Back on March 16, 2018 I received a message from someone that knew Emma through Inclusion Connections. I can tell you that one of my greatest joys in life is the blessing of being able to see any of my children through the eyes of another.
From Aleks Kostic…
“I was a volunteer/employee at Inclusion Connections. I had the pleasure of knowing Emma for the past 5 years, and I am so grateful and blessed to have been able to call her my friend. I’ve been hesitant to reach out because I did not want to bother you or your family as I can only imagine how hard this time has been for you all- and you are all in my thoughts and prayers. However, the past couple of weeks have been full of what I can only reasonably classify as signs from God to reach out and tell you how incredible of a friend Emma was to me and how much of an impact she had in my life and just share my own little “Emmaism” with you.
“I’ll think about and miss Emma everyday. Those aren’t merely empty words, but the powerful impact of her infectious smile, laugh, strength, and overwhelming compassion. Emma taught me what true compassion is-that it isn’t just sympathy or pity- above all, it’s understanding and acceptance. Emma worked so hard to truly understand people, to support them when they needed it, and, without knowing it, she touched their hearts forever. I’m lucky to have gotten the chance to know this firsthand.
“I’m in Chicago for school, so Emma and I had been keeping in touch via FaceTime, and in one of our last calls, she told me that I “brought a warm energy into a room.” Not only did that mean the world to me to hear, but it stuck with me because I truly wish that she would have seen that in herself.
“My favorite thing about hanging out with Emma, walking into Interpersonal Skills class at South or coming to IC was when I would walk in, Emma would already be walking towards me with her huge smile and arms wide open, yelling “Aleks!!!” from across the room. It always made my day because she had a way of making people feel so valued. It was just the depth of her kindness and love for others, and that is what I’ll always remember her for.”
Thank you for these memories and messages. I am grateful.