People have been asking me lately how I feel about this move: what I'm going to miss, what I'm looking forward to, and what I've learned in these last two years at home. I haven't answered any of the questions quickly or in full and especially feel, with regards to what I've learned, that it's going to take some distance to realize everything. The most immediate answer, however, to what I'll miss is family especially - sob! - my brother.
I picked Neill up from his house last night and one of his caregivers, Mike, was standing at the door when I came in. He took a photo of us with his camera.
We went to my favorite Mexican restaurant where Neill politely removed his seizure helmet, his gloves, and promptly inhaled an entire basket of tortilla chips. He was cracking me up by how he was parroting me to the server. When I asked for extra napkins and said thanks, Neill followed up quickly, "FANKS!" When I asked for water, Neill repeated, "WATER!" The server was cool and referred to Neill a few times as sir.
Also, a large group of servers gathered on the other side of our booth to have a heated discussion in rapid Spanish involving the word peleando. Because my Spanish is rusty, I couldn't figure out if they were talking about someone getting the shit beaten out of them or scoring a goal. I still don't know. Regardless, Neill stared at them with a huge smile on his face, a chip in his hand frozen halfway to his mouth, and looked like he was totally on the verge of laughing at them.
In the car I told Neill that I'm moving and that I'm not going to see him for awhile. I told him that it made me sad and he looked straight at me and said, "Boo-hoo." What a punk.
When we got back to his house, I hung out for a bit and dragged out the goodbyes. At one point, I kissed Neill on his cheek and he let me until suddenly he pulled away and we both started laughing. Mike caught that on camera too.
I stalled some more, played with his plastic alligator and snake and admired the toy police truck he got for Christmas. When I was driving home, Mike sent me one last photo, of Neill in his chair, photo of us in his hand. Mike said he keeps this photo on the table next to his chair at all times. I'll miss you, buddy.