Thankful …

Today I am focusing on the good people in my life. The time they give me. The memories they make with me. The compassion they show me. The love they share with me.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you are thankful!!!

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Family fun …

We had such a great day with the people we love!

Well, I hope you all had a day where you had some family fun!!!

Celebrating EXTRA …

Today is World Down Syndrome Day! And we all know that I have someone very special in my life who has Down Syndrome. My beautiful 8 year old daughter Reese!

March 21st is a global day of awareness that has been officially observed by the United Nations since 2012. How cool is that?!?! This date was chosen to represent the triplication of the 21st chromosome (3/21) found in individuals with Down Syndrome. Today I celebrate Reese and the amazing community of people with whom we share our lives.

I was told when I was 15 weeks pregnant that Reese had Down Syndrome. I did not grieve or cry. I did the complete opposite. My heart was immediately filled with hope for the future. And not just for my future or hers. From the moment that I was told that she had Down Syndrome I knew that Reese was going to change the world for the better. It was like a blanket of understanding that I had never felt before. And I have witnessed her work her magic time and time again ever since. She has softened the hardest of hearts and changed the most ridged of minds. I am so proud of her! This little girl of mine is smart, silly, kind and caring. Her compassion for others runs deep. She is a bright light in this dark world. She has taught me SO SO SO much and has showed me what real strength and perseverance looks like. And best of all, she loves me HUGE! Reese is an incredible human being and I am humbled that God chose me to be her mommy. It is truly a blessing and an honor.

I love you my Reesey Roo. You are my hero!

Well, I hope you all have a day where you celebrate EXTRA!!!

Best surprise EVER …

Yesterday Libs told me that Sid needed me to be home this morning to receive a package that would be delivered after 8 am. I originally thought that Sidney had accidentally shipped something important to me, instead of to herself. As I asked more questions about what to do with the package once it was delivered, I was told that the package was for me. Being Pi Day today I immediately thought that Sid somehow figured out how to send me a pie. HA! That is absolutely something she would do! But what she did, was even better.

When I returned home from Reese’s school this morning, I opened the door to my “package”. IT WAS SID! My sweet daughter booked an early flight and came HOME! I literally screamed when I saw her. Then I cried like a baby. I was missing her so much! Now with George coming home for Spring Break on Friday we will all be together again. YAY!

Well, I hope you all have a day where you get the best surprise EVER!!!

A nice little visit …

I had to think about this one before I wrote about it. I had a dream about my mom Wednesday night. It’s been decades since I’ve had a dream about her. After she died I had a few but they were always unpleasant. Truthfully, they were so disturbing that I was thankful when I stopped having them. Deep down it did bothered me that I didn’t have any nice dreams about her. But after decades of not having any I just accepted it. Wednesday night’s dream was quite surprising. It was so foreign to me but I found it comforting. I cried in my dream, but not out of grief or fear. It was of utter relief. This dream was not like the others. Thank god. It was pleasant and short. And despite us not exchanging any words it was incredibly meaningful to me. It was really good to see her again.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you have a nice little visit!!!

I finally decided …

I got my first tattoo yesterday. It took the better part of 30 years to figure out what I wanted. HA! I’d like to say that isn’t the truth, but it is. I have wanted a tattoo for years but I could never figure out specifically what I wanted. An upcoming Down Syndrome Awareness tattoo event prompted my desire to really think this one out. Even at the event I was thinking that I would wait and get a custom design. But I fell in love with one of The Lucky Few designs and couldn’t get it out of my head. The triple “V” represents the triplication of the 21st chromosome found in people with Down Syndrome. And we all know that I simply adore someone with Down Syndrome! The word LOVE was something I had considered getting for many years. Because I truly believe it’s all we really need. And the arrow symbolizes how far you can go even after difficult life experiences “pull” you back. The incorporation of all these things really hit home for me. So, after years of being indecisive. I just wasn’t … and I went for it!

Well, I hope you all have a day where you FINALLY decide!!!

The love living on in my heart …

One year ago today I drove home in the pouring rain after spending the early evening with my dear friend. It would be just hours before she took her last breath. I will be forever grateful that her husband welcomed me into their home that day and for allowing me to sit and just love on her. Those moments with her will remain some of the most precious I have ever shared with another human being.

Sadly, I am no stranger to moments like these. I was there for both my parents as they passed. As a social worker I sat with many patients and their families as codes were called and time of death was reported. I never took any of those last moments as less than profound. I was honored and still am that God called me to share them with so many beautiful souls. Having been there for both my parents has definitely made their deaths more tolerable-ish. But NONE of these last moments were easy. NONE. The loss of a loved one is awful. REALLY AWFUL. I do think that these experiences, along with God’s grace, has given me a sense of peace about death and dying. There is a natural and spiritual process that I saw, time and time again, that both personally and professionally blew me away. The reconciliation one’s mind, body and soul has with death is nothing short of heroic. And being there for my parents certainly gave me comfort knowing that they were taken care of until the very end. But despite the peace I have and my faith in God, grief is no less painful. It stings. And if you loved BIG, I don’t think that sting EVER goes away. At least it hasn’t for me. Love and loss comes with unfathomable pain. Nothing can ever replace the touch of a loved one who has passed. Their laughter will always be missed. Memories are great, but they are no substitute for the real time we spend with our loved ones. And the passage of time doesn’t seem to make their absence any easier. I wish this world talked more about grief and how it may change but it doesn’t truly go away. Acknowledging that we all hurt and miss someone and admitting that sometimes we all just need a hug could do us some good. I think if we did we might all be kinder and take better care of one another.

Today (and LOTS of other days) I miss my friend. Gut wrenching, to my soul, pain is what I feel. I want her back. I miss her. In my human state I cannot reconcile her death in my brain to make sense. She was too young. Too good. She had too many people who still needed her. I still needed her. Yes, today I am grieving deeply. But I am also celebrating a love and a friendship and a sisterhood that God so generously blessed me with. And even though I don’t feel it was nearly enough time, I couldn’t be more thankful to have shared my life with this incredible woman. My faith reassures me that I will see her again. And when I do, I’m going to give her the biggest tightest hug Heaven has ever seen.

Well, I hope you all have a day where love lives on in your heart!!!