Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Letters to Merle Blog Hop- An Inspiring Guest Post

In honor of Spreading Love during February, I am asking you to participate in the Letters To Merle Blog Hop!

Merle is a loving brother, uncle, and friend who also lives with down syndrome. Merle is turning 50 on February 10th which is not only a great achievement for someone with the condition but also an inspiring story because Merle has surpassed doctors expectations from an early age!

Merle's family is throwing him a Card Shower for his birthday, and this is where you come in! We will be asking on February 8th (when the blog hop starts) and throughout the month to send letters to Merle via snail mail or email. It would make his day and be amazing to shower Merle in praise from cards all around the world throughout the whole month of February!
Everyone with down syndrome or disabilities live a life we could never imagine and overcome great obstacles everyday. As part of this blog hop I would like you to spread the word about a disability of your choice to raise awareness and help others understand so maybe we could spread more love and less judgment.

As part of this blog hop you will need to:
1. Add your blog to the linky below.
2. Post about Letters To Merle starting on February 8th and on.
3. Include mailing address and email address for letters to be sent to.
4. Talk about either down syndrome, a disability of your choice, or a story you have related to the topic.
5. Include the linky in your post so others may join in throughout the month and spread the word!

Send eCards to joycegibson55@yahoo.com (Subject Line, Letters to Merle Birthday Card) Joyce is Merle's sister and she will print them out and give them to him. If you are generous enough to send a card to Merle via snail mail, send them to 409 E. Oak North English Iowa 52316 

Continue Reading for a guest post from Merle's Sister Joyce and feel free to share the Letters to Merle Button on your page or side bar!

Letters to Merle
Guest Post: by Joyce Gibson (Merle's Sister)

Merle was the 4th and last child my parents would have. My sister was about 14, my brother 12, and I was 7. Because I was closest in age to Merle, I have always been closer to him than our brother and sister. My parents were told when Merle was born they should put him in an institution, that he would never be able to read or write or basically know anything. There's no way they were going to do that. Merle was their baby and they would do what ever it took to take care of him and help him reach his full potential. He got pretty spoiled. Everyone made such a fuss over him. He was so adorable! I played with him and worked with him a lot when he was little. He was older than most children when he learned how to crawl. He use to sit on his bottom and scoot around like that, using his legs to pull himself. I finally got him to crawl. I would put him on his hands and knees and move one hand, leg, hand, leg, until one day he finally crawled. When he was a baby, I would take him for walks in my doll buggy. We lived in a small town (North English) that had no school for him so when he was old enough to go to school, we moved to Iowa City, IA. Merle always liked school. He made lots of friends. When he was older he was in the Special Olympics. He went to a regular high school that had special education classes. He was able to go to school until he was 21. He graduated with the rest of his class in 1983. After he graduated he worked at a few different jobs. They moved him around to see which he was best at. Some of the places he worked was at the V.A. hospital in the kitchen, a soap store and a florist shop. Our parents moved back to North English in 1984. Merle was at home, helping out quite a bit, dusting, helping with dishes or vacuuming. Then a few years ago, he started going to R.E.A. He rides the bus. He works part of the time, has day rehab., and free time to visit, watch movies, color etc. He goes 4 days a week, Mon., Tues., Wed., and Fri. He doesn't like missing work so we always try to get any appointments on Thursdays. Merle is one of the most loving and caring persons I know!

About Merle: Merle likes any thing to do with history. He loves John Wayne which is appropriate because John Wayne is our 6th cousin. He likes to go to libraries and book stores even though he can't read very well. He enjoys shopping, going to flea markets and garage sales. He also really likes the 50's- anything to do with that and Elvis. He loves movies- family and children's movies. His favorite food is spinach, he said ,and tater tot casserole. He likes old t v shows- Lawrence Welk, The 3 Stooges, Mash, Laurel and Hardy and The Dukes of Hazzard are a few he watches. He enjoys coloring and crafts and loves to dance. Merle has always lived at home. He goes to R E A (Rural Employment Alternative Inc.) four days a week.

 Merle with Darian, Savana and Raynin, Merle's niece's.
Merle's story is such an inspiring one. I hope you join the hop throughout the month and make a post about a disability you care about. Be sure to spread the love and send Merle a Card! It would mean the world to his family :) Please join in the hop below and add your site to the linky!

Be sure to stop by the other blog stops and comment!

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