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Archive for March 21st, 2014

416px-The_Adoration_of_the_Christ_Child_Follower_of_Jan_Joest_of_Kalkar

Did you know that today is World Down Syndrome Day?

I think most people know of someone who lives with Down Syndrome.

I think most people can identify if an individual who lives with Down Syndrome … it is often obvious when we look at their slanted eyes.

Down Syndrome, or Trisomy 21, is a genetic condition with three, rather than two, twenty-first chromosomes. The name, came from the doctor (John Down) who is credited for identifying this as a syndrome of it’s own.

My own first encounter with an individual with Downs was a relative of my aunts. I only saw her a handful of times, but my memory of her is of how, when she entered the room, everyone else started to smile.

Growing up in a small east coast village, I attended school and church with a guy with Downs. He was the son of one of the most delightful couples I have ever known. He made friends with everyone, and he could sing any hymn in the hymn book by memory (and loud).

Even today, I get to spend part of each work day with a young man with Downs. There is not a time I see him, at school or elsewhere, when I do not receive a smile, a hug, a wave. Just last week, as we shared a laugh, I looked at him, and remembered that he lives with Downs.

You see, when you know someone who lives with Downs, you don’t see Down Syndrome in their eyes anymore …

You see love.

Unconditional.

Undeserved.

Sometimes, un-reciprocated.

Love

Don’t get me wrong, an individual with Down Syndrome can do unloving things as well …

after all,

they are only human.

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