My sister- sweet, pure, innocent, altruistic, kind, patient, funny, compassionate, empathetic and friendly was also mildly developmentally, non ambulatory and totally dependent for all activities of daily living.
As a young child, I remember teaching her addition using pretzels and licorice sticks at our kitchen table.
Then as a teen, she always went out with me and my friends.
If I went for ice cream, to the park, movies or bowling, she always came along. I endured walking at half the speed, taking frequent trips to the bathroom with her, and of course, all the stares…..and I wouldn’t have had it any other way!!
I automatically assumed the role of the caretaker.
As a youngster myself, I had to mature quicker than the average teen.
I looked at the world through a different lens. Where others saw despair, I felt inspired. While others were impatient, I learned perseverance.
Where others didn’t see a typical person, I only saw potential for growth.
I understand that bringing up a child with special needs can be challenging, and often frustrating.
But, as the sibling of an adult with special needs, and as her caretaker for the past 20 years, I also learned how to be a passionate advocate for those whom I love, I became inspired to become that person who can change the trajectory of a child’s life, and I realized that I’m a better person today because of the way that my sister was born.
I work each day to help others get past the cacophony of daily challenges and to make lemonade out of lemons.
She was perfectly imperfect!