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Posts Tagged ‘National Down Syndrome Day’

To find someone who will love you for no reason, and to shower that person with reasons, that is the ultimate happiness. (Robert Brault)

Several years ago Jay and I were at the Y kiddie pool with Ella when the children from the special-needs class had their outdoor time.

“Ella looks like she could be Payton’s little sister,” one of the teachers commented.

The resemblance was amazing: blonde, blue-eyed girls, both with loveable auras. I found myself watching Ella’s look-alike and telling her she was incredible, but not to drink the pool water. A grandmother’s kind of response.

Recently I met the beautiful lady who calls herself Payton’s sister. She isn’t. Sisters aren’t always this close. Bethany has babysat for Payton since she was considered legally old enough to be a responsible child. Their meeting was a coincidence, or as one of my friends calls it, a God-incidence.

Bethany’s mother delivered frozen food to people who had difficulty picking it up. She knew Payton’s family because she had worked as an assistant at her school, but had been laid off during a financial cutback. Bethany had just happened to be tagging along when her mother made the delivery.  Bethany’s mother treated each child in the school as a valuable individual. Therefore, Bethany learned respect for all persons naturally.  Three-year-old Payton could easily reach her with the beauty of her spirit. A relationship developed.

Bethany could love Payton for no reason and shower her with reasons.

Payton does not speak. When she was six years old she was tested for autism. She has both autism and Down syndrome. These limitations do not stop her from being a good friend and an A-plus example of unconditional love.

Bethany has chosen to act as Payton’s legal guardian. Will this be difficult at times? Maybe, maybe not. No worthwhile choice is without risk.

Recently I spoke to someone who doesn’t know Ella. I told her about our granddaughter’s open heart surgery. The woman nodded, with me until I mentioned Down syndrome. Then came the stepped-back oh-I’m-sorry look. Neither Ella nor Payton are their tripled chromosome any more than my essence is summed up in my height, weight, or allergic status.

Meet Bethany and Payton. And find blessings.

collage made by Bethany in honor of National Down Syndrome Day

Bethany and Payton collage

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