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.