Monday, October 21, 2013

October, 2011 Down Syndrome Awareness Month... Day 7

My mom...

Soon after we found out Josh had Down Syndrome, a hole in his heart and we needed to be transferred to Boston... I wanted my mom! I wanted to hear her voice, tell her everything and have her tell me she loved me. But, out of the ALL the phone calls we had to make, I also dreaded this one the most!

I knew she would cry (she did). I knew she would be devastated (she was). I knew she would not know what to say (she didn't). I didn't want to cry with her... I didn't want to show my weakness. I wanted to be strong for her (I wasn't).

You see, being born in 1926, she is of the generation when... well... you just didn't take babies like Josh home to raise them. You took your doctor's advice, institutionalized them, tried your best to stop thinking about them and went on with life. Wait... not EVERYONE did that, I'm sure... but the professionals still continue to advise it on occasion so I know it has been ingrained.

She took the news as hard as I knew she would. I've heard she cried for days. Because I'm the baby of her seven, she has worked hard to make my life as pain free and easy as possible. All of my siblings did actually (yes guys, I'm admitting how SPOILED absolutely ROTTEN I was/am)! She couldn't fix this. She didn't even have any words that could ease it. I guess you never stop trying to fix things in your kid's lives... even in your 80's!

Over the years, we have had many discussions about her misconceptions about Down Syndrome, about disabilities and special needs in general. She has a neighbor with DS who is an amazing young man. She sees what he can do, she often relates him to Josh and smiles as she recollects how she saw him at breakfast all by himself, or listened to him sing as he mowed the lawn. Funny how God worked that out... for them to be neighbors. :)

Josh adores his meme. He seems to know instinctively that she's fragile. He hugs with all abandon unless it's her... he hugs her gently. He's patient when she can't understand him. He lets her win at "Go Fish" (which is more than I can say for her... she's ruthless!!).

I think I can say with assurance that God has used Josh to change my mom too! All of the concerns, fears, questions and misconceptions of that first phone call have been replaced with something so amazing, something so simple but very beautiful... just pure love. 


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