I recently read an article written by a parent remembering the day when her daughter began expressing frustrations with having Down syndrome.
As most of you know, my younger sister, Sarah, is 27 years old and has Down syndrome. I can remember a time, just like the girl in the article, when we got home from school and Sarah looked at my mom with tears in her eyes and said, “Mom, when is this Down syndrome going to be over? I don’t like it.” We all had tears in our eyes after hearing Sarah express her frustration. I realized that I had never truly understood just how aware she was.
From a very young age, through transparent conversations with my parents, I knew what Down syndrome was, but I loved Sarah just the same. She was my sister. Period. Her having Down syndrome didn’t change how I viewed her. So it was heartbreaking to hear Sarah express that she was frustrated with her own being.
In the time between her high school days and now, Sarah has had many ups and downs. Our family supports and encourages her through the hard days. We celebrate with her on great days!
Over the years, Sarah has found that she is amazing at interacting with young children. Her caring, nurturing demeanor creates a sense of comfort to others when she is around. She loves making people smile, an ability that she so naturally possesses. Having learned what her abilities are, she now works with preschool and second grade classrooms, tutoring the students in their reading assignments and assisting with other activities throughout the day.
Just like all of us, Sarah has days when she is frustrated and not so comfortable in her own skin. Learning what we’re passionate about and how we can positively impact the lives of others is a journey that all of us are on. Through a lot of hard work and self-discovery, Sarah has found her purpose in life—she loves caring for and teaching children.
What about you? How will you make a difference and positively impact the lives of others?