Several times, I’ve discussed why I run. I’ve talked about the group on Facebook called, I Run 4 Michael and how I got involved. I’ve even discussed the little boy who I run for. Today, I’d like to share with you the words of his beautiful mother to celebrate Downs Syndrome Awareness Month.
Yesterday, she posted this on Facebook:
“October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month. I feel moved to write this…please read….
What Down Syndrome is to me♥ First of all it’s something you never wanted but soon realize it’s everything you needed and then some. It’s a gift only God could give. It’s a light at the end of a very dark tunnel. It’s waking up with an excitement because the sun is shining right in your house. It’s Love that just simply grabs your heart and will never let go. It’s being taught that you don’t have to take time in the mirror to be beautiful. It’s stopping to smell the roses. It’s finding joy in the little things. It’s dancing and singing. It’s looking into almond shaped eyes and being able to see a part of heaven. It’s being loved no matter what you look like. It’s those little chubby hands playing with your hair It’s paying 100% attention…or else! It’s seeing someone who gets excited that he can put a straw in a cup or zips a zipper. It’s not only wanting you to love him but to love everyone. It’s a little boy named Malachi who has taught my heart more in his 7 years of life than I had ever learned in the 39 before him. Down Syndrome…it’s people labeling a human being by the way they look. It’s the fear of the unknown. It’s not saying hello because you can’t get past the differences. It’s labeling someone just because you have no clue. It’s turning around so you don’t have to look. It’s mean stares because you think something that’s so wrong. Down Syndrome…It’s not a bad thing. It’s an extra chromosome that takes away from learning things like we do but replaces it with large amounts of LOVE. If you see someone that has Down Syndrome…Don’t be afraid. Say hello and make their day. Give them a hug and it will be the best hug ever. They are just like us…only better♥”
As a “retired” special education teacher, I should know that not everyone embraces these beautiful-hearted individuals. I should know that people may be afraid of what they don’t understand, but I keep hoping that tomorrow there won’t be this separation and fear. Please remember that the people who have Downs Syndrome are just that, people. Their weaknesses may be different than yours but so are their strengths. I have never met a person with Downs Syndrome who looked down on someone else, nor teased or bullied someone. I’m sure there is someone out there who would argue with that, but I think that person they are speaking of would be the exception, not the rule. They didn’t choose to be different, but some of the people they encounter choose to be cruel. Don’t let that be you.