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Dear Stranger

Dear Stranger,

"It's been so long since I've seen you. I often wonder if you'd be proud of the person I've become. You always seemed to spread laughter and joy to everyone around you. Everyone always talked about you, loved you and most important of all.. Everyone remembers you.

I try to think of how I could become more like you. So happy despite all the pain and sorrow you've experienced. So wise although some people may say your condition makes you not so. Growing up with you is easily the most memorable experience I've had and probably ever will have. Not a day goes by that we don't think about you. All the great memories and stories that we will tell until our voices are sore.

To this day, I run into people from our childhood that ask how you are doing, not knowing what happened. The tears and the emotion that instantly spring up in whoever learns the news, almost as if they are surprised to realize just how much you have touched their life.

We miss you and we love you <3

You will always be in our hearts."

My brother was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy after complications at his birth. Some of the best neurosurgeons in the world looked at his case and said he would likely not live past the age of 5.

He passed away peacefully when he was 21 years old.

If I could talk to my brother, I would have an endless amount of things to say. But most of all, I'd want him to understand just how positively he affected everyone in his life.

He found so much joy in the smallest things and was just so infatuated with everything and everyone he encountered. He reminded us that even in our busy lives, it's important to enjoy the little things.

Although he could not understand things the way most of us can, he always seemed to sense when you were feeling sad or down, and without hesitation, extended his kind-hearted hand just to check on you and talk to you.

I never truly realized just how many people's lives he touched until his funeral. There must have been over 500 people who knew him and knew him well. The amount of stories I heard that day about him and the kindness he spread, was unprecedented.

I share this with you so we can remember him and understand that we can ALL do better in spreading more kindness, extending our hands to those around us and making a difference in the world we live in <3

You Will Always Be In Our Hearts

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