Since I put my brother into a nursing home with dementia a few months ago I often think back to our childhood. Each morning, because sleep alludes me, I get up several hours before my husband. I sit each morning with that first, very welcome, cup of coffee. I thank God each morning for another day on this earth and I ask God to bless my brother J.R. Following is a story from our childhood.
Oh J.R., the things he would do are totally unreal and very funny at times. I often wonder how he managed to grow to adulthood. We moved a lot as we grew up. We had just moved to Portland, Oregon for the second time in our lives. I was 13 years old, J.R. was 11 1/2, and my second brother James was 10 years old. We called ourselves the three musketeers or the three banditos. I was a tomboy and we did everything in the world to entertain ourselves during our childhood years. It was summertime in Portland, we were in the trailer court where we lived. J.R had climbed to the roof of a shed and James and I were watching him from the ground. J.R. told us he was going to jump off the roof of that building and roll, like those guys did in the movies. James and I told him not to jump he might hurt his leg or do something worse. Close to the shed was a clothes line with wire lines. J.R. jumped! One line of the clothes line caught J.R. under the chin, he bounced up and down on that line several times, then he hit the ground on his back. J.R. passed out and had a big red bloody gash under his chin. I thought he had killed himself! I told James, in a frantic voice, to run and tell Mom that J.R. had killed himself. James took off in high gear heading toward our trailer I sat on my knees on the ground watching over J.R. with tears in my eyes. Within a few minutes a very upset Mother arrived on the scene. Mom managed to revive Jack and check his wound. Once again J.R. had survived another of his adventures. He missed severing the arteries in his neck by a mere quarter of an inch. He had used up another of his nine lives. Lucky boy! He thought he was Superman.
Years later J.R. and I would look back to that event and laugh until our faces turned red and tears ran down our cheeks. Of course I would tell him how stupid he had been. Then J.R. would tell me he knew what he was doing the whole time.
I cannot share this story with J.R. anymore because of the disease of dementia. A story you cannot share with those involved is just not as enjoyable as it once was.