My brother Blake has a story that is very important to me and so I thought it might be important to tell other people about him as well, because he is just so inspirational!
Blake is 32-years-old and celebrated his last birthday with a batman theme! Mentally, he's age 8. He was born with a hole in his heart and epilepsy, along with other problems, on top of having an undiagnosed developmental delay. With all of this, he is awesome! At age13, he had his last seizure and it amazed all his doctors that he hasn't had one since. He loves superheroes and villains, swimming, Camp Barnabas, his sisters and dogs, and he is VERY social. He is my favorite person in the whole world (a lot of people's favorite actually). He has never uttered an unkind word in his life, thinks he's famous, and always greets people with about six hugs.
If you met Blake, you would understand how hard it is for me to summarize all that he is. Blake is my biggest supporter and best friend. He's my brother but also my confidant. I love him differently than I love anyone else because he is different than the rest of the world.
I remember a few years ago I was feeling very overwhelmed and a little beat down. I was laying in my bed trying to figure out how to handle it all, and Blake came in to talk and saw that I was crying. He quickly left and came back with a glass of water, (exactly how he always does it--not even half full of lukewarm water with like two ice cubes), and set it by my bed. He then sat on my bed and gently rubbed my back. He talked and talked about how proud he was of me, and of course, this made me cry even more.
I have never felt more loved than in those moments. He loves so fully and completely and doesn't think twice about it. Everywhere we go people stop us to talk to Blake--strangers, high school friends of his, people who have heard of him from friends--which is such a testament of what type of person he is.
When my sisters and I were younger, we would always wake up to a glass of water Blake would put by our beds every morning. (But of course we had to teach him not to do these things--mostly because of the six dirty cups every morning!) Blake also used to wake up almost every night and grab a soda, walk on over to my our room, flip on the light, pop open his soda, take a sip, turn off the light, then leave. Every morning we would be frustrated and ask him why he insisted upon coming to our room to open his soda at 3 a.m., Every morning he would reply: "I just wanted to check on you girls! Aw, such beautiful sleepers!" Then he would poke the end of our noses. How could we be mad at that?!
Blake has changed my life and is the reason I work with people with disabilities. He has changed me in obvious ways but also in ways I'm still figuring out. I am in college pursuing a degree in psychology and I work with people with disabilities--both very obviously influenced by Blake. But not so obvious ways he has influenced me are, thanks to him, I love garlic on my grilled cheese, I pronounce the word "ornery, in a strange way and I have an obsession with superheroes. And I've learned having a big heart is the best way to be.
Here are some good quotes from Blake :)
Blake: "Can I have toast for breakfast?"
My sister: "Do you know how to make it?"
Blake: "Yeah. I get the toaster out, and Mom comes in and puts the bread in."
Blake: "I am a trained professional Disney warrior. But don't spread that around. Or else, it will be on YOUR head. Court dismissed!"
"You learned a new trick? What, you can roll over now?" Blake laughs hysterically at himself!
We wish you and yours all of the best - Blake (The Purple Blank) and Madi