Lent Letter #7

Dear Tommy,

Do you know that you’ve been one of my favorite people all your life? Certainly one of my favorite cousins. I remember when you were born, it’s pretty vague, because I was only five, but I remember getting to hold you. You were also the first child I ever got to babysit, well, you and Joey, but still. I loved babysitting you. Mostly because it made me feel grown up, but also because you are one of the kindest, sweetest people I know. It was true when you were a little boy and still true today.

More than how much I love you, I truly admire you. Your life is not without its challenges, that’s for sure. I know it couldn’t have been easy for you, being born with Downs Syndrome, but you’ve always made it seem easy. Everything that was harder for you than for others, you simply tackled with a smile, as though it wasn’t actually hard at all.

You have a way about you; you surpass every expectation set for you. When people meet you, the first thing they might notice is your disability, but I know, I’ve seen, that it is never what they remember about you when you’re gone. Your sense of humor makes me laugh each and every time I see you. Your kindness and generosity of spirit melt my heart. You may be a bit too sports obsessed for my taste, but even I have to admit that you’ve turned your passion into a valued part of life, through coaching, refereeing and umpiring. I think it is amazing, I’m still figuring out how I can get people to pay me for reading.

There is a picture of us in my living room, it is the same one I gave you for Christmas. Every time I look at it, I think how incredible you are and I am reminded that you don’t know the meaning of defeat. You figure out what you want and go after it. You keep your happiness and your humor with you always; your most potent weapons in life. Those are only a few of the countless things I’ve learned being a part of your life. I’m lucky to be your cousin. And let’s face it…favorite cousin.

Thank you for being part of my life,

Livi

(to see why I am doing this, read here)

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