Happy 21st Birthday Buddy! What I would give to buy you your first legal drink, be your designated driver and make sure you got home safe.
Today you’d be your own person, your own man, with your own path in life, yet I have no clue who you’d actually be. I try my best not to grieve after this many years, but no matter how much time passes I can still hear your laughter, see your bright smile and feel your little arms hugging me.
While I don’t know exactly who you’d be today, I know exactly who you’d be proud of…
I’m sure you’re looking down on him from heaven and thinking “Wow”. Nate is now 18-years-old and a freshman at Paul Smith’s College. He’s tall as a tree, gives the best hugs, drives a truck, works hard, smart yet humble, takes care of the family and most importantly, he has a heart of gold.
He inspires me to be a better person every time we talk, comes home to be with the family almost every weekend, holds the family together like glue and makes me proud to call him my little-big cousin.
While you may not have gotten the chance to meet Sam, but I know you love him as much as I do. He is smart, he is a great athlete, a caring friend, a silly brother, a little ladies man and oh so much more (OH, and he’s already taller than me). He is kind, loving, intuitive, adventurous and big-hearted as well. It’s been so wonderful to watch him grow into his own, I hope you’ve been watching too.
I love both of these boys (my cousins) as if they were my own brothers and I don’t know what I’d do without them.
Not only are they amazing parents, but they are amazing god-parents as well. They are my home, they’ve welcomed Ben with open arms (and your father’s ridiculous sense of humor), they are always at the 30-yard-line cheering on the Tigers, they are my Saturday mornings at Flag Football, and they keep me grounded and humble. I’m not sure I could ever thank them enough for the countless things they’ve done for me over the years, without them, I don’t know who or where I’d be right now.
You would be proud of your father for finding a career he loves. He’s the Facilities Maintenance Manager for ACSU and loves helping the teachers and children around Addison County. He also just finished his last year as a flag football coach and what a phenomenal coach he was! And not only does he love his job and still work harder than anyone I know, but the job allows him to spend more time with the family too!
You would be proud of your mother for so many things. She’s always there for us, always puts family first, works hard and is one hell of a Zumba dancer! From football, to basketball, to lacrosse and any other sport your brother’s play, she’s always on the sidelines cheering them on and encouraging them to do better and never give up. Your mom is an inspiration to me as a person, a mom and a woman.
I’ll be checking in once-a-year with this letter and updating you about what’s new with our incredible family. I hope you know how much we miss you and how much we love you. I hope you’re proud of all of us and you still watch over from time to time. Cheers to you in heaven on your 21st Birthday!