So...from the very beginning! Who is Bimble? Bimble is my uncle Tim. He's called either Tim, Timmy, Bimble (because he always bimbles around, you can't hurry him to do anything!) or Wimby (A shortened version of Bimble). He lives with my parents on the other side of town, and before they passed away, with my Grandparents in the same house. He loves Duran Duran, The Muppets, The Spice Girls (I think that one may be my fault!), Radio Times, ANY programme that's British and made before 1990 (Thank my Grandpa for that) and scary movies (Thank my mum for that!).
Bimble and I practically grew up together. You see, he has downsyndrome and when he was born, things were different. It was hard for families to cope. As my mum's brother she got bullied because nobody really understood what it meant. Children can be really cruel.
Me on the other hand, as you can see here one Christmas when I was younger, had no idea he was different in any way until about the age of 6 or 7. To me he was just always my fun Uncle who liked really old fashioned things, but was really ticklish like me. Gold star in my book! My Grandparents kept him wrapped in bubble wrap. I remember once when he was winding me up at the age of 8 or 9 and I called him stupid. My Nanny went MENTAL! I've never seen her so angry since that day. I didn't understand?! You can't blame her, she was right to do so, and I didn't mean any harm, I just didn't want to watch Dads Army!
We moved to Cornwall about 10 years ago. It was because my Grandparents had a lot of health problems. My parents wanted a better upbringing for me in a safer part of the country, and we wanted to be there for when the inevitable happened. Bimble was never even considered to go into a home. He would always be with us, he's our family! And when my Grandparents passed away in 2011, that's just what happened. My mum gave up any work, my parents moved into my Grandparents house, she became his carer full time, and everything stayed exactly the same for Bimble...with one difference...
First he wanted a new haircut. No more bowl cut my Grandparents had settled for. He went to the Hairdressers, had the whole caboodle! He started walking more, happy to go along the beach or walk in the woods. He got cheekier. Forever playing pranks on my Dad, chasing him around the kitchen, or otherwise taunting him. His speech improved tenfold. My parents have and continue, to refuse to mollycoddle him. Bimble loves independence now. From cutting up his own food, to cleaning up after himself. Some days my mum comes upstairs on a Sunday and he'll have made her a cup of coffee and bowl of cereal.
He started developing a sense of style. Demanding that my mum and dad redecorate his room into bright colours. He became more confident in himself. By no longer being scared by all dogs (my parents have 2, it'd be pretty hard to stay scared), to watching scary movies without his eyes closed the entire time! He's blossomed in a way that none of us knew he would. We go to the cinema now, although he nearly always starts choking on the popcorn! He speaks to me on the phone some mornings on my walk to work, whilst my poor mum is trying to get him ready and him and I are shouting at her together.
My mum has sacrificed a large amount of herself to make this work, and should anything happen to her and my dad; it'd be me doing exactly the same. I remember sitting down with Harps after we'd been together a few years and said "You know, if anything, he's part of me. I'd be there for him." Thankfully Harps and Bimble love eachother and Harps accepts and embraces that eventually, he will outlive my parents. He will become my responsibility and that suits me just fine. We are all here for him, and he's more than there for us. Just think for a minute about that love between a brother and sister. Mum is Bimble's world. As much as he tells her to "pack her clothes and move to London", the love between them is so special and pure that I find it beautiful. Then there are the little moments, like when he comes and sits with you, holds your hand and tells you he loves you. Or when he comes home from work (I'll post all about that in my next post) with something he made. It's worth it isn't it?
So the thing is, Bimble is who keeps everything together. He makes us laugh when we least expect it. If he pops into work with my mum and gives me a cuddle, it's sure to brighten my day. If I'm on the phone to my mum and he's repeating literally every word she's saying. It makes me laugh! If he goes into town with ANY of us, he's sure to see at LEAST 10 people he knows, and stop, and talk to every single one of them! If he sees a pretty girl in a shop, he will literally tear your arm off if it means going in there to flirt with her. And never go into WHSmiths (or any other perfectly good newsagents...infact most are better, it's just all St Austell has) with him, because IT WILL embarrass you being dragged towards the sex magazines and trying to inconspicuously drag him back in the opposite direction!
And we wouldn't change him for the world.
Love Sophie xx