Sarah Defies Gravity

what one little chromosome taught me about love, life, and defying gravity.

Archive for the month “October, 2012”

Down Syndrome Awareness and the future of Sarah Defies Gravity

So, 31 for 21 is almost over and I admit that I didn’t put forth one single post for it. Why? Well…the biggest reason is that we’ve been busy and that there are other things on my mind, so I just didn’t have the inclination. The second is slightly more selfish. And lazy.

I started this blog just over a year ago with one goal in mind, and that was to educate and inform people who might otherwise not be educated or informed about Down Syndrome about the reality of Down Syndrome parenting through a series of daily life posts as well as “essays” or more fact-based entries about Down Syndrome such as my “Just the facts, ma’am” and “spreading the word to end The Word” posts. I don’t purport to be an expert on the topic, but I know that if you’re not “in” the community it can be really hard to find factual information because you’re typically not talking to people in the community every day, and I saw an opportunity to educate people and took it.

Though there has been some evolution of this blog over the past year, especially due to some unforeseen and difficult health challenges, I feel as though the overall theme has been maintained. This is an informative blog about Down Syndrome first and foremost.

So the idea of 31 for 21 seems a little redundant to me strictly because the entire purpose of my blog has been to educate and inform, rather than to just report on our daily lives, so there isn’t a lot left to say after a year. I do want to keep raising awareness for Down Syndrome, but something like 31 for 21 is just too difficult for me to keep up with or to squeeze out 31 posts because a lot of it would just be repetitive.

I want people to be aware of Down Syndrome and I want people to be informed about Down Syndrome. If I could have any one wish, I think it would be that people were 100% understanding and informed about Down Syndrome, and that prejudice and misinformation about Down Syndrome would disappear, because I truly believe that it’s a bigger hindrance to our children’s success and development than that extra chromosome is. If we give up on our kids just because they have an extra set of genetic material, what does that say about us as people? What does that say about us as a society? Children with Down Syndrome have infinite potential…it’s up to us to unlock it.

If you are reading this post and you would like to learn more about Down Syndrome and “bust some myths”, here are some helpful links to get you started:

National Down Syndrome Society: the national advocate for all people with Down Syndrome in the United States and probably the best source of information there is. See their articles on “Myths and Truths” and “Down Syndrome Facts” especially.

Dr Brian Skotko is the leading expert on Down Syndrome research in the US. For those looking for more scientific-based information, this is a good place to start.

downsyndrome.com, downsyn, and the Babycenter Down Syndrome board are great communication boards to connect to parents with children with Down Syndrome, and sometimes, the parents are the greatest wealth of information there is because after all, we’re living it every day.

On this blog:

World Down Syndrome Day: Just The Facts, Ma’am a semi-comprehensive factual post about Down Syndrome

A Valuable Life a frank discussion of abortion for Down Syndrome and the value of life from the perspective of a pro-choice individual

Spreading the Word to End The Word a discussion of why it’s wrong to use the R Word

What Down Syndrome Can Do For You about how Down Syndrome changed my life for the better

Perfection and Perspective on what “perfect” means.

 

Now, for the second part of this entry, and going back to what I said about being busy and having other things on my mind:

I’m not sure where I see this blog going, honestly, or if I see myself keeping up with it on a regular basis or at all anymore. On one hand, I enjoy writing and I enjoy blogging and I enjoy connecting with people while talking about something I care about, but on the other hand, I’m out experiencing life rather than writing about it and I’m enjoying that, too. There is also the matter that in January I’m beginning school to hopefully complete a degree in genetics and eventually become a geneticist and a researcher of Down Syndrome, so I don’t know how much I’m going to want to be writing about Down Syndrome in my spare time.

For now I think I feel safe saying that this is the “end” of Sarah Defies Gravity, as in there will be no more posts on this blog, or if there are, they will be few and far between. However, I plan on leaving the blog up and completely intact to serve as a resource for people who wish to learn more about Down Syndrome, because there just aren’t enough of those and I would feel like I was doing the community a disservice by removing one, even my mediocre one!

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I would have sang out your name in those old high school halls…you tell that to Gail, if she calls.

I think it’s finally beginning to hit me, almost 2 months later, that I don’t have Dec anymore. Probably because for the first month and a half he was always here if I needed him, right there in Queens prepared to take our daughter whenever I needed and fulfill his once-weekly obligation to see her on the weekend, and take her to her appointments once a week, and now he’s not here anymore. He’s 2500 miles away living his life and I’m 2500 miles away trying to pick up the pieces of ours.

And it’s hard, you know. It’s hard. I didn’t expect it to be so hard and I don’t know how to cope with it. With appointments upon appointments and work and bills and the always-present possibility that Sarah could, at any point, relapse. With the ins and outs and intricacies of parenthood, even with Down Syndrome and cancer removed from the equation.

I want him here with me. I want him here with us. We were supposed to be a family. I’ll make it, somehow, I know I will. I’ll make it and Sarah will make it, but the idea of someday “making it” doesn’t exactly make up for the fact that I’m drowning under a pile of responsibilities and uncertainties and things that are too hard for me to manage in the now. I most certainly can see the forest for the trees, the maze for the corn…but I can’t seem to find my way out of it.

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