When you are a small child most have a Superhero they look up to, a parent, someone who can leap tall buildings in a single bound, able to make people tell the truth with a simple lasso. As an adult, do we still have superhero’s? I know I do, and it is my cousin Gord (Gordie) Delahunty.
Let me give you a bit of a background about my superhero cousin Gordie. I compare him to Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man, not with numbers but with his keen sense of direction. If Gordie has been somewhere and you need to find your way back, he will lead the way. That is not his superpower though, just trying to help you understand a little about my cousin who has a mindset of a child even though he is 43 years old.
What does my superhero like to do for fun, eat, eat, and eat more and his favourite place to eat is Swiss Chalet. When we go out (every second week) he likes to visit Wal Mart and see what new toys they have (cars, dolls, games) and if it is a special occasion like Christmas, he wants to see all the lights and decoration. As we walk around the mall everybody in the storesknow him and as he waves to them, they all wave back and call his name, it is truly special to witness.
Sadly, like most superhero’s his superpowers are stared upon because he is different, in his appearance, the way he talks aloud and by the way he introduces himself as, “ Hi, I’m Gordie Delahunty”. Hearing stories from my aunt and uncle (since passed) about how kids were cruel to him growing up. Kids pretending to be his friend only to make fun of him in their social circlesin high school even hearing how cruel teachers were to him. Yes, kids are cruel but so are adults, social bullying is prevalent even in the workplace. As for my cousin Gordie, he does notunderstand why people can be cruel, he is just happy that someone took the time when they are passing by to say hi to him when he says hi to them.
My superhero is also a life saver. A year ago, on our way back from Wonderland with Gordie and my two daughters, driving on the highway, Gordie says to me, “Gerald their tire does not look right on that jeep”? I look over and sure enough it is wobbling so I signal the vehicle to pull over which they did. I tell the driver there is something wrong with the rear right tire of his jeep and when we go to the back of the vehicle the back tire is being held on by one nut as the others were sheared off. I explained that they cannot go anywhere as at highway speed if the tire falls off, they will roll and could get killed. They were on their way to a baseball tournament in Mississauga and they were traveling from Montreal. I called them a tow truck and waited and had the tow truck take them to the closest Canadian Tire. This was over a year ago this past summer and to this day I still hear Gordie tell me every now and again how he is a lifesaver.
Before the pandemic Gordie and I use to go to basketball every Wednesday night and he and other special needs people would play for 2 hours and would enter a couple of basketball tournaments. Every Wednesday we had the same routine, I would pick him up, we would go to practice and we would stop off at Dairy Queen and have an ice cream and when I would drop him off, I would say, “See you next week and I love you” and he would always get out of my truck and say, “Yup” and shut the door. My breakthrough was one day after practice and we were on our way to Dairy Queen for our ice cream, stopped at a red light and Gordie says to me, “ You know I love you, right Gerald”? Wow out of the blue he told me he loved me, and this is a breakthrough. When I drop him off, I say, “See you next week Gordie, I love you”, “Yup” was his response. Ha-ha
My superhero’s superpower is the ability to make people smile. No matter how tough your day is, he is never in a bad mood and always smiles because you have spoken to him and you are making time for him. He along with so many other special needs people they just want to be acknowledged and not judged. As I have said before in one of my articles this world needs more Hugs and less Judgement.