A young woman in our local Down syndrome community recently passed away . The line at Heather Probst’s viewing was long. There were lots of high school students there to say their final goodbyes. Heather was well loved. But more than that, Heather loved well. She was, as Dr. Joseph Cramer shares in his Desert News essay, a teacher. Heather taught love.
I’ve always believed that Parker’s role here on this earth was that of a teacher. Perhaps not the traditional model we think of with the teacher at the head of the class, pointer in hand, lessons presented on a smartboard. Rather, a teacher who presents the opportunity learn how to love through service, understanding, and sometimes sacrifice.
Parker provides the opportunity to teach respect by choosing words that don’t demean the disabled.
Parker’s life teaches strength and courage. His life has taught me to be humble, to pray harder, and to have faith……or at least continue to strive to grow it. Things I absolutely need to master in order to one day return to my Father in Heaven.
The challenges from the lessons taught by Parker and Heather aren’t the kind someone can force another to learn. Each person chooses to participate or to walk away. Free agency belongs to us all.
For those who choose to take the time to learn from that extra chromosome found within the genetic make up of kids like our Brave Hero and relies on the love and service of others to be accepted and facilitated, thank you. I believe that each person who allows themselves to be touched by that extra chromosome will feel the joy that our family feels from serving Parker.
You love the ones you serve.
Can you imagine if those who are elected to office, choose to make education or medicine their career, also understood this?
What a wonderful, wonderful world this would be.
The teachers are here. Now we just need more students.
October is National Down Syndrome Awareness month. A month to celebrate the joy found within an extra chromosome, and everything we can learn from those that are blessed with one.