I haven't shared a story before, because I haven't known which one to start with but now I know it is important just to start... and there will be more to come. Also whenever I sit down to write or post my pictures there is someone who needs me.
Those are two things that Austin's loss have really made me realise... not to put things off because I don't know how to achieve them perfectly... and how important all relationships are; they are what make up our lives.
It is clear from my own knowledge of Austin and his family, but also of the stories here (and the number of people who have visited the site) that Austin's life although tragically cut short at the cusp of his adulthood, IT WAS AND IS infinate:
1) In it's richness, his intellect, his enthusiasm for life, his completely unmarred confidence and character and the complete and utter bond of love and mutual support he shared with his family.
2) In the effect that his loss has had on all the people who knew him, AND, with no less importance, those who didn't know him in life but have been moved and given pause for thought in all these stories.
3) His life has the capacity to be an great influence for good in the world, although not in the way that we all imagined.
Anyway, a story, TRUCKS
When I arrived Austin had words, many, but the sort of words that all have three letters and sound the same except to his mother and father and those extremely intimate with him.
Quickly I discovered he knew and was extemely animated by all the various types of truck and vehicle in his toy collection and the ones we saw on the streets. And I got to know the complexity behind what to the unpractised ear would be babble. So there was 'duu' (dump truck) 'cru' (crane) 'pii' (pick-up truck)... anyway you get the picture. He carried several trucks everywhere. Maybe not so unusual for a small boy.
One of Gregg and Laurie's first purchases when I arrived was a folding set of steps (I am somewhat vertically challenged!) He began to spend large amounts of time running backwards and forwards from the living room where his trucks were kept and arranging the trucks on the tiers of the steps, EXTREMELY carefully and with the animation and concentration on his face that many people have mentioned in their stories.
Now Austin was not, as far as I know, what we in England call a petrolhead (obsessed with cars and speed and flashyness). He was teaching himself at 1 1/2 classification. He used the objects around him that were most suited, because there were lots of them of different sorts, and they could be sorted in different ways, by number of wheels, by colour, by accessory etc etc