There are two moments in my early childhood that would help define who I would become. 1. The day my baby brother came home, that night we had spaghetti for dinner so for ever his nickname would be "my little ghettie". This was the moment I would become a big sister. My job was to love him, protect him and teach him. Though I was only three I took my new job very seriously and I loved my baby brother. 2. The day my parents came home from a doctor's appointment and my mom uttered three words that would change our lives forever "Scotty is autistic".
Though my baby brother was different to the world he was a best friend to me. I loved playing with him, I loved singing to him and I loved causing trouble with him. Scotty was the one person who could understand what I went though, but I couldn't talk to him about any of it. My brother was on the severe end of the spectrum meaning very limited communication, very limited life skills and a lack of understanding danger. When I was little I offered to give him my voice, I thought that's how autism worked. If I gave up my voice then he could have a chance to talk. To this day if that were possible I would still do it for him, but I sadly learned that is not how Autism works. I often felt robbed in life because the one person who I could share my feelings with when I was mad at Mom and Dad couldn't respond.
As the years went by things got hard. Scotty got bigger and would push his way to get whatever he wanted. On top of autism he also had a disorder called Pica meaning he would put anything and everything in his mouth, and he constantly wanted food. It got so rough that my mom had to position chairs and our mobile dishwasher in front of the kitchen entry way to keep him from over eating. Our snack food lived in the bathroom pantry and I stashed food in my own room. I can't remember a time (in elementary school) when my mom wasn't sitting in that chair. In this time Scotty also had a bad reaction to a medication that caused hallucinations he would lash out at my parents and myself. He would hit us, bite us and rip our hair out. I once had to go to school with a huge bite mark on my arm, I joked that I was attacked by a zombie because people often didn't understand or believe me about my brother.
Over time Scotty moved into a group home, which was very hard on my parents.They didn't want to live away from their son but his safety was always at risk. I saw my dad cry that day and I couldn't bare to be in the house it was too quiet. Now he has a certain element of freedom he couldn't have had at home, he has constant supervision and is safe. Honestly I have never seen him this happy or content with where he is.
In 2016 I married the love of my life. This was a dream come true but in another way I felt robbed by autism. Any other girl could have had her brother easily be part of her wedding. He would look at her in her dress and tell her she was beautiful and that he loved her. I would never have that, or so I thought. I wanted more than anything for my baby brother to be there for me on my big day. My family and I came up with a plan that he would walk down the aisle assisted by two aids then he would leave the church. I was so nervous about this that I actually had a panic attack at our rehearsal. Was I asking to much of him? Was this selfish of me? What if he gets upset and tears down decorations? I almost called the whole thing off but he handled our rehearsal perfectly.
The next morning I happened to arrive at the church at the same time as my little brother. I was already in my dress and just wanted to see him. He looked up at me and smiled then grabbed me by the side of my head and kissed my cheek . In that small moment he gave me everything I had ever needed from him. It was as if the small kiss said all the words I felt I would be deprived of. I had to hold back tears as the wedding proceeded and My dad walked me down the aisle. This day was already perfect in the fact that it marked the rest of my life with the man I love, but my baby brother gave me a gift I had always wanted. He gave me that moment any other girl could have had but I craved so much. My baby brother is a champion and has given me all I will ever need. I love him with all of my heart.