In honor of my sister-in-law and niece coming to visit today from South Carolina, I wanted to re-share a post from earlier this year!
Since we just celebrated Mother’s Day, I wanted to write about a person who has been in my life for over eighteen years that I have always looked up to in regards to how she lives her life as a mother. A person who shows a strength and resolve while facing her responsibilities that takes extra effort beyond the normal mothering requirements. A woman that meets those responsibilities head on, yet does them in a way that creates a special bond between her and her daughter that some Mother’s only wish they had.
When you go through life as an expectant mother, there is all the excitement that comes along with the process as you prepare for the day you will get to meet your child for the first time. As much as you think you are prepared for that moment, nothing can prepare you for the birth of a Downs Syndrome child and all the painstaking moments that follow with surgeries and extra care that the child will require. There are many ways that people can deal with this situation and how they do so ultimately defines the kind of parent that they are and will become.
If you have never had the wonderful opportunity of meeting a Downs Syndrome child, you are missing out. They truly are the gift that keeps on giving as they are filled with love and compassion that is unmeasurable. However, caring for them also requires a skill that no one can prepare you for and no textbook can teach you. But a mother’s love is something that should never be underestimated, as its power knows no limits. Such is the case with my sister-in-law Debbie.
Every time Debbie, Courtney and I are together I leave them with a new found respect and admiration for how they have carved out a life for themselves that is unique and their own. Courtney is now 22 and Debbie has this unique way of forging a balance between being a mother and a friend that has created one of the most beautiful relationships that I have ever seen. They lunch together, get their nails done together, go to movies together and do all the mother daughter things that those duos do. Debbie has learned the art of caring for a Downs Syndrome child and now adult. She has faced the reality that it is no longer your life, it is our life with dignity and admiration. Yet, when the time is necessary to draw the line between friend and mother, it is done with a mixture of firmness and compassion that really is a beautiful thing to watch.
In a world where we hear about neglect and abuse almost daily on the evening news, I am fortunate to have a mother like Debbie in my life that personifies what being a mother is all about. I am especially honored to be a part of a family where I get to experience that extra special love that is required to care for a child with Down’s Syndrome. In a future post I will tell you about Courtney and you will understand why she is the gift that keeps on giving. For today, I want to honor Debbie who shows us every day that A Mother’s Special Love is a beautiful thing.
Have a great weekend and remember to be the reason someone smiles today.