March 18, 2013

A few more thoughts. Epilogue #3

Over the past weeks I've been learning and reading about other's experiences with Down syndrome. 
 I watched a documentary about a Downs couple called Monica and David.  From it I'm more convinced that families with special needs are as varied as all families.  And those who care for them have to do what works for them, even though it may be different from what others might do in their shoes.   I also read a wonderful book about a family, the mother of which wrote about her pregnancy and expecting a Down syndrome child.  It spoke to me so beautifully.  It's called Expecting Adam, an exceptional story of God's plan for this young family and their son.  

It reminded me of a few years ago when I was seeking reassurance that God was there for those like Erik.  I know the Bible fairly well and know the verses of God's promises of care for the weak and Jesus seeking out the forgotten.  But on that day I was wishing there was a verse, illuminated in divine, yellow light, just for Erik and me. I was probably feeling weary and worried.  I started looking for commentary from religious sources and stumbled upon something from The Vatican on handicapped children.  Even though I'm not Catholic, it encouraged me.  It said:  "It is impossible to even entertain the hypothesis that God might have been "mistaken" when He created handicapped children.  On the contrary, we must say that God loves them personally and that these children, thus conformed to the suffering Christ, are the object of His special tenderness."   I felt better and wrote it in my journal.  And later, God did give me those special verses.

Since we're on the topic of God's involvement:  over Erik's life, we commented often to each other that Erik had protecting guardian angels around him.  I think of the countless times he had to walk back and forth to the bus-stop when it was dark outside or the weather was bad, when he'd take the bus all by himself to the mall on his days off to go to the movies or he'd fly by himself to visit our mom in Colorado -- he was always under God's watchful eye.  About 6 or 7 years ago, when Erik was living alone at his condo, he invited a total stranger he met at a bus stop to come home with him to hang out.   Erik, gregarious person that he was, wanted a new friend.  This man, we surmised, looked around Erik's condo, discovered he didn't have anything of monetary value and just left.  But that could have ended differently.  God's special tenderness and protection was at work that day, as it is for you and me.

Erik used to sit on the front porch of his group home waiting for us to arrive.  "Hey, are you so happy?" he'd ask.

A bit more to come.  Love to you.

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