I have lived, breathed, and experienced literally everything there is to experience with a person with a disability. I would not change my experiences for the world, and I would never wish my brother to be any different. I cannot put into words how I feel about Mattie. He is by far the most amazing individual I have ever met and knowing him has made me the person I am today. I cannot imagine my life without him in it and I am convinced that he was placed into mine and my family’s life on purpose.
He makes every day happier and more exciting. When he accomplishes simple feats I feel more joy than if I were to accomplish something. My knowledge has grown from being related to Mattie. He has taught me about being happy through adversity, accepting others, and working hard. I have never met a person has joyful as him, he lights up a room when he walks in with his huge smile and his uncontrollable laughter.
Mattie loves and accepts everyone he meets. He will greet you with a hug the first time he meets you and once you become a regular to him, he will kiss you on the cheek. He has never once judged or mistrusted an individual and I think he sees into the soul of every individual he encounters. Mattie works so hard to learn things that we take for granted.
He strives in school and at home, and puts up little resistance to work. He cleans up the shelves in the shoe department of TJ-Max with a huge smile on his face, and he runs old papers through the shredder at the prosecutor’s office with joy. I have never had any stereotypes for people with disabilities but I can say that Matthew has changed other people’s stereotypes. He touches every heart of every person he meets. He is a charmer and you cannot help but fall in love with him. The people who judge him and call him names do not know what they are missing out on. Not only are they ignorant, but they will never be able to have their lives touched without opening their heart and getting to know him. I have watched kids call my brother a retard and laugh at him and everywhere we go in public people still stare at him. My brother and I have become very protective of Matthew and are not afraid to say something.
I cannot describe everything that Mattie has done for me. He has made me the person I am today; by helping me find my career path, by shaping my character values, and by teaching me about humanity, compassion, and equality. I wish that everyone could have the chance to spend a day with him, because I know that spending a lifetime with him as changed me forever. He is my best friend, my favorite person on this earth, and the voice behind every decision I make.