*** I wrote this the day after Josh’s last surgery.  Then there was a death in the family and this got pushed back.  But I want this young man to know what he means in our lives, so here it is ***


As we go through daily life, we often get caught up in the mundane, day-to-day trivialities.

We sometimes forget to tell those around us what they mean to us and how important they are in our lives.   I’m personally trying to be better about that, much to Ava’s chagrin as I hug her a little too long at drop off some mornings.

As I talked on the phone with my love this morning, sharing my awe at a young man in our lives, I realized I don’t think I’ve told him how much I admire him.  At least not in the way I should.

I know a young man who has been through more in his 20 years than a lot of people twice his age.  He has handled it all with a dignity, a patience and perseverance that I don’t know I would have in his shoes.   I said to someone on Sunday that daily, he teaches us all life lessons in grace.   Of course he has moments, human moments when things are too tough.  But he doesn’t stay down.  He gets back up and with renewed purpose, gets on with the business of life and recovery.  I watched him last night, right out of surgery, and there he was, asking everyone else how THEY were.

He always goes above and beyond, in his own pursuits and to help those around him.  Whether it is academics, playing sports or making something for someone he cares about, he gives his all and then some.  He pours his heart and soul in everything he does, and it shows.  He has an uncanny, unprecedented ability to touch people’s hearts.  And he does it in a way that is unassuming, and quiet.

By blood, an only child, but by bond, brother to so many, not the least of which is Ava.  To see her excitement at seeing him you would have thought a rock star was getting off the elevators last night.  Ava looks up to him and would follow him to the ends of the earth.  To say that makes my heart happy is an understatement.  I always worried about unintentionally making Ava an only child.  With the addition of this remarkable young man to our lives, that worry has been erased.  She has a big brother.  One who will laugh with her, push her to be better in school and protect her.

As for me?  This young man makes me work harder at being a better person.   I see the way he looks at the world and I want to have some of that optimism back.  I try to have more patience and understanding.  I try to be more open and loving and accepting, as he is with all of us.

Josh, we are so very blessed to have you in our lives.  You are a warrior.  Your spirit, courage and determination are an inspiration.   You mean the world to us and we can’t wait to watch the rest of your life’s journey.   Thanks for letting us be a part of it.