What would you think if I sang out of tune?
Would you stand up and walk out on me?
Lend me your ears and I'll sing you a song
And I'll try not to sing out of key
(John Lennon & Paul McCartney)
Wow!! Life’s pleasures and gifts come simply disguised until maturing in the mind like grapes harvested for semi-sweet wine vintages. My memories of the finest road trips include singing uninhibitedly off-key, laughing fervently, sharing stories… until we arrived at our destination. Exquisite company made the time glide effortlessly by. Myself Peter and Edward – Edward Peter and me - sharing memories that would turn to a rich golden harvest for many years and afar. Together.
I am Angel – not ‘an Angel’ nor special because I see or recognize the common spark in my fellow human’s eyes, as people – just Angel. And no neither are Peter and Edward – far from it. They are just regular guys who happen to live with a disability. They enjoy singing without reservation or ego, travelling and friendship. Stuff we all like.
Peter and Edward’s family connection is what we want this world to be like – unconditionally welcoming. Mom and dad remain close by and visit often. Like pioneers they faced the dual disabilities and challenges of their sons and decided to accompany these amazing gentlemen on their course through life. Learning a thing or two about courage – acceptance – perseverance and what is important. It must be a shock or epiphany to realise most of us are looking at life through the wrong end of the telescope.
What’s the right end you ask? Don’t ask me – I’m as confused as you are – ask Peter or Edward.
Their older brother lives in Australia and they are proud uncles. Their brother visits as often as he can. Stretching the invisible unbreakable bond of kinship across the great oceans.
Life is not all ‘fun and frolic’ for these gentlemen. Peter works - as a greeter at Walmart. He has for many years and is an icon - admired and respected by coworkers. The job suits his personality – unaffected by prejudices or polluted with preconceived notions. Knowing life’s challenges intimately – he welcomes everyone with an honest healing warmth that comes unrelentingly shining through.
The brothers are regulars at the neighborhood farmers market and enjoy the varieties of treats. They are well known to friends in their community where their presence is a symbol of safety and security to many who feel vulnerable or afraid. They loved dining out - always did lunch and treasured going to eat at the Mandarin. That was our favorite spot. Next to the majesty and splendor of “Niagara Falls – which they both adored.
Singing off key aside – both brothers truly appreciate music. My favorite memories will definitely be the time spent getting to know them in conversation and song. They either affirmed or taught many of life’s lessons - big or small. Times we went swimming together or sat down to read the newspaper together. Together seemed to be a common theme. That kept us up to date with the news until it became same news every day. Nothing in life was regular mundane or too complicated – each moment and opportunity was savored. How many of us can say that?
In 2019 they united their passion for good food, friends and sharing, together – they gave thanks for an amazing year by hosting the best Christmas party – topping the National Lampoon’s Griswold Christmas Vacation gathering. Thank-you gentlemen – everyone enjoyed your spirit - the food, entertainment and total fun! Once again - singing off key to karaoke.
More than ever – despite social isolation… we get by with a little help from our friends. Thank-you Peter and Edward – for all you do for the human spirit. We give thanks for life’s opportunity – to meet both of you. Together.
New Visions Toronto (NVT) is a non-profit charitable organization that provides housing, care and support for more than 50 children, adolescents and adults with complex developmental and physical disabilities
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222 The Esplanade, Lower Level, Unit 10 Toronto ON M5A 4M8