Friday, November 4, 2011

Step Up!

It may take me a while to catch back up, but here is the beginning...

On October 1st we participated in our first "Step Up for Down Syndrome" walk in La Crosse, Wisconsin.  It was one of those beautiful crisp Fall days where the sun shines and makes the trees glow with color.  What a stunning backdrop for our first walk. 


As I put on my T-shirt with the words "Step up for Down syndrome," I had a sense of belonging, as well as the unfamiliar.  To actually wear the words "Down syndrome."  And not just to support a cause, but to support my son.  To publicly show my acceptance and love, not only to people who know Luke, but to those who don't.  It felt both strange and powerful all in one.


Looking around, I couldn't help but think how I would have missed all of this if Luke hadn't been given to us. 

I would never had seen these eyes...


or witnessed this moment ...


or this one ...


or this one...


or this one...


This, by the way, is my favorite picture of the day.  If you read RubyAnne's balloon you see it says "Walkin' for Aunt Bee.  A Valuable Life."  RubyAnne's aunt had Down syndrome and passed away this past June.  Seeing this little girl hold that balloon with the words "A Valuable Life" takes my breath away.  Valuable.  Choose your own definition.

I would have missed so much without Luke.

Before the walk began there was a speaker named Karen Gaffney.  She was the first person with Down syndrome to swim in a relay across the English Channel.  She spoke about one of the issues that I worry about most.  Friends.  Her message was quite simple.  Sit down.  Talk.  Be a friend with someone who may not seem the same as you.  Once you take that chance, you may discover that you are more alike than different.

It was a good day.  A valuable day, to celebrate valuable lives. 

1 comment:

  1. Oh wow, Claire, thank you for sharing this...how powerful.

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