Why I Don’t Have to Ask If My Brother With Special Needs Knows I Love Him


Sometimes, I casually throw into a conversation that my brother is my favorite person. This is a truth. This is something I know for sure.

Benjamin is 3 years younger than me, and I don’t remember life before him. My older sister insists I was feisty and the terrible twos hit me hard. Apparently, I made a strange guttural sound while drinking juice and had a haircut like D.W. from “Arthur.” They used to dress me in pink. It was a weird time.

Then Benjamin came along, but I don’t remember that, either. There are pictures of me when I was 3, holding a stuffed panda bear and looking oblivious, while my mom has a look of sheer panic on her face with eyes turned upward to the sky.

I hear stories of my parents’ confusion. They didn’t know anything would be different until he was born, and then the list didn’t stop growing. His brain was severely underdeveloped, he was deaf, he wouldn’t walk, he was blind. “How will he know that we love him?” they asked.

I don’t think I ever asked that question. I don’t really remember, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t. I’ve always known he knows I love him. It’s a fact.

Here’s the thing: I don’t remember life without my brother. He’s just that, my brother. He’s a goof who loves it when I sing as loudly as I can in his ear, push him as hard as I can in the swing and put weird spices under his nose while we’re cooking.

I know he is who he is on purpose. It’s hard for me to understand when people say it’s so sad and so tragic. It isn’t. To me, it’s a beautiful reality. I have a favorite person in the world, and it’s him.

Caroline Roberts the-mighty-07092015-002

Follow this journey on Arms Are for Good.

The Mighty is asking the following: Share with us the moment you stood up for yourself or your child in regards to disability or disease, or a moment you wish you had. If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to [email protected] Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our “Share Your Story” page for more about our submission guidelines.


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Other

Teen’s Interview With His Grandma Reveals Harsh Realities of Alzheimer’s Disease

Justin Boswick sees film as more than just a storytelling medium — he views it as a way to make a difference. The 17-year-old from Medford Lakes, New Jersey, recently created “The Word Search,” a short five-minute documentary (video below) about his family’s experience with Alzheimer’s disease and a loving tribute to his grandmother. The [...]

Why This Amputee Army Veteran Is Suing a Six Flags Theme Park

“I’ve never felt disabled,” Larry Panayi says in the video below, “until that day.” Panayi, an amputee veteran from Fort Worth, Texas, was visiting the Six Flags Over Texas theme park with his family in 2013 when ride operators refused to let him on as many as 13 rides, CBS News reported. Now, he’s suing Six Flags [...]

The Practical Special Needs Mom Survival Guide

As special needs moms, we frequently find ourselves frazzled, scattered and well, quite honestly, tired. And when we’re in this scattered, frazzled and tired state, we don’t necessarily make the best decisions. So pour yourself a cup of coffee and glance over this Lilliputian list. My hope is that maybe, just maybe, it will help [...]

They Tried to Keep This Fighter With Down Syndrome Out of the Ring

Five years ago, Garrett “G-Money” Holeve stepped into a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) gym with his father in Cooper City, Florida. Ever since, fighting has been a passion for the 25-year-old, who has Down syndrome. “I fight because it makes me happy,” Holeve told ESPN. “It makes me feel good.” However, despite his enthusiasm for [...]