Michael, you remind me every day not to follow the crowd and that it's ok to be different. On the corner of my desk is the picture of my brother Michael walking up to us on his graduation day. We were all facing the procession of students, waiting for the last names that start with "B" to file out at the closing ceremony. But Michael wasn't there. He cut out of the line and came up to us from behind because he wanted to be with us, not waiting in line. That picture inspires me not only because Michael graduated and had (of course, I'm biased) the LOUDEST roar of applause on that dusky summer evening. Michael sat in the same row I sat in three years prior awaiting his diploma. Only he doesn't realize how much he taught me, and not the other way around. When Michael was born I learned that I had a "special brother." That meant nothing to me " isn't every brother special? Michael and I have always enjoyed the same things swimming, movies, riding in the car and singing at the top of our lungs and most of all doing the "mom/dad" dance imitation (sorry Mom!). Michael's love for life and those around him is beyond most people's understanding of care. He is an exceptional person and that has nothing to do with him being special. Michael is the athlete "he takes on any challenge" in life and in the pool. I can remember one instance at Special Olympics Michael and I worked on his dive for weeks and we were both excited for him to compete. As I sat in the hot bleachers I looked down on the pool deck only to see that Michael's competition was much taller than him. Michael approached the side of the pool for the start and looked up at my family and me with that unmistakable look of "YIKES!" I can remember nodding toward him, hoping he knew to follow our motto of "get out there, and do your best." He did. He won. While not every challenge Michael has come across was an instant win, we have learned to forge the road together, as a family. Michael continues to be the one person I love to brag about, from the time he walked across that stage for his high school diploma to the day he started his position as a teacher's assistant to help those less fortunate than him. Michael has taught me that no matter what I do, I should try my best and never be sorry for that. He has reminded me that even when others are cruel, we must consider their feelings as well. Michael, you are a true blessing and you totally rock. From your biggest fan and sister, I love you.