"This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I'm alright song
My power's turned on
Starting right now I'll be strong
I'll play my fight song
And I don't really care if nobody else believes
'Cause I've still got a lot of fight left in me"
I could seriously fist pump through that song all day.
Life has been good for my family and my boys. Cash is doing incredible and Parker is constantly exploring and asking "why?" Sometimes the questions drive me insane..other days, I find myself inspired by his wonder.
If there is one thing this new part of my life has taught me, it is the celebration of the "moments." Those tiny fragments of time that normally pass us by without notice yet hold so much beauty and purpose. And though this new appreciation is mostly beautiful, I find myself having to be reminded to have grace for others. Since I want you to see the honest parts of me, both good and bad, I'll be real. I find myself struggling frequently with having grace for others in my heart. When that momma is complaining on social media that her child has a runny nose or when someone rants and raves publicly because someone said something that offended them or some type of service provider didn't treat them quite like they thought they should be treated. God has to remind me, "Have grace, Brooke." Those insignificant things that would have normally had me frustrated and overwhelmed are now so so small. Praise God for that part.
The other day, I was picking up some pictures from Walgreens and as I was gathering my boys and heading from the photo center to check out, the associate assisting me peeked in at Cash, lightly squeezing his toes.. And she noticed something that I've been fearful of. Very sincerely, she asked, "does she have a touch of Down syndrome?" Hesitantly, I said, "He does have Down syndrome." I was fearful for a moment of what words would come next. Would she mention that "downs kids" (please never use the word "downs" as the primary adjective to describe my child like "downs baby." My grace may not shine through) are always so happy or something else that would cut the still healing wound of my son's diagnosis. No. Instead, with a smile, she said "My niece had Down syndrome. She just passed away last year. I miss her." "How old was she?" I asked. "Eighteen."
I'm not entirely sure how you can have "a touch of Down syndrome." Maybe some people just get it in their big toe, what do I know? :) But, what mattered in that simple exchange was not her wording, but her sincerity. It was God's small way of showing me the grace I've been struggling to give to others. That same day, I had anther woman, who genuinely meant it as a sweet gesture, claim that God only gives babies with Down syndrome to those who can handle it. "Special babies for special people." I cannot tell you how many times we have heard that same thing over the last three months. What about the 90% of babies with Down syndrome who are aborted while still in the womb because they don't want their child to "suffer?" Did He make a mistake with those families when He chose them? No. I've become broken hearted at the thought that millions of people miss the opportunity to see this face, full of wonder and eagerness to grow and learn. They are the ones who are "suffering."
Does it look like this sweet child is "suffering?" There are moments when I still feel consumed by fear for Cash's future. Truth is, well all suffer at time In this world. It is full of sin, hate, and Godlessness. But there are a million more moments spent in joy, where I am overwhelmed at how Parker loves that sweet little boy and how much he has transformed my heart. I choose those moments. I may never know or understand why God chose our son and family to deal with this hurtle. I do know now, that in every way, even when moments are overwhelming and breathtakingly uncertain, I am changed and blessed by his precious life. Parker will be a better man because of Cash, we will be a stronger family, and so many of you will be changed by his ability to see joy in the darkness.
Thank God for Down syndrome. For the opportunity to learn to truly fight. For allowing me to be one of the few who gets the opportunity to be changed so deeply that it requires me to question all that I was and all the insignificant things I cared about before. God used 47 chromosomes to help me take back my life.
"This is my fight song. Take back my life song."