5.15.2010

Young love, first love

Those of you who have read my blogs through the years know my buddy Chris. Chris, 27, is mentally challenged, and I met him when he was seven and his folks were my neighbors.

Sometimes I am as equally amazed at how Chris’ mind works as I am with how it doesn’t work. You meet a lot of people along life’s way, but few impress you with true wisdom. So many times, I have gotten that from Chris. It’s all a matter of understanding and interpretation.

Through the years, I believe I have been a help to Chris, and now he helps me. On his visits, he helps me “see” to cook and do household chores.

Last Sunday, as we ate dinner, Chris told me he is “in love with a girl at training.” Both are in a special program designed to help them secure a job. After seven years in the program, it has become evident to me that Chris is not trainable and cannot learn the skills required.

I’ve never been able to teach him to use a can opener, yet he never forgets anything. His recollection of movies, movie quotes, actors, directors matches that of the online International Movie Database.

A keen observer of normal life around him, it’s not surprising that the following dinner conversation ensued:

“I asked her to marry me,” Chris confided.

“At work?”

“No, I asked her on the telephone.”

“What did she say, Chris?”

“Oh, she said she didn’t think she was ready for marriage, but she might be one day.”

“What did your mother say when you told her you asked the girl to marry you?”

“She cried.”

A mother’s tears that Chris cannot live independently, much less marry.

I changed the subject: “Chris, you can’t kiss this girl at work, because they have rules against that, and you could get in trouble. Have you kissed her?”

“No,” he replied, “I blow her kisses.”

Sometimes life really doesn’t seem fair.

5 comments:

Frodo, missing Lovey, too said...

The surrogate mother of Mick, the Wonder Dog, was Lovey, a border collie of incredible wisdom. While on monthly trips to Lake Lovey, Frodo and Sam often stopped at a fast-food joint halfway. There was a young man working clean-up duties there, with Down's Syndrome. To abbreviate the story, Lovey apparently sensed something, and she expressed a sensitivity and a fondness for the young man which was both visible and heart-wrenching. Over time, they watched for each other, never really knowing if circumstances would bring them together on that day.
For many days after Lovey died, the young boy would stand and look at Frodo's motorcar as it pulled into the parking lot, always recognizing the car, and remembering his friend.

tnlib said...

What a bitter sweet story. With a memory like that I would think there's something out there he could do. Can he read at all?

I have a mentally challenge cousin. She makes Palin and Lisa look like idiots.

Sue said...

I'm in tears, both you and Frodo have touched my heart with your stories. Lovely!

Tiny said...

Both BJ and Frodo attending to angels who make the world a bit brighter for them and their angels being here. Thanks for bringing loving sunshine into our lives.

Annelle said...

Breaks my heart...give Chris a hug for me. love ya