See I grew up with an older brother with Down syndrome. He was born in 1983 my mother said it was like having an infant for 2 years until I was born in 1985. She loves to tell us the story of how it was like having twins, because he was so tiny it didn't take long for me to catch up with him. You can always tell how much my Mom loves us both when she tells us this because she has a little twinkle in her eye, like she is remembering something amazing. As I started to develop so did my brother. We walked together, talked together, and grew up together. For a long time I was the only one that understood him, his speech was so thick. Everyone always asked me what he said. I remember sitting in our shared bedroom having conversations and giggling about silly stuff that I have long since forgotten. My brother was my best friend, I never knew him any differently than what he was. We also had a baby sister right after I turned 4. I hated her; I was so upset when Mom brought her home! My brother wasn’t too sure but we got through it and now we really like her. I did eventually surpass him in many things. When I was learning to read and write, he was still struggling to be heard. I remember the day like it was yesterday when I actually had to have him repeat something to me because I couldn't understand what he was saying anymore. To me it was a heart breaking event.
As we grew up we grew apart a little, we fought, and we laughed, and were just like any other normal siblings. No one in my family treated him like he was different. He got grounded, and made to do chores just like the rest of us. I lost a moment of time with him, specifically during high school. I was busy, we both went to different schools, and I didn't have time for brothers and sisters. Except to have epic fights with each other that prompted my mother to threaten selling us to Gypsies, running away, and whatever else mothers yell to scare you into good behavior. I was supposed to move away to go to college in a huge city a few hours away. I had never thought about leaving my brother before. He has always been right there along with me. It wasn’t until I found him in his room crying one day that I realized how far we had drifted apart. It made me feel guilty knowing that I was leaving him behind. That he should have gone ahead and done what I was doing a few years ago. He never did tell me if he was crying because he was being left behind, or if he was sad because I was leaving.
Well as it ends up I didn’t move to that big city and instead I settled down with my then boyfriend now husband. I renewed that relationship with my brother; I don’t think there was a month that he wasn’t at my house in the past 7 years. Movies, sleepovers, bowling, and well anything really! Well last year my husband and I took a huge risk and moved far away. 1800 miles away to be exact, leaving my brother behind with my parents. We had a last weekend together and had a lot of fun (we even took him out to the bar with us). I can’t see him every day anymore, or even once a month. We keep in touch other ways; we talk on the phone a lot. When I went home for a visit, I don’t think he left my side to many times! I know that even though we are apart right now, that eventually we will be together again. I never once thought that anyone but me would take care of him when we were old, and God forbid anything happens to me we have a pretty good back up plan!
reading your experience with your brother is so heartwarming that you had such a special relationship and still do,its so lovely to read how you share your life with each other and altho your miles away he is still so very much in your thoughts..thankyou for sharing. its quite special to hear a lovely story like yours.with best wishes
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