This story starts with a friendship between a 9th grade boy (Jake) and a 9th grade girl (Courtney), who have one of the most amazing relationships ever. The friendship began 4 years ago and is still strong today. It is also the story of how our families have come together over the years, but most of all it is the story of Grace. Grace is Jake's sister. Grace has Down syndrome. Grace is always an inspiration when I see her. She is the one with the smile, the one to question why things are the way they are and the one who enjoys life and lives it to its fullest. I first met Grace at the performing arts high school attended by her brother, Jake and my daughter, Courtney. Grace would always be in the 2nd row when her brother was performing, she would be smiling from ear to ear and holding on to every last word of the dialogue. I wanted to be Grace's friend and now I am proud to say I am. She is not afraid to speak out or shout with joy. She does not hold back when expressing anger or disappointment. She is probably the most honest and up-front person that I know. I wish I could be more honest like her. Is this a result of her Down syndrome or is it just who she is. I will never know, but whatever the reason, we could all learn a lot about life through people like Grace. As a friend of Grace's family, we have been able to share in many of Grace's firsts in life, to include her first drink of alcohol and her first steak, (her parents don't eat red meat and her brother is a vegetarian). She looks forward to hanging out with us and we look forward to being with her. My daughters gave Grace her first makeover, and she was like a princess. Ahh, the simple joys in life! Grace holds two different jobs and is busy all of the time. She graduated from the local public high school and aspires to attend the community college one day soon. She loves to cook macaroni and cheese and go to the movies. Grace loves life, as should we all. Grace is an INSPIRATION.