I had a dream last night, in it the Alarm Sirens had gone off for Nuclear Attack. I was living with my sister Margaret and she looked up at me and said “Come on”. I suppose she meant to those church basement shelters we knew of old, that even as a child I knew would never withstand the blast. But I looked at her and said, “I’ve got to find Bryan”, and she knew I wouldn’t be joining her.
And once again even in my unconscious state, the “Care of Bryan” had led me to do the right thing, not only because I wanted to be with him, but because I needed to. I had to go find my buddy, my friend, my companion in the crime of just enjoying this life, Bryan.
Bryan is autistic, which is to say he travels at his own speed. Now here is a man who really doesn’t let the crowd influence him. And I love him. In the course of “Caring for Bryan” I have come to care for myself. I always felt that I was traveling a too great a speed through this life. Racing off to work in any number of offices and nights into a bank Operations area where I forced checks through huge loud machines that would sort them down, or encoding the bottoms of the checks…clickity-clack quickly all night long then trying to make those dollars balance…as to make the deadlines set so arbitrarily in time. But Bryan has changed all that. When I first came to care for Bryan and we started out,we went to libraries. Because I love libraries. So off we went, the object was to get him out into the community with others. I was humbled and moved by the care and attention Bryan consistently received from each and every librarian ever to cross our paths. I made it a point to introduce myself to the librarians and asked them their names so as to introduce them to Bryan. The matter was not hurt by the fact that Bryan adores kind people, particularly women and is fond of calling them “Meeps” and pointing them out wherever he goes. Once the Librarians were aware of this bit of information, they were delighted to see and hear Bryan, as he came to recognize them and address them by name they could see and hear his joy at their mere existence. He also reacted this way to his favorite waitresss’ Bonnie at Pizza Hut or Brigit at Denny’s these hardworking souls always took time to take a moment with Bryan and he always loved seeing them.We no longer travel at the speed of the crowd, Bryan and I. We wonder and as we wander through libraries, restaurants and stores we wonder at all the things there are to see. This gentle soul has been the very tip of a valuable lesson in how to enjoy this life.