How a child with Down's syndrome can teach you about life

How a child with Down's syndrome can teach you about life June 6, 2012

This wonderful short account of the impact an extraordinary daughter has had on this Mum is worthy of a read. Some may want to eradicate people like this. But God allows their suffering for a purpose.  Of course that does not remove all the pain. But it sure makes it more bearable.  I am sure you will appreciate this testimony.  Thank you

My daughter, Megan, will be 18 this year. Over the last 17 years she has made me laugh, she has made me cry, she has shown me how to love unconditionally and she has shown me how to forgive in a heartbeat. Every day somehow, without any effort on her part, she teaches me something about the kind of person I want to be. Megan has Down Syndrome.

I did not know that she had Down Syndrome until she was about an hour old. It had been a normal pregnancy and she was born at her due date, a natural birth. I was 26 years old. Having had the blood test at 16 weeks into the pregnancy, which I understood tested for Down Syndrome, I was very surprised at the diagnosis. I had ‘passed’ that test, or so I thought. When I questioned this result, it was explained that the blood test was just an indication of possibility and not a definitive test for anything. I was meant to have Megan, and I thank God for that.

My initial reaction to the news? Tears. They weren’t tears of sadness though, I was tired and emotional, but I looked at my daughter, my first born, and I fell in love with her immediately. I knew there were going to be challenges, but then show me a parent that doesn’t face challenges. Megan is presented with challenges every day of her life and she faces them all with a carefree attitude, but at the same time with determination.

My life is so enriched with my daughter in it. She has grown up into a beautiful young lady with impeccable manners and love for everyone. If I’m feeling sad she has this unique way of cheering me up. ‘Come on Mum’, she’ll say, ‘keep your chin up. It’ll all be alright’. Then she’ll give me one of her cheeky smiles, and I know it will be.

Megan reminds me of the value of remaining childlike in my approach to life. Not childish, but childlike, and for a Christian, childlike faith is one of the best kinds of faith. A child’s faith does not question everything, like the cynical adult, a child’s faith trusts, and believes.

She sees the beauty in all around her, she sees the fun in situations and she sees the good in everyone. One of Megan’s most admirable qualities is the way she never ever judges anyone. She will however, be quick to pick someone up if they forget their manners or she sees any acts of unkindness. I often think how much nicer the world would be if we could all approach life with her positive attitude.

One day I witnessed an act of forgiveness that will remain with me forever. Megan was having her haircut and the hairdresser was using a razor to finish off the cut. If you have ever had your hair razor cut, you will know how it can tug and pull. Megan began to cry as the razor pulled at her hair. The hairdresser was distraught that she had caused this upset, she put her arms around Megan, apologising profusely. ‘I’m so sorry Megan’ she said. ‘It’s alright.’ Megan said, wiping away her tears ‘don’t worry, it’s in the past now, I’ve forgiven you.’ Less than a minute had passed and she had already forgiven and put it in the past. Wow! How much better life would be if we could all forgive so quickly?

You may be thinking that surely life cannot be so perfect all the time, and you would be right. However I have learnt so much from being the mother of a child with special needs and in particular I have learnt to be positive, grateful and gracious. I will not focus on the negatives; I refuse to worry about the future. Like my daughter, I intend to enjoy every single moment God has blessed me with.

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