20. a strong heart

(#20 in a series of people who changed the course of my life)

How lovely is a heart that can express joy amidst pain…
Who can give voice to gratitude despite struggle…
Whose spirit radiates joy even when there is pain…

My sister Ann Brown is just this kind of human being.
I don’t even know the moment we became acquainted with one-another originally, but I know that I have loved her from the get-go.

I have seen this woman struggle—struggle as a woman, as a person of color, as a person who is differently abled than others. I have seen her respond to the challenges her identity confront her with—not with anger and bitterness–but with strength, determination, and grace.

Ann is a truth-teller. She is not afraid to call out an issue that needs attention or a misdeed that needs to be corrected.

Ann is an encourager. She understands that sometimes in order to be lifted up, you need to lift up others. She has done this for me on multiple occasions and for many others as well.

And Ann is a healer. You cannot be in her presence and not feel loved. You cannot hear her appeals for justice and fairness without being moved by the depth of her heart. And you can only smile and feel love when she speaks of her wife and the joy they share in life.

I have learned so much from her and much of what I hope to do in life will require that I use those lessons: to unabashedly speak the truth and just love.

Thank you my sweet sister, for all you have done for me. Part of you goes with me as I move forward in life.

todd and ann

21. getting it done. (with a smile)

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