Monday, October 25, 2010

Letter to a Friend

Dear Friend,

I haven't met you yet, but I think that someday we will. I think we have something in common that will draw us together before we ever speak a word.

That link between your world and mine comes in the form of an extra chromosome.

Right now that may not look very attractive to you.

Right now you may be very afraid and very overwhelmed.

That's okay. I was too.

You fear that this extra chromosome will change your world; you fear that you cannot handle the world it will bring.

You fear you will always grieve from now on; you fear that the burden is too heavy.

I did too.

You wish there would be a miracle; you wish the test was wrong; you wish this was all a bad dream.

I know--I've been there.

But sometimes the miracle you pray for may not be the miracle that you receive.

And I know because now I live with a miracle every day--a miracle in the form of a little boy with Down syndrome who did change my world forever, but not at all in the way that I had imagined. And the miracle wasn't in changing him, but in changing me.

So how did this miracle change me? Let me tell you.

I have learned that you don't have to be perfect to be loved--very, very much.

I have learned that I am stronger than I ever thought I could be.

I know that I am not afraid any more.

I know that my fears have been turned into things of joy and wonder and beauty.

I know the incomparable sweetness of a little boy with brown eyes and a button nose, who is so happy every day that the happiness sparkles and floats away like fairy dust, generously spreading the magic to everyone he meets.

I know that my world has become a better place to be because there is a very small person in it who teaches me to love unconditionally and with abandon.

I know that I often wish I could be like him--to see the world through eyes of love, to believe that everyone in it is a friend, to see the best in everyone, and to believe that everyone loves me back. I am learning, but I can only learn slowly what he does so easily.

You may have been told that your child will do things more slowly than other children, and that may be true. But you also need to know that there are some things which he will do effortlessly--and that those things are some of the most important things in the world.

Because as my little boy goes simply on his way believing, he leaves behind him the seeds to grow a better world. A world where there is more love than hate; a world where perfect love casts out fear.

Right now, this is all so new and so big and so unknown to you, and you really don't want to talk to me because it might bring that world too close and you're just not ready for that yet.

I understand.

But, in spite of your fears, you also might have a curiosity about this new world, so let me show you the way to a window for you to peek in to see the faces--the beautiful faces of the people who live there. It's called Kids with a Little Extra. Go look. It's a warm, happy place.

And I'll wait to meet you until some day later on. And then you'll tell me how your world has changed too. And we will cry tears of joy together.

Until then, remember that we love you--Wade and I.

---Wade's mom


Anonymous said...

This is SO GOOD! I couldn't read it with dry eyes. Thanks for helping us to see it through the heart of a mother. ~Joanna

Philip May said...

Wade's Mom, another post that deserves a permanent link.


from a friend permanently stitched by an extra chromosome,

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