Sunday, July 05, 2020

Happy 50th Birthday to my brother Bill!

Today, July 5, 2020, is my beloved brother’s 50th birthday!

Picture of Bill Merritt wearing a suit, bowtie, and crown

 

Longtime readers have learned a lot about Bill over the years. For folks new to this blog, my older brother is autistic, non-verbal, and a huge fan of Kit-Kats and Earth, Wind, and Fire. He was diagnosed with COVID-19 a few months ago.

 

Well, Bill kicked COVID-19’s ass ... but he has had serious complications since being diagnosed. Two brain hemorrhages and three surgeries later, he is still in hospital recovering. He’s getting stronger, and I was happy to hear from the nurse that his appetite is back.

 

I won’t be able to see Bill today.

 

I want to, more than anything.

 

Earlier this week I spent several hours mapping out the logistics of a visit. I was so excited by the idea of being able to hold him, hug him, fret over him until he got annoyed and told me to leave.

 

But toward the end of the week reality settled in. My sister and I need to stay healthy, and we simply can’t risk going to a hospital during a pandemic in a county where COVID-19 cases are surging.

 

I am not okay. This has all been extremely hard.

 

I’ve slept for hours, and I’m still exhausted.

 

I also feel like a total asshole for being depressed when I’m so fucking lucky, and I feel guilty for being so upset about not being able to see a loved one who survived … who is surviving … who, God willing, I will get to see soon.

 

Shit.

 

Damn it.

 

Okay, so ...

 

Feel free to drop birthday wishes for Bill in the comment section, and I will share them with him. 

 

If you are willing and able, please donate to the following in honor of Bill Merritt’s 50th Birthday ...

 

Bill is alive today because of the outstanding care provided by his residential staff. Please support Easterseals Midwest here.

 

Bill’s care in hospital, at home, and out in the community is made possible in large part by Medicaid. If you are a Missourian, vote Yes on 2 on Tuesday, August 4. Learn more and take action to support Medicaid expansion in Missouri here.

 

I am an organizer, so I know all too well the limits of policy when it comes to progressive change. That said, the 2020 general election is the most important political event of my lifetime. Everything that make my family possible is under threat, and while I organize for liberation at the grassroots, all y’all need to get your vote on in November.

 

Tuesday, November 3, 2020 - be there, do the right thing, go forth and make sure others to do the same.

 

Register to vote and check your registration, because The Man is shady as fuck.

 

Action St. Louis is building a movement to transform St. Louis – support their work to ensure our family lives in a region free of violence and oppression.

 

Finally, please dance and get your groove on to one of Bill’s favorite songs! 


With love, Shark-Fu.


5 comments:

dinthebeast said...

OK, first, my warmest wishes for Bill's birthday, and I hope his 50th is better than mine was, if that's even possible. Mine was a month after we lost the 2010 midterms...
As a stroke survivor, I can at least say that when I was in rehab for it, the brain hemorrhage folks tended to recover better than the blood clot folks (like me) did, so here's wishing him the best of outcomes for that.
"September" is an awesome song, so if you can, please tell Bill that this musician said that he has excellent taste in music.
I hope you make it through this OK, as what you are doing is so important now (and also because I just hope you are OK soon), but yeah, the activism thing too.
I've been reading your Twitter feed almost every day, and since I don't have a Twitter account myself, let me take this opportunity to thank you for your work there. I find it informative and entertaining and most days Briana wants to know what I just went "Hell yeah!" about...
We're finding out new effects of COVID-19 every day, and what we already know is plenty to keep me mostly up on this mountainside, and with something covering my face whenever I go anywhere.
The good news, such as it is, is that even up here where there are plenty of MAGA and KAG stickers on the cars in town, almost everyone wears something on their face and keeps their distance, so perhaps we'll come through to the other side of this some day.
It's good to hear from you on this blog again, may you and yours be well through the apocalypse.

-Doug in Sugar Pine

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on turning 50 years old! Your sister's blog has a picture of you in a birthday crown and it really suits you. Happy birthday, Birthday King!

Elizabeth DeJager

audible said...

Happy birthday, Bill. I hope you can enjoy your all the kit kats and sweet, sweet tunes of Earth Wind and Fire this year.

Lindsay said...

Happy birthday, Bill! 50 is a big one, and congrats on beating COVID-19!

Unknown said...

Happy birthday Bill!