The National Advocate for People with Down Syndrome Since 1979

National Down Syndrome Society
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With Grace On My Side
With Grace On My Side

I have had a younger sister with Down syndrome for fifteen years and I have always considered myself to be Grace's warrior. Now I realize that it is quite the opposite. She is in fact my champion, my warrior, my protector. She can take it, because she isn't weighted down with all of the darkness that weighs me down. She does it willingly because Grace knows nothing other than love. She keeps me tethered down when it seems that I can hold on no longer. Grace helps me to believe in the good. She helps me to see that everything is going to end on a good note one day. When I can't fight the darkness anymore and it just seems too overwhelming, that is when I turn to Grace. She is the fire within me, blazing bright until the end of my days. She is a reason to wake up in the morning, and a reason to keep fighting. Grace truly is an example of grace in every possible sense of the word. Our lives have been so enriched and blessed by Grace, it is unbelievable. Even if I'm mad at her and don't want to admit it, I still understand that. Growing up, when things would get hard, I would have person after person tell me that God wouldn't have given us Grace unless He knew we could handle it. I don't think that is true. I think that God wouldn't have given us Grace if she hadn't been exactly what we needed. She is a breath of fresh air, in a world so polluted that it seems like you can't breathe. She is a breed of her own: outgoing, warm, sassy, sweet, smart, beautiful, and loving. The poet William Blake once said, "The two contrasts to the human soul are innocence and experience." We are all born into innocence. We see a brighter better world, but as circumstances begin to beat down on us day after day that innocence begins an ugly transformation into experience. With experience it becomes harder to enjoy the little things life has to offer. Grace is lucky because she will never have the innocence choked out of her. Yes, life is going to knock her down, but she will get right back up. Because she believes in herself wholeheartedly, just as I believe in her. It is a gift from God to have Grace in your life, because she will share a glimpse of her innocence, and it gives you hope. I am so blessed to be able to call myself her sister. I will always have her, and she will always have me. Our journeys are irrevocably intertwined, and I wouldn't have it any other way. The unconditional love that Grace and I share can be enough to get us through anything. It's going to be a long hard journey with many bumps in the road, each one bigger than its predecessor. But with Grace on my side how can I lose?




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