Last January when Noah was diagnosed, my brother was one of the first people I called. Austin is a strong tower, despite being raised with 5 sisters, he maintained a bold exterior. Throughout our adulthood, I have had a few opportunities to get a glimpse into his heart. One of those opportunities being Noah’s diagnosis. After pushing tears aside, he spoke in a firm voice with stern words “He’s perfect just the way God made him, there is nothing wrong with him, he’s perfect, he’s perfect, Briana”. While every single person I called that night spoke to me with encouraging words, Austin’s words were by far the words that got through. Not because he said something profound, or deep, or because he was offering me sympathy, but because it was a his heart speaking about what he believed to be true. I love my brothers heart.
Last spring, he and his wife Katy orchestrated “Team Noah” for the Angelman Foundation Walk. The made the coolest Tie Dye shirts for us to wear to support Noey. My sister Whitney and her husband Josh made and purchased bracelets that said “Team Noah” and sold them to everyone they could. Austin and my dad set up a jar of them for sale in their Gun Shop and raised hundreds of dollars for Noah. Since that day, Austin has worn his Team Noah bracelet every single day. (His wife informed me).
This past weekend, while working on a full-sleeve piece, he and Katy skyped us to show us the progress. (my deep love for ink) When we saw this, I couldn’t help but cry. It’s one of the deepest expressions of love and acceptance I have experienced for my little boy. A person without tattoos may not understand the level of importance it holds, but to permanently place something on your body holds meaning. The constant support and deep love that we have been shown is amazing. My heart is touched by the fact that my brother believes so much that he would permanently place my sons name on his arm.
I am so thankful for each and every family member. But I deeply love my brothers heart.
Austin, if Noah only knew, you’d be his hero.