My Uncle Bill is 53-years-old; he was born with cerebral palsy and as a result has very little control of his motor movements and has an approximate intelligence level of a 7 year old. Though he lived with my grandparents for many years, and also with me, my mother and sister for some time, he currently lives in a group home in the same town as me and most of my family because there is no one in my family who is physically capable of safely caring for him. Growing up with a handicapped uncle has taught me more than any class ever has. I have learned acceptance, courage, strength, and positivity by growing up and watching him. He loves selflessly, he is always smiling, he appreciates everything, and he knows no hate. When I was a child I was mad at my family because they were taking a limo to see Garth Brooks in concert in Hartford, CT and I wasn't old enough to go with them. Garth went into retirement before I was ever able to afford concert tickets. I flew to Vegas twice to see him and this year flew to Jacksonville, FL with my mom to see him at his recently started world tour. A few months ago we were on our way to a family party... Me and Uncle Bill were in the back seat of my mothers car, she was driving, my grandfather was in the passenger seat... My mom popped in a Garth Brooks live CD and before Garth even started singing, my Uncle yelled "GARTH BROOKS" and began singing the lyrics. For someone with such cognitive impairments he never ceases to AMAZE me. As the two of us rode that 30 minute ride in the back seat of my mothers car singing and snapping along to every Garth song... I realized... We share our love for Garth Brooks in common... How amazing would it be to take him to a show... It was suddenly a dream of mine to make it happen... I waited and waited for Garth to announce a show close enough to Connecticut so I could take him... And FINALLY he announced Boston. Before the tickets even went on sale I was so excited I was losing sleep. But how was I going to pull it off? How could I manage to get him to Boston and through a concert and into a hotel etc....? What do I do if he needs to use the restroom? I called his group home and spoke with a manager who amazingly assured me that a staff member would drive my uncle in the handicapped accessible van, would bring him to the show, would stay with him in a hotel room, and would bring him back home. I was FLOORED. I hung up with her and cried. I was DETERMINED to get tickets at this point. I called the TD garden center to ask about wheelchair accessible tickets... I waited weeks for them to go on sale... I took that morning off from work, I called over 100 times trying to get through on the ADA line for wheelchair accessible seats... I began to get really discouraged... And it felt surreal when my cousin text me and told me she got through. I had sent her my credit card info and she got the tickets... Words can not express the feeling of pure happiness. I was more excited to take my Uncle to see Garth than I was when I got to go see him for the first time (and that's saying A LOT). I decided to wait until Christmas Day to tell him. And this my friends is what happened on December 25, 2014... WE will SEE YOU January 24, 2015 at 7:30pm in Boston Garth!! And this will by far be the best one of his shows that I've ever seen... Because I will be seeing it with Uncle B by my side.
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