So how did we get here? How did I pop up as a guest contributor to the "I Hate You Jimmy" blog? It’s an incredibly circuitous story of which I won’t bore you with the details. But it involves people in wheelchairs, the generosity of Eddie Doyle and my favorite Eagles Super Bowl hype video on YouTube.
Just a quick background: My brother Pat had Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and passed away in May 2017 at the age of 32. While we miss him greatly, he lived a full and wonderful life. Having a brother in a wheelchair sucks at times, but for the most part is absolutely great. We got to the front of every line in Disney World when we were kids, we met pretty much any Philadelphia athlete we wanted, got upgraded seating at sporting events and concerts and received a host of free shit because people don’t know how to react to wheelchair folk. While the whole dying young thing sucked, Pat made the most of it. He was literally the funniest person I’ve ever known and took what most would judge as a shitty hand in life and made it into something movies are made of. If that sounds a lot like Jimmy Curran, you’re absolutely right. Pat and Jimmy were buddies since their Muscular Dystrophy camp days and shared the same mindset.
Now I’m done gushing about my brother. Like any siblings, it wasn’t always perfect and Pat was treated like everyone else, though we had to make some modifications.
As the older brother, I had to get creative with ways to get revenge when he pissed me off because apparently, it’s frowned upon to hit a dude in a wheelchair. Pat could use his hands to drive his chair, but if his hand fell off his tray, someone had to pick it back up for him. So, when he annoyed me, I’d grab the remote, change the channel to some nun talking on the Catholic channel or some dude filibustering on CSPAN. I would then turn his chair off, move his arm and go upstairs where I couldn’t hear him bitching.
When Pat died, someone asked me what the first thing I’d want to do with him if we meet in heaven. The answer was easy . . . fight him. I’m sure they were expecting something sentimental, but it was something I had thought about before. In heaven, if he was normal,* I would definitely fight him. That’s exactly what I’d want to do. Not hurt him, but just have the pleasure of being the older brother kicking his ass a little bit. One of the last things I told him in the hospital before he died is that he should use his time wisely waiting for me to get there because we’re throwing down as soon as I see him, followed by a big hug.
I’ll be back with some pretty ridiculous and true stories of life with Pat. But in the meantime, here’s a pro tip: If you’re a bit intoxicated (or not) and see someone in a wheelchair, it’s not cool to rub their head and tell them how much they inspire you.
And yes, that would happen all the time.
*Pat described his friends who could walk as his normal friends and his disabled friends as his wheelchair friends, just so we could differentiate.
Customers using PAT84 at checkout will receive 20% OFF your order and proceeds will be donated to the The Philadelphia Flyers Power Play — a nonprofit founded by Pat.
The Philadelphia Flyers PowerPlay is a power wheelchair floor hockey team that believes competition and challenge are healthy and necessary for all people, regardless of ability. The athletic team provides a quality, well organized recreational and social program within the community, with an emphasis on teamwork, skill development, and fun. The team is open to all persons, 13 years of age and older who are power wheelchair users.
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