From the day I met you, I knew you had an enormous amount of strength.

You introduced yourself with such poise and grace, that I knew you could bring sunshine to my rainiest days.

What I did not know, was that the day I made you a big brother, you would leave me in awe at how amazing you took to being a big brother to a sibling with a disability.

The day we told you that you would now be a big brother, we explained the duties that came with that position. 

We explained that you would have to teach him the ways of the playground. 

If he left the seat up, you would have to teach him that Mommy likes it down. 

You would have to let him play with and possibly try eating your old toys. 

In turn, I remember you expressing how excited you were to teach him karate. 

How curious you were, about what he would look like when born! 

Would he get your kind, honey brown eyes? 

Or maybe share your energetic spunk? 

Like the life growing in my belly, it grew in your eyes with all the possibilities he would bring.

I never thought there would have to be a day where I had to explain to you that your brother might not be able to run around with you outside. 

I never expected to have to depend on you to be strong for me, because I had the ugliest of rainy days trying to bring me down. 

Now that your little brother is here and things are a lot different than before, I just wanted to say thank you. 

Thank you for understanding that some days he may need more attention and extra care. 

Thank you for being so patient when you tag along to his doctors appointments. 

Thank you for showing him unconditional love, that has never been affected by his diagnosis.

I thank you for pushing him around in his wheelchair to give him that same breeze through his hair, that he would feel while running. 

Thank you for pushing him to dream big! 

I even thank you for sharing his story with strangers you just met while standing in line at the grocery store. 

To me this shows that you aren't afraid of what people think, nor are you scared of his diagnosis. 

You may not always be the first one I tuck into bed at night, or the one I spend a little extra time bathing...but you are always on my list of people I thank the Lord for. 

Each day that passes, you go above and beyond to love Oliver for himself. 

I am humbled to watch you grow into a strong, loving, and independent man with each day. 

So if you ever feel like you aren't appreciated.... you are!

You are still the sunshine to my rainy days. 

You are the reason behind Oliver's giggles. 

You are the perfect big brother I always knew you would be! 

Thank you, Aaden. <3

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