Wednesday, October 14

Down syndrome awareness month - guest speaker time

Get It Down; 31 for 21

Tap, tap, tap, is this thing on? Mom wanted to share the blogging responsibility with all of our family during October Down syndrome awareness. So, here is my aunt Tami sharing what it's like to know me. Trust me, I smooch on her just as much as she smooches on me!

Sitting here thinking about what to write about Tommy, I remember so many good times with him that it puts a smile on my face. I remember Tommy sitting on the trampoline while Andrew and Liam bounce around….Tommy smiling and clapping all the while. I remember watching Tommy shove food in his mouth as fast as he can, but carefully picking out green beans (from a bean salad) and gingerly setting them on the side. I remember Tommy waking up from his nap, his face lighting up when he saw his brother. For all of you who personally know Tommy, I don’t need to tell you how amazing he is and how his smile melts anyone’s heart.

How has Tommy changed my life? Tommy has given me an awareness I didn’t have before. For me, Down Syndrome was "Corky on Life Goes On". I didn’t know about the challenging medical conditions that are often associated with an extra chromosome. I didn’t know that for many years (and still some to this day) people with that extra chromosome were (are) often institutionalized. The love and happiness displayed by people with DS…so often described by people…..I didn’t feel….until now.

Tommy is an incredible little man with such courage and strength to take on things that you and I cannot even imagine….all with a smile on his face (most of the time). I am so blessed that Tommy is a member of our family.

Looking through the eyes of my (almost) 4 year old son….he doesn’t see Tommy as different. He doesn’t know about the medical conditions. He just knows that Tommy ALWAYS wants to play with what he is playing with. He just knows that Tommy likes to eat cake just like he does. That’s what we all should do……see similarities in people instead of differences.

This poem reminds me of how Tommy has touched my life (and that of my family)

My life will never be the same again
by Cheryl Magnussenwho dedicates this to her daughters Allie & Angel
God made a living miracle
with his very own paintbrush.
As each stroke of His hand
touched upon the canvas
He created a child;
one that He loved so very dearly,
one that He knew would change the hearts
of everyone who took the time to know her,
a child who would show this world
countless unknown miracles,
…a child with special needs.
God must love me so very much
as He trusted in me
to become the mother
of this sweet angel child.
In doing so
He gave me a new life.
One that slows the clocks of time,
teaches me to pause and smell the dandelions,
shows me there is beauty in a goat
and has me catching snakes to revel in their colors;
a life that grants me lessons in respect,
true courage, humanity and advocacy.
God rescued me through this child
and ever so thankfully…..
my life will never be the same again.

Tommy Adventures