Parents are supposed to teach their children, to show them right from wrong, help them learn to read, bring them up into wonderful adults. Who knew children could teach us so much, at least mine did and still do.
Austin taught me to love life. He found joy in the simple things - clouds, animals, trees, sunsets.
Austin taught me how powerful knowledge can be and that we should never stop learning. His mind was like a sponge and I loved to watch him soak up everything around him, to absorb it.
He taught me patience. As a child, his questions were endless. As a teenager, his mood changed daily - sometimes hourly - and as a mom, I had to learn to ride the waves!
He taught me kindness. And he is still teaching me this. I know that an act of kindness, no matter how small, is noticed and remembered and treasured. Make friends and keep them. Be nice to everyone, even if you've just met and will never see them again.
Austin taught me to have fun. Life can be fun, if you allow it. Take chances, don't always follow the rules or a schedule. Be spontaneous. Savor the moment. Laugh a lot - and loud, who cares who is listening!
Most of all, Austin taught me to treasure every day. He showed all of us how quickly life can pass and that we never know what day may be our last. Even faced with close calls to death myself, on more than one occasion, it is his passing that has taught me this lesson the most.
Hold close to those you love - each kiss, each word, could be your or their last memory. Don't let it be one you'll regret. Fill your life with love and kindness, fun and family. Thank God for each moment you have on this Earth. Make the most of it.