Sunday, April 15, 2012

Step 15: Tiff's perspective on autism...

Only being in the Guppy’s life for a short period of time, I have not fully grasped all of their lifestyle yet. But I can still remember when Matt and I first started dating five years ago, and going through that stage of telling each other about our families. I’ll admit when Matt told me about Brandon I didn’t at all understand how different our family lives were. Being so naïve, I did not understand why Matt could only have one parent at our swim meets. Or how when in the rare case Matt, Michelle and Todd got to go out on family dinners, Matt couldn’t just say no and come hang out with me. Coming from a family that believed strongly in getting out as a family, I didn’t understand how other families, Matt’s family, just couldn’t go out and be a “family”.

As I grew up and began to learn more about autism and about Brandon, all these things came together to make me see and not be so naïve. But one thing that I was still confused about, still in the dark about, was how this family, the family that rarely gets “family time” outside the house, - was not more upset about it? I have never heard Matt complain about not having both parents at a swim meet, or Todd and Michelle say they don’t have enough alone time. I remember one time we had it all planned, Todd, Michelle, Matt and I were going out to dinner, - while Brandon would be at his school "Parent's Night Out."  What made it a dinner we didn’t want to miss, was that Matt was going to leave for boot camp in a couple of days. So it would be our last night out as a family. We were all so excited and ready to go when Brandon had a seizure. Michelle didn’t come to dinner because she needed to stay with Brandon. I remember feeling upset and confused.  I was the only one upset. Todd, Michelle, and Matt did not let it bother them. And that’s when I realized that the Guppy’s have a great trait of acceptances. They don’t let the little things bug them like the rest of the world does. They just roll with the flow and take whatever the world throws at them. Their love for each other and God holds them together even if they cannot have the “Family Time” normal families have.

Being with Matt through high school, it was not hard to see how different Matt was. His goofy way of making everything funny and not freak out over little things like a normal teenager, or how Matt always tried to stay out of the high school drama because he knew more important things to do. The ways Matt seemed more grown up and mature during high school. All thanks to knowing a life that most people don’t. Brandon has made Matt want things that normal kids wouldn’t even dream of, because Matt has a brother that has had his life taken by autism making Brandon not have a normal life.

Matt strives to make his life more than any normal person would want, for his brother who has never had a chance to achieve great things.

Written by Tiffany Conner