My brother Garth (call me Mac) turned 60 today. When he was born they told my parents he probably wouldn’t live past 20 and if he did, he would never be capable of taking care of himself, too many things wrong with him. But at 28, when our parents died, he not only took care of himself, he also cared for a partially paralyzed woman he worked with at a subsidized facility in Durban where they both made chairs. Here’s a scene from my upcoming memoir Loveyoubye, in which he plays a crucial part.
I ran the bathwater then lay there thinking about my brother. He was never far from my thoughts. Jiminy Cricket. That’s what I called him; he was a dead ringer for the Disney character: head too big for his bird-like body, all that thick black hair, and when he wasn’t crying or vomiting, he chirped. His hair turned into a dark brown as he became older, but his body never quite grew into all that hair. He had thick lustrous eyelashes and dark liquid eyes that killed when he looked at me in bewilderment. His mental impairment made me anxious all the time. I didn’t want him to get his feelings hurt, but mostly I didn’t want him to embarrass me.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAC!!! Thank you for teaching me so much.