Friday, March 21, 2014

World Down Syndrome Day: Why I Am Confident About the Future

I met a man with Down Syndrome.
He loved his wife so.

I met a woman with Down Syndrome.
She loves her job, goes eagerly every morning.

I met a teen with Down Syndrome.
Who demanded I respect him as a growing adult.

I met a little boy with Down Syndrome.
Who wanted to grow up and be a fireman.

I met a little girl with Down Syndrome.
She wanted to steal Diego from Dora.

I was with a man with Down Syndrome,
who marched in the Gay Pride parade.

I was with a woman with Down Syndrome,
who worked in a machine shop, helping to size lumber.

I was with a teenager with Down Syndrome,
as he confronted his parents about his relationship with his girlfriend.

I was with a child with Down Syndrome,
who pushed away my helping hand.

I have also met people who think that Down Syndrome
means tragedy.

I have talked with people who pity parents of kids with Down Syndrome,
they think, and say, that it's a curse of the family.

The difference between me and them?

I have met people with Down Syndrome.

I have spent time with people with Down Syndrome.

Bigotry.

And bias.

Need distance.

Bigotry,

And bias.

Can't withstand the assault of a handshake and a cup of coffee.

People with Down Syndrome.

Change the world.

Day by day.

One handshake at a time.

One coffee at a time.

And because of this ... we'll win.

8 comments:

Tamara said...

Thank you. The real stuff of life that matters is changing, and that's what's important.

Rachel Douglas said...

Oh yes we will!!! I love you.

Erin said...

I met a 6 year old girl with Down syndrome, who said, "Mommy, you're not paying attention to me. Turn off your cell phone!" And I did.

I enjoyed this post today. It's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when you're in the trenches, so your words are a good reminder of where we're headed. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I almost cried when I read this post. Maybe it's the pregnancy hormones but this made me think back to a Dr's appointment a few months ago when I was offered to take a test that could potentially predict certain "problems" (their word, not mine) with my baby, including Down Syndrome.

Naive me didn't understand why such a test would be offered. I talked to my husband about it and he was just as dead-set against the test as I was. Needless to say, we love this child already and will take this new life as it comes.

Lisa H said...

Thank you so much Dave! I love your blog and share it with people all the time. You are an amazing man and so inspirational!

Rickismom said...

AMEN!

Tara said...

As the mom of two little boys with Down syndrome, of course I love this post. Three cheers!

But, I come away with the profoundness of these words:

"Bigotry.
And bias.
Need distance.
Bigotry,
And bias.
Can't withstand the assault of a handshake and a cup of coffee."

I am struck by how applicable those words are for so many situations! I am a Christian. Boy, do we in the church need to hear these words. Thank you for them!

Amy Dietrich Hernandez said...

Yes. I always say the best way to advocate is to be out there in the public eye and show how "normal" our families are.

Thank you for this beautiful post.