Posts tagged family death
To most people, being a twin means everything is the same whether its being dressed the same, playing with the same toys or being interested in the same things.
At first that’s how it was with Jay. I remember the first time I noticed it.
My twin brother, Jay, didn’t talk like me, didn’t draw like me and I was beginning to think he didn’t think like me. At the age of three, I started to realize that Jay was Autistic.
Although we’re twins, always dressed the same way and given the same gifts, our lives started to go in very different directions early on.
When I went to kindergarten, Jay went to a different kindergarten.
When I learned to ride a bike without training wheels, Jay just started using training wheels.
Our father died when we were both eight years old. I was devastated, and it seemed like Jay didn’t know what to think.
After our father died from an aneurism one night, my Mother and I were never sure if Jay fully understood what happened, but we moved on.
Growing up with an autistic twin brother was difficult.
While other people become best friends with their twins, a communication gap prevented us from becoming close.
From kindergarten through eighth grade, Jay and I went to different schools, had different teachers and got to know different people. But, when we got to high school that changed.
Most people met Jay for the first time in high school when we were 14. I chose not to share much of my home life before then because I didn’t understand all of it. I didn’t understand Jay.
To some of my friends Jay wasn’t “normal.” To them he was disabled, special needs or even “retarded,” as some people called him when I wasn’t around.
Even though I didn’t completely understand Jay, there was nothing abnormal about him to me. Jay was the “norm” to me, because he was the only brother I’d ever had.
Instead of going to study hall, I felt more comfortable helping out in my brother’s class. It was then, when I started understanding.
Even though we could only talk a little bit, we bonded and at the end of high school my brother became my best friend. This time, when life started splitting us apart, we still stayed close.
When I graduated from high school, Jay stayed there for two more years.
When I started working at my college paper, Jay started working back home.
This summer I’ll be working in Chicago, while Jay will be back home relaxing.
Things are still changing, but now Jay and I aren’t just brothers, we’re friends.
Thirteen years later, I still take Jay to visit our dad’s grave, but he never wants to get out of the car. Instead he plays with his iPad in the car.
What’s different now is that I understand Jay and I now know that he’s understood everything the whole time.
Our mom thinks Jay still doesn’t fully understand what happened to our dad, but I disagree.
Jay still doesn’t like to think about how our dad is dead . It upsets him.
Jay chooses to act like it didn’t happen. So, he waits in the car.
Jay feels and understands everything. His company and personality allows him to be a good brother and friend, just like anyone else.
To me he’s not just one in 110 because his personality truly makes him one in a million.
I’ll be there to help Jay as much as he’s been there to help me understand everything in his world, because now I understand that he understands too.
I believe that over time, brotherhood can breech any barriers.
I believe in Jay.