March 5, 2012
"These children with disabilities are not a burden; they're a priceless gift to all of us. They're a doorway to the real meaning of our humanity."
~Archbishop Charles Chaput
Everything is beauty.  Everything is grace.

Two years ago my brother and sister-in-law had their third child - my first nephew.  It was a joyful day with the whole family taking their turn in visiting.  But as Jack's time outside the womb elapsed, the doctors and nurses began to worry.  He started having blue spells, his facial features began to form and it was confirmed that Jack Elliot had Down Syndrome.  His diagnosis was shortly followed with scary news.  He had more than one hole in his heart that would need at least one operation as soon as possible.  After several months in three different hospitals, two major surgeries and two years of medical care and attention, I am happy to announce that Jack is a mischievous 2 year old who's been given a  clean bill of health.  His heart is doing great, and he's even walking to boot.  I couldn't be a more proud auntie!  He has adoring fans in his sisters, cousins, parents, grandparents, great grandmother, aunts and uncles (but I think he loves his mama the best) and is about to become a big brother in a few months. (oh the pressure!)


I have often thought about the contradiction that children like Jack represent in our society.  On one hand, the Culture of Death teaches that Jack's life is not worth living; that ending his life in the very beginning is the only 'humane' thing to do.  That every foreseeable suffering for both mother and baby should be avoided, even if that means ending a person's life.  After all, it's "for their own good".

And on the other hand, nobody can dispute the fact that he is adorable, beautiful and perfect.  My heart melts every time I see him.  He was adorable, beautiful and perfect before he was born too - it just wasn't as apparent.

March 21, 2012 is the UN Sponsored World Down Syndrome Day.  It's a day sponsored by many organizations including The National Down Syndrome Society, the National Down Syndrome Centre, Special Olympics and many others to raise awareness, change societal attitudes, promote inclusion and to fight for the rights of persons with disabilities.

So in honour of World Down Syndrome Day and my nephew Jack-a-boo, I leave you with this clip.  It touches my heart and soul every time I watch it.  This is a small french community called Fraternites Notre-Dame de l'Etoile who strive to "support small fraternities of Down Syndrome people who want to live a spiritually oriented Christian life".

Here's a moment of beauty and grace.




2 comments:

  1. Oh my, that was truly beautiful. Thank you for posting about your family, and also this incredible video!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Mrs. P! I think I cry every time I watch it.

    ReplyDelete

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What is a woman? What does it mean to be feminine? There is softness and hardness, compassion and ferocity. There is contentment and adventure, freedom and service. We're conundrums, especially to ourselves, but we all, in some way, possess beauty, creativity, intuition and love. We were made for love, and we are loved, cellulite and all. Here we aim to show every woman the richness and beauty of her own femininity and explore current issues relating to women in our world. We also wish to share our own experiences - exploring the joys and challenges of stay-at-home moms and single professionals and everyone in between. Welcome! So glad you're here!

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