Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Uncle Brandon's Unconditional Love

I am the proud sister to Brandon Thomas Rust.  Not a day passes by that I am not reminded how lucky I am to have a brother like Brandon. 
Brandon is 3 years 9 months younger than me.  When he was born I immediately loved him.  I still remember vividly going to the hospital to meet B for the first time. 
Growing up Brandon excelled in athletics and academics and I was so proud.  I loved being Brandon's sister.  Brandon had a special relationship with my Mom, and growing up I would dream of the day I would have a son that looked at me the way my Brother looked at her. 
My brother would come to all of my cross country and track races in high school.  I loved knowing that he was there cheering me on.  And I know he was my secret weapon to having a fast kick at the end of many important races. 

When Max was diagnosed with Autism at age 2.5 nothing changed, Brandon was supportive.    Anytime I call with new information about Max he always asks "what can I do, and are you okay?"
Then 2 years later when I made the call to Brandon to tell him that Dexter was also Autistic, he again wasn't phased, but was supportive and concerned with how he could help.  My Brother is a lot like my mom, he loves deeply, and cares about his friends and family with all his soul.  And his special needs nephews are no different he just loves them. 
I have never been able to run a marathon.  It was always a dream of mine, but in 2003 I had major reconstructive foot surgery.  I now have only 75% mobility in my left foot, and have to be very cautious not to hurt it again.  Running was such a huge part of my life, and to have it end so abruptly hurt my soul.  When my Mom passed away running really felt so distant.  Running bonded my mother and I.  It was where we had our deepest conversations and most memorable experiences.  The loss of running and my mom left me feeling very empty. 

Then my brother started running, and in November 2009 he ran his first Marathon in memory of my Mom.  Running came back into my life with a new light.  Brandon might be running for my Mom every November, but he is also running for me.  
The Angels Run is in memory of my Mom, Karen Rust, but also helps my Brother raise money for the NYC Marathon in November.  And this year Brandon is running for Autism

To support Brandon's marathon efforts please click the link below:

To be a part of the Angels Run please click the link below:

**And please feel free to share this blog post with friends and family. 

So much love to you and yours. 
Tiffany Strong

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