My brother had Downs Syndrome and we lost him aged 2 and 3/4. I knew he wouldn’t grow old with me and that he would always have things that would be beyond him.
He would have turned 31 this year and on his birthday I did what I always do. I took him some flowers and told him all my news as I planted them.
Then I got out my iPod and played him his favorite song Living Doll by Cliff Richard and the Young Ones sharing an ear each of the headphones.
I could see him sitting on the sofa at my granddad’s house watching the video to the song on the TV. We went and brought the song on a 45 and played it for him and every time he laughed. I have no idea why, it’s not even a good song, but whenever I hear it I end up crying and laughing at the same time.
I remember him dancing on my feet on a Saturday afternoon to Abba, One of Us and Michael Jackson, One Day in Your Life. Which to this day I still can’t listen to without crying. MJ was supposedly going to perform it as part of his final tour which we had tickets to see. That would have been a special moment for me to hear that live.
This year I got to show my cousins little girl the photo’s I have of me and my brother on my walls and tell her about him. She laughed when I said I hadn’t changed at all, apparently I just got bigger!
It was nice to sit and tell my cousin and for him to say he still remembers my brother. I forget sometimes that people outside of my immediate family knew him and have things they remember about him. It makes my heart happy to know he is still thought of.
He might only have been with us for a short time, but in that time my wonderful brother taught me how to love and how important it is to take care of others.
Now all I can do is take him flowers, clean his headstone and tell him about my news. Whether he can hear me is anyone’s guess! He goes everywhere with me in my heart, my thoughts and the locket I wear around my neck.
I guess that’s why when I see stories of people with Downs Syndrome breaking down barriers it always makes me smile so I wanted to share these lovely stories.