Love is the best gift you can ever give <3

Fall has always been a difficult time of year. The weather changes from sunny, warm & colorful to dark, chilly & dull. Life gets busier, traffic gets unbearable, the wind picks up, kids go back to school, everyone is starting to get ready for winter, families want fall pictures taken with the beautiful leaves, some people start Christmas shopping & others are booking their winter vacations. For my family, it is a little more difficult than that. Every time the wind picks up – it brings back horrible memories. Every time we hear of an accident on the news – our hearts drop. Family dinners always seem like someone is missing and my birthday is always a sad remembrance. Thirteen years ago today, my mom picked me up from school and we were coming home to meet Jared. We were than going to pick up all my friends to go celebrate my birthday party at beaners – a super cool (or so I heard) hair salon for kids! I was sitting on the couch looking out the window at the highway, the wind was blowing like crazy and it was just an all around crappy day outside. I saw some sort of accident and wondered what that was.. I yelled to my mom to come look and see what was going on. Without saying anything my mom was running out the door with my dad driving to the highway. That afternoon I lost my brother, my roll model and one of my only friends as an eight year old girl.

Thirteen years later, we are thankful, we are sad and upset but we are thankful that we had Jared in our lives for eleven years. A very short eleven years, but a fulfilling, well lived life. Jared is an inspiration to me everyday, and I know that he is the reason I have come as far as I have to this day. I know that he is looking out for me and protects me from the horrible things this life as to offer. I know that he is the reason I am still safe and in good hands.

I am a firm believer in thinking that everything happens for a reason. I believe that the series of events that happen in our lives were set out for us and lead us to our path in life. I believe that I wouldn’t be where I was today if something like this didn’t happen in my life. It’s hard to say where I would be today, but I am certain that I wouldn’t have the attitude, ambition, heart and drive.

I love my brother more than anyone could image and I miss having him in my life everyday. When I see people who have amazing relationships with their siblings, I am sad but I am also very happy that they appreciate their relationships with them as much as I would. I would do anything in the world to have my brother back for a day, just so I could know how it feels to have one again. Taking pictures of a family yesterday truly made me smile, the way the brother looked after the sister made me proud. The way they laughed to each other, and the connection they had was heartwarming and something that I really needed to see at such a hard time in my life.

Don’t ever take someone in your life for granted, you never know when the last time you see them will be. Love & appreciate everyone you have – its the best gift you can ever give.

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