I was "blessed" to grow up with 4 brothers. During the growing-up years I did not appreciate the people that they were, or acknowledge the people they were preparing themselves to become.
I appreciate them much more now.
About 6 months ago, an addition was made to our family that created room for a 5th brother. Nick. He doesn't look like us (except he kind of looks like Amb), but he fits in wonderfully and gets along with everyone. To read more about his story and how ended up as our new brother, read this article. He's kind of an amazing person.
So, brothers, on the eve of your High School Graduation, I give you this:
Jared, I so look forward to having you as a house-mate. (roommate seems like a weird word to use since I am married and not living in a dorm) I am so proud of the person you are becoming and the fearlessness in which you are beginning the next chapter of your life. I am excited to see where you will go and who you will turn out to be. I think probably a Dr. or airplane pilot or something - considering we are all living vicariously through you in some form or another. You've seen a lot of change in your life, and a lot of trials as well. You have come out the other side with the knowledge you need to be successful. Please do not abuse that knowledge. Use it to benefit your life. Oh, and convince Rachelle to marry you.
Nick, Where do I even start with you? I am so happy you are a part of our family now. I am so happy that you welcomed us all into your life the way that you did. I am so impressed by how you have handled the situations that have come your way, and the dignity in which you grew to be an adult. (maybe not a man yet, you are only 18...). You have stepped up when life needed you to, and I will always be impressed by that. Please know that you have a special place in our family forever now. There is no escaping it. I hope that you know you always have a friend in me, and an older sister if you need that too. Please be around for holidays, weddings, parties and anything else that life brings. I know you will be so successful in your life - you've already shown such determination. Thank you for being a great friend to all of us, for making me laugh and for giving Jake a serious fight for the title of Luke's Favorite Uncle. You may be the current front runner.
Jake, I'm proud of you too!
Love, your oldest sis.