What do you expect when you get married? You hope to become part of a loving and giving family who accepts you and welcomes you into the family. What did I get when I married my husband? So much more! My brother in law, Carlton, has Down syndrome. When I first met Carlton he was only 9 years old. A lot of time has passed since then and as each year has passed I have gotten to experience what an incredibly great guy he is. Carlton was born in the late 1960's and it was a time when people born with Down Syndrome were not always understood. Carlton's parents were very courageous. It might have been easier to place their baby in an institution, but they chose to allow Carlton to be the person that he was meant to be to grow and thrive in a loving and caring environment. He was and continues to be a part of a family a very important part. Carlton has proven to us time and time again that he is, indeed, a unique and special individual. Years of great care and teaching through Marimor Schools allowed Carlton all of the best opportunities and he grew to love swimming, singing and of course, dancing. As the years passed he was employed by Walmart and later Sams Club where he continues to work today. It is the highlight of his week when it is time to go to work. He stocks shelves and is sometimes in charge of boxes determining which ones are good for customers to use and which ones need to get recycled. It is serious work and Carlton rises to the occasion. One of the things that I have noticed is that when I visit Carlton at work he is happy. Happier than most other people who work! His co-workers love him and are his number one fans. I don't think everyone can say that about their coworkers. Carlton's life has been a blessing. Not only to me as his sister in law but to so many others with whom he comes in contact. One of the best moments I can remember about Carlton was the first time I met him. It was on Mother's Day and my first time to meet the family. I had not been dating his brother for too long so imagine my surprise when I ended up going to a house filled with relatives! As we were driving to dinner Carlton proceeded to "marry" my husband and I in the back seat of the carcomplete with "You may now kiss the bride." I think he must have had some secret knowledge back then, as we have now been married 29 years. What would my life be like without Carlton? I cannot even begin to imagine. What a blessing he has been and continues to be to the entire family as he loves and challenges each of us to become all that we can be.