1. Dale was one of the happiest human beings on the planet. Always.
2. He was born in 1946. Doctors then told our mother that he would not survive. He out lived all the doctors.
4. People said he would be a burden on society. He started his own business.
5. People said someone would always have to take care of him so he bought his own home.
6. People said others would always have to “do” for him so he got a driver’s license and bought a car.
7. Dale even left us on his own terms. Years prior, he had written his desires in a legal document. Living his life his way, he planned for this day with very explicit instructions. Dale left us on his terms. Not someone else’s dictate.
I could go on.
Why is this so impactful? Because Dale was born with a congenital form of Muscular Dystrophy. He was a “Jerry’s Kid”. No one knew anything about MD in the 40s and 50s. So they just put them in homes and let them rot away. Our mother and father refused to believe this.
The stories I could tell.
Anytime you feel sorry for yourself. Anytime you think the world isn’t fair. Anytime you think you have it rough. Call me. Let me tell you about a man, who never took a normal step in his life, who from the time I remember has always been confined to a wheel chair, a man who was never supposed to amount to anything but a burden on society, a man who left this world on his own terms after being on this planet for 72 years.
Dale is gone. Do not weep for Dale. He lived a full and complete life. Don’t weep for me. I am proud of Dale. Proud of everything about him and his life and proud he showed them all up. I only hope I am half the man he is.