The National Advocate for People with Down Syndrome Since 1979

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My Brother, My Heart
My Brother, My Heart

If I could tell you one thing about Tommie, it would be that he is my heart. Tommie is my brother and will celebrate his 30th birthday this year. All I know is that from the beginning I was protective over him; mom said it was like I sensed something was different, but I wasn't quite sure what it was. Over the years I have watched him grow into a young man who likes to work, competes in Special Olympics, pokes fun of me, and enjoys time with his friends. I admire him for how he enjoys the simple things – like fireworks at a baseball game when a homerun is hit. He knows people are cheering, but when the fireworks go off, it's a whole new level of happiness I see in him. I tear up every time! He knows when I am upset and is there to comfort me; even if it's a tissue or a hug since he can't fully verbalize it. When Halloween is here, you know to look around the corner before you turn it. More often than not, he is there ready to scare you!! Christmas with him is the best – innocent, childlike and loving. He likes to pick his own Angel from the Salvation Army Angel Tree, and offers his own money when he hears the bells ringing outside a mall for donations. Tommie has an item in mind for everyone on his list (especially now that he is older) and will not stop until everyone has at least one item from him. He still knows to go to bed early since Santa will be there, and he buys special cookies that we can't touch because they are dedicated for that reason alone! There are times with him I feel like I do not know how I will handle a child because I go through the emotions of a mom – I want to take away any pain, heal his wounds, and protect him year-round. But like any other child, you have to let them grow and learn the world on their own. It has been such an honor watching him learn what he enjoys and doesn't enjoy. It is hard to put into words how or what I feel about my brother. Tommie has been an influence on me in more ways than I realize. He has been the best brother and I hope he knows how much I do love and respect him. He truly is my heart.




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Lottie Gail Franklin, United States, TX
04/18/2012 10:33:00
Tommie is the most special downs person I know. The bond between he and Leah is more special than a norman sister and brother. I credit it to the great home life his parents and sister have given him. His family has helped mold him into the most loving, warm and kind individual around. Most normal adults could take some lessons from Tommie. Truely a gift to his family from GOD!

Yvette Johnson, United States, TX
04/17/2012 17:48:00
I have the pleasure of knowing Tommie and Leah! They truly have a special bond. I love watching them together laughing, joking around and showing their love for one another. Leah is absolutely correct when she says Tommie is very caring about everyone. Leah does anything for her brother and the connection shows. I love them both!

Ashleigh Roberts, United States, TX
04/17/2012 17:27:59
Such as sweet sister!

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