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  • Tina Samples

Abounding Love

A sister and a brother, eleven months apart. Both share one month of being the same age. Both are on the autistic spectrum scale. Both live at home. Both ride bikes instead of driving. Both are high-functioning. One has Asbergers while the other has microcephaly.

One morning, while visiting, I sat in the quiet of the room. Sister started breakfast while brother stepped out to gather the newspaper. He put on his thick Dallas Cowboy coat and beanie, even though the temperature was sixty degrees. This one, who wears his Dallas Cowboy slippers on opposite feet just so others can see the symbol. He is particular about things.

I watch as the two of them do their dance of the morning routine. So calm, so gentle. "This is what is needed, a routine." I understood that when the routine is messed up, life isn't as peaceful in the home.

Our mother passed last year. Brother has lived with her all of his life. Sister has lived with her for years. Together they nurtured, loved, and took care of her--until her last breath.

One day our youngest sister felt the two needed something to take care of.

Someone she knew needed to rehome her two dogs--they also were brother and sister. Although I wasn't sure about how it would work out, the decision was to let them have the dogs.

Meet Susie and Max. I watched as they cuddled and spoiled them. When the dogs wanted a walk, they gave it, if they wanted a snack, that happened too.

One morning I saw my brother spoon-feeding the dogs. He also warmed their food up in the microwave. After sharing that I don't think he should warm it for 25 seconds because it might get too hot, he quickly reminded me that he doesn't, he warms it for 24 seconds.

After trying to reason, he said he wouldn't spoon-feed them anymore. The next morning I awoke to my sister spoon-feeding them. After sharing with my youngest sister, we threw our hands up and decided to just let them nurture. They enjoy life. The small town gives them the freedom to ride their bikes to the store or library.

These two not only nurtured Mom and the dogs but the rest of the family as well. They would do anything for us, never complaining or telling us no. I could take lessons from them on how to give and serve. I love watching how a brother loves his sister, and how a sister loves her brother, how they look out for and care for each other. What a beautiful picture of abounding love.

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