This is a thought that runs across my mind more frequently than you might think. This may come as a shock to some, given that I love my sister and am taking part in her long-term care. I admit, at times, I wonder if the payoff is better if I just live my own life, rather than expend myself to support my sister. This shock may be similar to what the public experienced when reading about the dispute between Leo Forrest, Ruzan Badalyan, and the “ultimatum” regarding their newborn son with Down’s syndrome. Whether we’d like to admit it or not, there is still this thought in our world and in our hearts that taking care of people with disability is not worth our time, effort and resources, or, worse yet, that it is not possible to take care of people with disability.
However, the fact of the matter is that it is unrealistic to give up on people. As an extension, it is unrealistic for siblings like me to give up on our siblings with disability. It takes faith, perseverance, and a lot of love and support from all sorts of people to figure out the practicalities of what life together looks like. Let me tell you, it is worth it. I feel it each time my sister returns from a session with her independent living skills coach. I see it in her glowing face after she receives a paycheck from her work. I experience it each time she says to me, “Eunice, don’t give up!” It is possible and, yes, even desirable to figure out life for our siblings with disability.
To go back to my initial question, the answer is a resounding “no”.