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The View
The View

On the fourth story of a hospital, Trent and I lived in a small room. His medical crib took up most of the space. My couch bed thingy took up the rest. When I pulled up the shade to let in rays of natural light, I saw the view from our room and had another round of tears. Accepting that my newborn had Down syndrome left me grief stricken, but when I held him close and smelled his hair, I felt pure and eternal love. It was a grab-bag of emotions. So the view: An air conditioner unit. Not just a small unit. This unit serviced the entire hospital. It was huge with pipes everywhere, billowing smoke. It was gray, dirty, and ugly. I longed for something prettier to look at. One day, I decided to rearrange our little room to maximize the space. (Stir-crazy?) My couch bed thingy was moved next to the window, and when Trent awoke from his nap, we sat down to cuddle. While Trent returned to dreaming, I gazed out the window and hoped the clouds would entertain me. I was surprised to find that from the new angle, I could see beyond the ugly air conditioner unit. First, I saw a row of oak trees. Beyond that, a bridge. Underneath that bridge, I saw a sliver of the Mississippi River. Occasionally, I could see the movements of boats as they glided, slow and lazy, through the water. Although my view of the bridge and river was miniscule, it was a view nonetheless. I made that particular room configuration permanent, and Trent and I always cuddled in that spot. I realized God was sending me signs. The initial shock and sadness from Trent's diagnosis was like the ugly air conditioner unit. The billows of smoke were the clouding of the knowledge of what is truly important. The pipes were the long emotional and physical journey my family was on. The rearranging of the room was the change of perspective I desperately needed. The oak trees were my maternal instinct, strong enough to form the foundation of love and acceptance. The bridge and river were Trent, with his glorious and beautiful God-given life. The boats were the differences that Trent will have from others. His development may be slower but will still happen. The longer I stared at the trees, bridge, and river, the less I noticed the air conditioner, pipes, and smoke. I wrote The View two years ago. Trent, once a sick newborn, is now a healthy, amazing toddler learning how to walk and use sign language. There is absolutely nothing ugly about him or his diagnosis of Down syndrome. In fact, he is my perfect view in every way.

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Tony Fedele, United States, MS
2/17/2011 8:55:09 AM
Great story!

joe fedele, United States, FL
2/17/2011 9:33:56 AM
Holly is a great mother!

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