Friday, October 7, 2016

Down Syndrome-A Parable

Happy Down syndrome awareness month! Blogging all 31 days in October continues with a re-post of an old favorite of mine. Enjoy!

Down syndrome- A Parable:
Dedicated to my daughter with Down syndrome

Once, there was a couple who loved each other. After a few years of dating, they wed. The husband and wife both worked and saved for their optimistic future. At first, they were content with their life together. However, they were friends with other couples that had built their own homes.  These new homes were the pride and joy of their friends. Soon, that became the couple’s dream. Through hard work, it became possible for the couple to start the building process after three years of marriage.

The couple purchased land a few hundred miles away from their current residence. It was located in a quiet, small town where other new homes were being built. The couple looked carefully at their friends’ new homes and made notes to discuss with their contractor. Since their new home was being built so far from their current residence, the couple’s contractor would play a vital role in making sure things were completed properly.

The couple spent every minute working hard to save money for items needed for their new home and preparing for the move. Consequently, it was impossible for them to personally see their house in the building stages. Periodically, they received faxed pictures of their home from the contractor. The grainy, black and white pictures made the features difficult to see, but it definitely resembled a house. The couple proudly showed the pictures to friends and enthusiastically talked about their upcoming life change to anyone who would listen.

The construction of the house took nine long months. Finally, the day they had awaited came. They loaded their belongings and began the move. They arrived in their new town and made their way down their new street. Their excitement grew with each new, beautiful home they passed. Veering left at the end of the street, they pulled into their driveway at house number 321.

A large, two story home stood in front of them. But, their house was not like any other one on the block. There were noticeable differences. The window spacing seemed wider than usual. The height seemed short for a two story house. The grain of the wooden door contained an unusual line it in. Fearing bigger problems inside, they had the house thoroughly inspected, which found additional problems. The foundation of the house was not as strong as it should have been built. It would need additional beams and supports placed in order for it to maintain its integrity. These things could be added to it now, although some would be noticeable. The heat and air conditioning worked but it was not the most efficient system. The wiring of the house was also not done in a typical manner; however, it was safe and did work.

Initially, the couple felt shocked as this was not what they were expecting. But, the contractor felt he had fulfilled his obligations because the house was livable. But the couple didn’t want to settle for livable; they wanted the house to be the best it could. So, they educated themselves and found electricians, carpenters, and masons who worked with the couple to make improvements. However, some issues were not fixable, so the couple simply learned to live with them.

All of this was initially hard on the couple. They weren’t expecting to run into these problems. After all, their friends’ new homes were built without any difficulties. Their family and friends seemed sympathetic and offered friendly, but sometimes insensitive advice. Some blamed the couple for their problems. They suggested that the couple had agitated the contractor and this was their payback. The couple slowly learned to cope with the long looks towards their home and whispers behind their backs, but they always hurt a little bit.

The couple did fully embrace the house as theirs. After all, the house reflected them. The home had a large kitchen complete with two ovens for the wife’s love of baking. There was a large den for the husband’s sports collection. The floor and wall colors were just what the couple envisioned.

After spending time in their home, the couple realized they had failed to appreciate a unique feature. A circular stained glass window depicting a dove in a red heart brightly shined through the center of the living room wall. It was something so beautiful that no other house in town had. On a bright sunny day, the vibrant glow from the stained glass window reminded the couple of their happy life and future.

Life continued to move on. There were new jobs to start, groceries to buy, and chores to be done with the home. They had to adjust and that’s what they did. The couple occasionally met other people like them, often in home improvement stores. They enjoyed sharing stories and ideas in these chance encounters. They found out they were not alone, but they often felt that way in their town.

The house became something that brought the couple much comfort and peace. They enjoyed decorating their house for different holidays and inviting loved ones over to celebrate with them. But there were other circumstances that left the couple distraught. Storms with destroying tornadoes often passed by remarkably close to the house, threatening its structure. At times, the couple wondered if the house would endure the storm. In these times, the couple prayed that their house would stand and be unharmed. They rejoiced with each storm that blew through and left little or no damage. However, there was always some fear that another storm would come and take away their precious house.

In perilous times, the couple realized how much they loved and adored their house. It was different from what they originally expected. But, it was theirs. They began to focus less on what was wrong with the house and more on what was right.  Looking past the surface, it truly reflected the husband and wife. They even forgot that their house looked different to others who drove by. They fully embraced what was theirs and their way of life with the house became normal to them.

This was a house that few could fully appreciate, understand, or accept. A house with challenges yet a source of pride. A house deemed by some as a waste of time and energy. A house that some would have abandoned or condemned. A house that taught one couple about perseverance, beauty, flexibility, team work, unconditional love, and the true meaning of life.



Please feel free to share this post! This story is copyrighted in 2013, so please credit the author before distributing or sharing on a personal site.

1 comment:

  1. I love it...and I see what you did there with "321".

    ReplyDelete

submit to reddit