My Brother’s Courage

Independent Living, Parents, People with Disabilities, Siblings 11 Comments »
Billy Schulz Shovels Snow for His Mother

Billy Schulz Shovels Snow for His Mother

The bad weather we have had recently requires determination and courage and extra hard work for many of us. Billy’s service to me inspired his sister, Mary de Wit, to compose this poem for us.

My Brother’s Courage

My brother’s courage grips my heart these ways:
He concentrates on lacing tight his boots,
Assembles hat and gloves and arctic suit,
And with resolve, he steps into the haze.
His mission is to fetch the frozen news,
(This, after warming Mother’s shoulder pad,
Insuring she her phone and coffee had.)
He, cautiously, his icy way pursues.
His life is full of fear. Afraid to fall
On snow — or tumbling from a vista deck—
Offending, being dumb, bouncing a check…
Still every day he faces: smiling, tall.
From his perspective he might call us this:
Retarded, learning slowly who he is.

© 2011 Mary de Wit

When Snow Comes to Kingsport

Employment, Family Challenges 4 Comments »


We have a steep driveway. When the house was being built, people asked me, “What will you do when it snows?” I replied, “I’ll stay home.” Billy does not like snow because he has a fear of falling, based on an experience when we had a deep snow in North Carolina. Our friend Michael offered to drive him home from work one evening last week when I was unable to navigate our driveway. He put Billy out at the top of the hill; I was watching from the open garage door. Billy promptly slipped and landed on his behind. As he panicked, I suggested that he slide down on that largest part of his body. He slid into home while both of us laughed!

This morning, with renewed snow and impassable roads, Billy and I sat with our coffee watching the snow falling and contemplating our strategy. We finally determined that we would have to call Food City and inform them that Billy would be unable to work today. The phone rings: our friend visiting next door, our friend who has a four-wheel drive car, called to ask if we needed anything since he was going to the store. Billy was delighted to have a ride because he knows they really need him on such a day. Then Jos called to say he would pick Billy up tonight and bring him to the back door rather than the driveway.

So here we are: two rather fragile people with a steep driveway, with remarkably kind friends and family. God is good.

With Billy at work, I have several options. I can finish putting away the Christmas decorations, write thank-you notes, or I can take a nap. Care to make a guess?

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