On the National Down Syndrome Page, there was an article called, "If People With Down Syndrome Ruled the World." It was written back in 2005, but I pull it up and read it every once in a while. Some of the things listed make us laugh out loud...and some of them just give us a sense of comfort...like, "oh! Joshua does that!"
For example: "If people with Down Syndrome ruled the world: affection, hugging and caring for others would make a big comeback..." And, "in our world, too often people with Down Syndrome are "done for" by others, when, in fact, they are great givers. If they ran the world, their ability to minister to others would not be wasted." (Dennis McGuire, PhD, Adult Down Syndrome Center of Lutheran General Hospital, Park Ridge, Illinois)
If you know people who have Down Syndrome, you know that they typically are not shy about showing affection. In fact, it's usually one of the things on their IEP (individual education plan) in school that the professionals "work on" to change...because, in our society, you can't just go up to the greeter at WM and wrap her in a bear hug because she gave you a smiley face sticker.
Unless you know her.
This week at Joshua's Therapeutic Recreation Center...all the friends are sad. Their director, Mrs. Sherrie, lost her Mom over the weekend, and the group just can't wrap their heads around it. Mrs. Sherrie hasn't been there all week, and oh how they want to see her! They are so worried about her. They love her so much. They spent yesterday "brain-storming" about what they could do to minister to Sherrie...to make things better for her.
So, yesterday, and today, there has been a lot of crying. One thing you have to know about people with Down Syndrome (this has been our experience with this particular group)...is that when one person is hurting...they all hurt. And when one person cries...they will all cry. And eventually, you will have lost control of the day because they are huddled together, comforting each other.
That's how it was when I got there to pick up Joshua. Normally, there's a lot of talking going on...today, it was quiet. Joshua was sitting out on the patio with Jenni. She was in tears. Some of the others saw me walk in, and eventually gravitated outside to where we were. They're just lost...worried...confused...sad. Some of them are scared. One girl said, "how are you supposed to live without your Mom?"
Good question, Crystal...good question.
"...the dead in Christ will rise first...then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words." 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18