Why I Will Cherish Down Syndrome for the Rest of My Life
Dear Down syndrome,
Before the birth of my son, I knew little about you. I’d only seen glimpses of you in movies and on television. I’d never actually met you up close and in person. On June 23, 2014, you came into my life with a crash of thunder, but I still didn’t know you were there. One day after my son’s birth, we met face to face. There you were, inside my son. My perfect, beautiful son.
When I first learned you were there, I was stunned, saddened, fearful and confused. I had no idea what you were. My thirst for knowledge about you consumed the first few weeks of my son’s life. I met you in online forums, articles, photos and books. None of these showed me the real you. All my research about you only left me terrified and confused. I kept thinking you were a bad thing. But how could anything in my son be bad?
I truly met you when I stopped obsessing over you and just embraced you with open arms. I met your beauty. I saw your joy in my perfect baby boy’s smile. I saw your strength in his body. I saw your determination in every movement and noise my child made. I saw your beauty in his almond-shaped eyes. There you were! Down syndrome. I thank you for giving me the most perfect version of a person that ever existed.
With you inside my sweet Zak, he is extraordinary. Your existence created who he is and in turn helped me find who I am. You, Down syndrome, are a gift. A special gift not everyone receives. Somehow, I was fortunate enough to have you in my life. I will cherish you for the rest of my life, and I will attempt to make others cherish you and appreciate your beauty as well.
The Mighty is asking its readers the following: If you could write a letter to the disability or disease you (or a loved one) face, what would you say to it? If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post [email protected] Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio.