Brandon, 39

Meet Brandon…

If I am a resilient person, I will bounce back after a failure or defeat, and quickly rejuvenate my spirits.

I must admit I have at times selfishly taken love, as well as those bestowing their love upon me, for granted.  Although I have always valued love-irrespective of its relational origins through which it was received. Love for me is not merely a word, not a fluid concept which evolves as time alters perspective, but rather a constant.

As explained throughout the Bible, the word love is cited as a foundation from which anyone and anything “good” derives and guides each of us – regardless of religious belief – toward an understanding of love’s utter importance in all realms of life.  My appreciation for love, as well as for those able and willing to afford myself any degree of their love, has grown through the passing of my surrogate brother, Joshua, last year. My greatest memories all incorporated instances of love, leaving no exception for the relationship by which our son was physically conceived through. Love demands responsibility and sincere patience. My future will consist of loving kindness and it brings me happiness simply envisioning such. 

Speaking of loving kindness, I’d like to pay tribute to my step-father. One of my interests as an adult is mathematics. As memory serves me, math became interesting at the very moment my step-father taught me multiplication. My step-father was a nuclear engineer by profession, and remains to be one of the most intelligent individuals I have interacted with to date. Whether I am utilizing mathematics within basic measurements associated with various construction projects, or the less favorable math necessary in determining what is owed in state and federal taxes each year, I am gratefully and often reminded of the precise moment that such a wonderful man imparted that affinity of mathematics within me. Although it may be the trips to Disneyland, or the countless holiday events shared with our immediate family as children that my siblings favored, my fondest childhood memory remains with this mathematical moment. To Brian Young of Youngstown, Ohio: Thank you for my most valued childhood memory