Michael Patrick Williams Douthit (Mike) lived successfully with Down syndrome for 55 years. His biological mother passed away when he was 38 so my husband, two small children, and I cared for Mike for the next 17 years until he passed away. He was so excited when we had 2 more children for him to love. Our life with Mike was incredible beyond words. He was the most loving, understanding human being I have ever known. He brought so much laughter and joy into our lives everyday. He taught me to accept people unconditionally and to laugh when things were crazy. He taught me that money did not matter, but good food and family did. He showed me that a hug and kiss on the cheek could cure almost any hurt, and that chocolate cake enhanced any occasion. Mike was the prayer warrior in our house. He believed that God heard his prayers and that He would always take care of us. My children are blessed beyond what I could have ever offered them because of the years they shared with Mike. They have a great compassion for anyone who is challenged and they are never afraid or inhibited to talk with them and help them. Mike made every holiday special and memorable. He loved being with family and friends, especially on his birthday, when he wanted to play "pin-the-tail on the elephant" because he was a die-hard Republican. Mike began aging rapidly during the last 8 years of his life. When my children were young Mike helped me take care of them. He bounced them on his knee while I cooked supper and he loved to push them on the swings. Then, as they grew to be teenagers and he became older, they helped me take care of him. He needed more care, as he could not take care of his daily needs like he was used to doing. I learned many nursing skills during this time and did some things I would have never thought I could have ever handled. But, the entire time I was cleaning him and caring for him, he would touch my head, look at me and say, "I love you Mama, you so beautiful." I knew he meant every word. My love for him and God's grace carried me through his last years and his death. I can't explain to you how much we miss our Mikey. There is such an empty place in our lives and what I wouldn't give to hear him say one more time, "I love you Daddy Darling Dear" as he loved my husband with all of his heart. To aid me through the pain of our loss, I wrote our story and it is now published. "Life With Mike" is available on Amazon.com. It is a fun story that makes you laugh and cry and tells how a man with Down syndrome changed the life of a young family forever. Mike was a true blessing.