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On Down Syndrome Day, My Brother's Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Today is World Down Syndrome Day! To celebrate, I thought I’d share a recent favorite memory with my brother, Phillip.

There was a crowd around as my husband,Kyle, and I cut the cake at our wedding. You know, it’s a classic wedding photo op and people wanted to see us stuff cake in each other’s faces. I felt the presence of a body approaching as I was cutting that first slice. I looked up and Phillip was directly next to our photographer, getting closer… and closer…and closer. It is no secret that Phillip loves (I mean loves) cake. If Kyle or I were to get that first piece, Phillip quite possibly would’ve disowned us from the family on our wedding day. So, quickly, we fed each other a little bite and invited Phillip to that first slice. He walked away, smiling ear to ear, proudly holding that piece of cake high for everyone to see that he got the first piece. Everyone started cheering for him! I had many people tell me how Phillip’s smile upon receiving that first piece of cake was the best part of the wedding (and we were totally OK with him stealing our thunder).

I often forget to stop and appreciate the little things in life. Phillips reminds me of how something so little, like a piece of cake, brought him and everyone watching sincere joy that day.

It’s easy to forget about or notice people when they are quiet or different. Phillip is nonverbal, but without words, he made his presence freakin’ known! While some may think this is a cute story about cake, I think it’s another great example of how actions speak louder than words. That’s important to remember, especially in today’s climate. Phillip’s actions amaze me every day. There’s so much we can learn from people like him.

Today, I celebrate people with Down syndrome!