For My Best Friend, My Brother

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by Alyssa Silva |

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Alyssa Life One Cup At A Time

On April 10, social media exploded with pictures and posts pinned with #NationalSiblingsDay. Using it, people shared sweet or comical words about their siblings and what they mean to them. I, too, was among the millions of posts shared. However, it was difficult for me to condense a snapshot of my sibling bond into an Instagram caption, so I thought I’d take to my column to introduce you to my favorite guy around.

(Courtesy of Alyssa Silva)

Meet Adam, one of the most selfless human beings you will ever know. I write this with confidence. Adam is about two and a half years older than me and has served many roles in my life since the day I was born. Best big brother, role model, and partner-in-crime are just a few of my favorites. He has stolen the hearts of many with the way he treats me and has unintentionally dubbed me as the luckiest sister on the planet.

Growing up, Adam always put his own life aside to help my parents raise me. He sacrificed nights out with friends and never once complained about it. In everything Adam did, he intentionally put me first, ensuring that I was well taken care of. It was always done out of love.

Of course, this isn’t to say Adam doted over me and treated me like I was a fragile piece of expensive chinaware. I assure you, he lived up to the sibling standards every big brother possesses. This included, but wasn’t limited to, pulling my hair, throwing objects at me, and finding every opportunity to poke fun at something involving me.

I’ll never forget the first time my parents left us home alone with the teenage babysitter from next door. Adam was around 12, and my mother decided to test the waters by quickly running to the market down the street. In the short amount of time she was gone, Adam managed to douse me in root beer, smash Little Debbie cakes all over me, vacuum said cakes off of me, hose me down outside to get the stickiness off, and finally blow dry me so my parents wouldn’t find out. To this day, we reminisce over the hilarity and absurdity of this experience and how utterly irresponsible it was of us.

However, I share this experience often because it shows how Adam didn’t treat me differently just because I was different than the average little sister. To an extent, one could argue that he did treat me somewhat differently. After all, without even asking, Adam happily accepted his role as a third parent in my life which is something many siblings do not do. But, it wasn’t because I had SMA. It was because he loved me. He unconditionally and selflessly loved (and still loves) me.

I put Adam on a pedestal because he deserves to be there. Together, we have tackled some of life’s biggest challenges and sweetest victories. He has been right by my side for my biggest accomplishments and has given me the honor of being there for his, including when I took on the role as best woman at his wedding and godmother at the birth of his firstborn. He has, without a doubt, redefined what it means to be the best brother and continues to do so, even after he has moved out, gotten married, and become a father.

Living with SMA is a much easier battle when you have someone as freakishly close as a brother like mine to share the journey with. My life is better with him in it. I am better with him in it. And, because of that, I must admit, I am forever grateful.


Note: SMA News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of SMA News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to spinal muscular atrophy.


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