Sibling Spotlight Series: Samantha, Tess, and Josh Gordon


What do you want the world to know about your sibling?

Samantha: Josh is a great brother and lives in Brooklyn. When he comes home for a visit, we go for coffee and he takes me out at night to local bars and have a drink and visit with a lot of people. It’s cool, I love it. We stay out late.

My sister Tess is my best friend. She just finished college and has a job in Syracuse. She takes me to Gibby’s Irish Pub and we watch SU games. We go to Oswego Laker Hockey games. She includes me with her friends a lot.

Tess: My sister appreciates every little thing in life and she is always putting others before herself. She prays to God every day and she lets everyone know how much she loves her life. She is my biggest supporter and always checks up on me to see how my day is going or to make sure I’m doing okay. Samantha can brighten up any room that she walks into.

Josh: I want the world to know that the little things make the biggest difference, and my sister is the embodiment of that simple phrase. We often get so caught up in ourselves it’s hard to think about anyone else. Samantha is always thinking about others. She can put a smile on anyone’s face even on days when life gets you down without much effort at all. I think this applies to all of our friends with a disability, honestly. I want the world to just take a closer look and step back for a moment to realize how much the little things like a ‘hello’ or a smile make a difference to some people.  

How has your sibling surprised you?

Samantha: My brother Josh and sister Tess surprise me by being Camp PALS Counselors many times and they love it as much as I do. We all meet the same people and have the same friends. Especially Shelby Rosario! She was my counselor many times. 

Tess: She works hard every day at becoming more independent. Samantha is very capable of many things that people may not think she is able of doing. She is always looking for more ways to develop her living and social skills. Everywhere we go she always knows people and just walks up to anyone to start a conversation. The look on her face shows how happy she is just to be spending time with other people.

Josh: Her everyday positivity is something that I wish everyone would practice. She has made friends through all walks of life and can carry on a conversation with anyone. Whenever we go out, I’m always surprised at how many people she knows and it’s very comforting to see her interact with such a diverse group. The impact she has had on the people she has met is clearly visible throughout these moments. Whether she just met them at the store earlier in the week or had one class with them, everyone always remembers her and it’s surprising to see such a widespread impact amongst her peers, outside of just our family.

What do you love most about your Sibling(s)?

Samantha: I love it most when Josh sends me a morning text on his way to work. I love it when he facetimes me and when he tells me he heard one of my favorite songs on the radio and says he thinks of me.

I love it when Tess and I have 'Wine at Nine’ at home every night. She likes white and I like red. I love wearing matching SU slippers when we watch the game at home. I love it when she takes me for a cruise and to eat at Fajita Grill. 

Tess: My sister always knows just how to put a smile on my face, whether it’s by sending a simple text or decorating my room with hundreds of notes for my birthday. She is always writing little notes for me saying how thankful she is to have me as a sister. Something this simple can turn my day from bad to great in an instant. She loves to celebrate others and she is always finding something to celebrate in life. One of the things I cherish is our nightly glass of wine that we enjoy together before bed. My sister is my best friend and I’m so lucky to have her in my life.

Josh: I love the daily texts that put a smile on my face as I get onto a crowded subway each morning. I love the random letters that find their way into my mailbox. While these messages are so spontaneous, the general theme of doing something just to make others happy is something that I wish we all could think of each and every day. Whether it’s an email, a note, a letter… It’s the multitude of little things that I love. She’s the glue that keeps our family so close together.