I wanted to tell you all about a woman I met at the library. I see her a lot, but haven't had the chance to speak to her til today. She has Downs Syndrome, and functions well. She wanted to print a pic. off the internet, but didn't have any money. She asked the librarian if she could charge it to her library card, but they told her it doesn't work like that. It was a color copy so it was a dollar. I offered to pay for her, but she thought for a while and decided she shouldn't. The librarians who deal with her a lot, took pity on her and conceded to print it. Then she asked if the librarian could close the man's mouth in the picture. The librarian told her no, and explained "it's only a picture." Then she asked if the librarian could open his eyes more and then make the pic. brighter. The librarian said that was how the picture looked so it couldn't be changed. She explained to the librarian that the pic was of her husband, but after a few minutes said that that was private and she shouldn't have shared that... she said she told him she wouldn't tell. I started wondering exactly what the pic consisted of. She stared at his pic. for a little while and a smile tugged at the corner of her lips. During this time her dad called. She told him she was fine and not to worry, she'd be home soon. She asked for scissors to trim the pic, she made at least a dozen requests of the librarians and they were very patient with her. After she left, one of the librarians thanked me for my offer and told me she comes in and prints these pics of her "husband" and the house they live in all the time. I never saw her "husband's" pic, just the outline and it looked familiar and slightly heavy-metalish. I asked the librarian who was in the pic. and she said David Bowie from Labyrinth. How odd, but how interesting. What was it in that movie that drew her to him? Did she think he had a soothing voice? Did she like his accent? Maybe she envied the power he wielded as a sorcerer? Maybe she just liked his eyes or long hair. I don't know, but that movie was released in 1986, yet it's as fresh to her as last nights dream.
She froze the computer at one point, but she still ran it by herself. She didn't understand how a credit and a library card differ, but she could cut with scissors. Her understanding wasn't great, but she was functioning in the real world without an aid along side. The sad thing is, she forsook noticing the ppl around her for a 27 year old fantasy. Her eyes were fixed so far in the past she couldn't see the present. Maybe the present had let her down... In that sense, she and I weren't very different. I don't know, but I do know she was special... she was funny and a very able disabled person and I think most of you would also have found her somewhat fascinating. I felt like she deserved to be recognized.
Awesome story, Beth. This person really is special. Stuck in the past, but maybe a very happy past and it was probably worth hanging on to. Somebody's past is their present, if that makes sense...
That's awesome. Thank you for sharing her story. I have a relative who is high functioning, and although most people are nice to him, life has not always been so kind when he's ventured out without the help of his aid. Those with Downs syndrome are some of the sweetest souls on the Earth many times. Unfortunately, sometimes they are too trusting.
My cousin is an absolute doll. When he attended my wedding years ago, he grabbed the mic from the best man during his toast and sang a song to us. I was worried people would react negatively, but they all smiled and cheered for him after he finished his singing It was probably the best part of the whole night. After that he danced all night and had the time of his life and people danced with him and had a great time. I was so elated when people commented to us what a joy he was.
I've seen him grow so much due to very dedicated people who spent many years helping him gain more and more independence. He can write and type a bit now and he has worked the same job for nearly 12 years. It takes special people to do that and to see the potential in those with Down's and other disorders.
Another great story... how sweet. I bet it was hard not to tear up when they cheered for him.
My maid of honor was a nice girl. She was always kind of shallow, but sweet and funny and we laughed a lot together. (I was married at 17.) When we were in our early 20s she said something to me I don't know if she even remembers. She said she wanted to have character like me and few other friends. I was proud of her for saying that cause in my mind that meant there was hope for her to develop into a person of depth. A person who cared as much about others as she did self.
Fast forward 10 years. We hadn't talked in years, but connected thru FB. She was pregnant at approx. 30 yrs of age. They told her her baby might have Downs. She had 3 healthy children already. I think she was considering abortion, but she didn't want to say it. I told her I knew once she held that baby, she would love it exactly as she did her other kids. I told her if for any reason she felt like she couldn't do it, I would adopt the child myself and we discussed it quite a bit. She sounded so unsure and nervous, but for whatever reason... she didn't give up. She had that baby, and... there is something about this little girl. Her face exudes joy like no kid Ive ever seen. She is truly beautiful, which may not be surprising cause her mom is beautiful, but now she can't even imagine what she was thinking. This kid is like the most adored little girl in all of Tucson, AZ. I hope God will use her story to encourage other ppl who fear something they don't understand. I would post the little girl's pic if it weren't an infringement on their privacy, but if you saw her, you'd die.
I don't know anyone with Down's Syndrome, but several years back, at the local cable TV station where I produced my hobby show, I danced with a fellow who was in a wheelchair. You should have seen him rockin' out in that thing!
He was one of our best technical directors, and I always wanted him on my crew. I never thought of him as 'the guy in the wheelchair,' he was just Bret.
That's a sweet observation of someone who was simply born differently.
I'm currently taking classes for yearly inservice hours and I decided to take a class on supporting children with developmental disabilities since we are seeing more and more children being diagnosed each year.
It requires an enormous amount of patience and understanding of the 'disability' to effectively support these special people. One of my most challenging years of teaching was a year when I had the privilege of working with a child with Aspergers. (He was not the reason for the challenging year.) I learned so much about life from this small child who was like an old soul. We became so close. I saw him last year with his mom and sister at Target. At first he didn't remember who I was, but when I spoke directly to him and said his name, he looked at me and smiled, and said, I remember you. I still see his mother weekly who is a school therapist for ESE children. She said he is doing great and continues to attend mainstream classes.
Yea! Good for him. lol... another sweet story. I hate to generalize, but so many ppl with Downs especially have such sweet souls it would seem. I have yet to meet someone with Downs who is surely or mean. Maybe it is true what Rich Mullins, the musician, said, "Don't you know that God only gives kids with special needs to special people that He knows can give them special love?" Surly is it the love they're raised with and not that missing chromosome that makes them so gentle.
I recently drove a man with downs to a holiday camp with two friends of his (I work with them). I discovered that this man has a very special talent. I am not sure how he does it and guess that here must be some kind of mathematical formula he uses, but he can work out in his head which day of the week people anyone was born on, if you give him the date and year. he works it out in about ten seconds. I checked on the internet afterwards and found that he was perfectly correct about my day of birth. He has such a kind and caring nature and he is oh so grateful for anything which people do for him. He is a real edit to his family. It goes to show we have to look far beyond skin depth. He has a heart of gold. I loved your real life story.
Aren't ppl like that just fascinating Sallybea? Wow.
Oops, I just noticed the 'edit' word instead of credit. Beth they sure are fascinating, they sure make the world an interesting place.
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