For 20 years, I lived with my special sibling.  Most of the time, we shared a room.  Or a bed.  (Whether I liked it or not).  😉  Now I live and work in Texas while she lives in Colorado.  And I miss her.  Recently, I spent hours telling friends about life with Alyssa.  Then I thought, “Why not tell others?”  Then, “Why not connect with others?”

Special siblings live in a special world.  We know things that no one else does.  We hurt like no one else.  We laugh hysterically like no one else.  We know crazy medical terms and experience teenage tantrums.  We know the ups and downs, the best and the worst.  And in spite of it all, we wouldn’t trade it for the world.  (Most of the time). But after all, we’re special… because we have those special people in our lives.

So you (and me) are the reasons I write.

I write to remember.  I love my special sister and now I’m no longer with her.  I want to remember the good, the bad, the downright terrible, and the absolutely hilarious.

I write to connect.  I figure there must  be others out there who relate on the same level.  Why not talk?  It might save hours of dumping on unsuspecting friends (though I love you for letting me!)

I write to encourage.  I don’t want to end up just sharing similar experiences.  Let’s be encouraging!  Let’s be real, but focus on the good.  Let’s hurt, but heal.  Let’s tell the world about what it means to be a special sibling.

Finally, I write to educate.  To educate myself by continuing to learn about special needs individuals and the unique world that is their life, their family, their community.   To educate other special siblings.  Let’s learn together how to thrive-both for us and our special needs sibling.  To educate parents about what it means for their children to have a special sibling.  And to educate others.  I don’t know if anyone outside the special needs community really knows what it means to have a special sibling.  I want you to know how you can support special siblings and their families through the trials and the blessings.

So that’s why I write. I hope you’re interested.  I know I am.  I want to get my thoughts out and if they never go any further, that’s ok.  But I hope they do.  I hope I can connect, encourage, and educate others to love what we are.  Special siblings.

After all, this is our life.

Let’s embrace it.