I think people often hesitate talking to us about Austin. Sometimes I can tell they want to but are afraid it will upset us. Even if tears fall, we enjoy talking about him. A parent's biggest fear is that their child will be forgotten. Hearing stories from others, or just knowing he is still remembered, helps us so much.
The proudest moments are when someone has a compliment to share about our son. I know Austin was great but it is always nice to hear it from others. Those moments are true and I never grow tired of them!
I had someone stop me the other day, while we were at a roadblock for Relay. He commented about how much he misses him, even though they weren't that close. He then said, "Austin was the type of kid who always had a smile and kind word for you. He was never rude and always stopped to say hello, even if he didn't know you well." He later went on to say he could only be that way because of parents, which is a nice compliment, but we can't take all the credit for who Austin was.
I later heard from someone who commented on how much they missed him stopping by. I didn't even know that he visited them regularly but they lived on his way to a yard that he mowed. She said how much they enjoyed his visits and how he always left them laughing.
Austin was naturally kind and was born with such a good heart. I like to think we helped instill that in him but some people are just born pure like that, meant to make a difference. I love hearing stories from others because it gives me a piece of him that I might not otherwise know. It also helps to know that he is missed by many, not just close friends and family. He made such a difference, touched so many lives. Every story makes us that much prouder we were blessed to be his parents.