world".

Will Bil be able to find independence?

He is in his mid 50's.  His mother is in her late 80's.  Her health is not the best.

We, the family, sit and wonder.

For right now, though, he helps take care of his mother more and more.  He does laundry for her, in the laundromat of the apartment complex where they live.  He takes out the trash.  He helps get things she can not reach.  She can't bend anymore, either.

But we wonder.  If she fell, would he know how to get help?  She says he knows how to call 911, but how do you practice that?

That park.  That sunny day, years ago, when they sat together like an old married couple.  Once, she took care of his needs.  Now he helps to take care of hers.  Fair play, fair turnaround, you may say.  But I wonder if she ever goes back, in her mind to that day in the park. Does


Linking to Five Minute Friday, a five minute exercise in free writing.  The theme:  park.


  1. wow, this is deep. I'm hoping he can dial 911 if needed!

    1. So do we. You can not practice this on your phone, for obvious reasons.


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