The leading human rights organization for all individuals with Down syndrome.

National Down Syndrome Society
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New York New York 10017
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Gerry and Mommy
Gerry and Mommy

Do you remember what it felt like anticipating Santa on Christmas morning, the thrill of a first kiss, falling in love? Holding your child for the first time, when your kid hits a home run or wins an award after trying their best! All these are overwhelming feelings of excitement, joy, pride and love. All these feelings wrapped into one is how I feel when Gerry smiles and throws her little arms around me; melting my heart and making it skip a beat. Geraldine Grace Gonzales is my daughter; she will be 6 this week. We were shocked to learn that Gerry had Down syndrome when she was born. She did spend a few weeks in the NICU, but was definitely the happy, healthy baby I was praying for. As Gerry grew, so did my love for her. On a daily bases I saw Gerry. I didn't see Down syndrome. Still, I kept thinking of the life she wasn't going to have, the life a little girl, a teenage girl, a young woman, should have. My visions were heart breaking. On Christmas Eve 2005, we were told Gerry had Leukemia. My life changed forever. During this time, I saw this beautiful baby girl become so weak, so sick and lifeless. It was nothing any child should ever have to bear. Gerry was a fighter. Through her courage, I learned how valuable and precious her life, HER life with Downs syndrome, was. It was hers to live. Even though only 2, she was fighting for it. From that time on, I started to let go of the visions, of the life she wasn't going to have. This is Gerry's life and she has important work to do here. She's teaching me patience, priority, faith, hope and how to love each day. She brings joy to all she does. She perseveres, she is strong, determined, has a mind of her own and something to say. Gerry is my "beauty," my "delight". I realize now that Gerry does things slower so we are forced to take our time, to make time, to treasure each moment. She looks different so people notice her, because she has something to teach. She doesn't speak so well, so people are forced to watch her actions, actions of unconditional LOVE. I am blessed each day. God sent me a little piece of heaven, an innocent reminder of how to live. Ah, those hugs, they make my heart skip a beat. I squeal in delight, still, it's never ending. Gerry has touched so many lives. She walks through life hugging strangers and I let her go. I know she knows who needs a hug that day, who needs to feel God's love. I've witnessed their melting hearts; the sadness and anxiety slip away if only for a moment. Gerry is cancer free. She runs, dances, sings, swims takes the school bus, talks, and does sign language. She counts, knows shapes and colors. She has friends and play dates. Yes, Gerry has a good life, she has purpose here and it's much bigger then any vision I could have ever had for her.

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Michael McKenney, United States, PA
11/14/2011 7:44:55 PM
Go Gerry

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