I like to help others.
I want to make a difference in the lives that I come across.
I would like to be part of a significant change.
I wish that I could reform the world or at the very least, make it a better place for my children.
I know, I know... how very pageant queen wanna be of me.
The truth is that I just want to be remembered for something other than my name and face.
I hope that when my time comes to be with the Lord that my children will be able to honestly say that I was a good mother to them, that my husband can say wholeheartedly that I was a good wife and my friends will be able to say that I was a good friend. I hope that there will be memorable stories about me, ones that are positive and ones that have worth.
It makes feel good when I have done something that makes my family proud of me. It makes me feel good when I have helped another person or changed a negative thing into a positive one. I like when people come to me for advice and when my opinion is valued. It makes me feel like I am doing something right in that particular area.
This last Monday, when Vada and I went back to Peoria, I ran into Gale. Gale was the lady/nurse that gave Justin and I our tour of the Cardiac ICU and talked to us about what to expect with the surgery, recovery and the hospital stay in general.
I was signing papers when I saw Gale come onto the floor with another lady. I could tell that she was giving this women a tour as well. The lady looked terrified. I wondered if I too looked the same during our tour. I'm sure that I did because I was frightened in a way that I had never been before.
Gale introduced us, but for the life of me I cant remember this ladys name. I am terrible with names and I feel awful that forgetfulness is a trait of mine. (She was from Champagne and her daughter was only a couple of months old.) Anyway, I said hello, did some small talk, showed her Vada's chest and told her everything would be okay. Her voice was small, quiet and shaky. I wanted to hug this stranger but didn't. We said our good byes, I wished her all of the luck that I could and we went our separate ways.
Later in the day I was going back down stairs in the hospital when I saw this women again. This time she was sitting with her baby (she didn't have her when I had first met her), and an older women. I smiled at her and almost walked away but didn't. I felt a pull and I asked her if I could come see her baby. Her daughter, whose name I also forgot, is beautiful! A sweet blonde with crystal blue eyes. Ones that were illuminated with the special specks that may only come with that extra chromosome that our Vada also has. She was precious. I said a quick prayer in my head the moment that I looked at her sweet baby doll face.
It was on Monday when we met. This little ones surgery was the next morning. The same as Vada's, only one week later. Soon, they would be where we were at and then they too would be coming home. I prayed for that to be their story.
The mother and the grandmother both had all kinds of questions to ask me. Questions about the surgery, questions about Vada's health, her milestones and our experiences thus far. There was a sadness in the mothers voice and in her eyes and I couldn't tell if it came merely from the fear of the up coming surgery or if it were more than that. If I were to guess I would guess that she was unaware that her daughter had Down syndrome until her birth. I couldn't imagine having things happen that way. I'm glad that I knew before hand.
It felt good to answer the questions for them. I remember when I was pregnant. I searched for answers and I wished that I had had someone whom I could personally talk to and physically see, not just people online, who had experience with Down syndrome and the different health issues that we were going to be facing. Even with Vada's heart surgery, I searched. I had a lot of support but it would have been nice to have a friend who knew what I was going through and to have them here in person to talk to.
Tonight, two weeks ago we were expecting to be released in the morning. I have prayed every day that this mother and her family are expecting the same thing. I hope that their daughter is doing well and recovering wonderfully. I hope that in some small way that I was able to make a difference and maybe that I even helped alleviate some amount of fear or stress for them.
Yesterday, I called the hospital and I left a message for Gale. I told her that I wanted her to give my information out to anyone that she thought I could help. I dont know how I could help, other than being here to listen to someone, telling them what I know and what I have experienced in our journey so far, but I would like to try.
I realize that I am a minor in a major league when it come to experience with Down syndrome. I realize that Vada is barely fourteen months old and before my pregnancy, I knew nothing about Down syndrome. Others have years of parenting and sibling experience with Down syndrome but I still want to help. I just want all parents to think that their child is amazing, even if they happen to have Down syndrome. It doesn't have to be a sad thing. You don't have to morn over it. It can be celebrated and embraced!
Tonight, I pray again for this mother and her daughter as well as the dad and the family. I pray that they will be coming home soon and that the sweet baby girl grows up healthy and strong and I pray that I helped them and maybe, just maybe that I can help others.