On a recent visit with my younger brother, we were on the receiving end of a random act of kindness from a stranger that touched my heart.
Bruce is about 9 years younger than me, and was born profoundly retarded. As my parents aged, we moved him to the Cincinnati area so I could become his legal guardian and see to his care. He lives in a wonderful home in Batavia called the Southwest Ohio Development Center. It is run by the State of Ohio.
Bruce loves to eat out. To see him, you would not notice anything different. But he cannot speak although he understands basic directions or questions. His affect is a bit off, and it is not hard to see after a few moments that he is special.
I talk to Bruce just like anyone else, but he can’t reply. I help him with his food and keep him clean. On a recent Sunday, we were having lunch at the Frisch’s in Batavia. Our favorite waitress Judy was helping us. But when it came time to pay, she explained that the lady sitting across from us had paid the check.
It seems this lady and her companions had silently watched us together and it reminded her of her deceased brother who was also a special needs individual. Paying our check was her tribute to us and her brother.
So often people stare in wonder at those who are not fortunate to be normal and healthy. I was touched to see another person who understood that mentally handicapped individuals are still human, and that they want and need love and attention just like the rest of us.
To this kind lady, whoever you are, thank you and I hope we can meet again some day!