Last week my daughter had her regularly scheduled appointment at the Downs clinic.
No biggie – we do it every year!
Our geneticist walked in and began his physical examination of my daughter. He was immediately concerned about something and the next thing I knew a specialist was in the room and we were off for an ultrasound and blood work. Let’s just say my regular appointment ended abruptly.
I have been around hospitals long enough to know that medical personnel never move quickly until they think something is really wrong. I had been faced with similar scenarios multiple times with my daughter, so I simply refused to get uptight until I knew more. I was banking on the notion that this episode would follow suit and thankfully it did.
As I look back on the day though, I find myself focused on the the young woman with Down syndrome who helped us out at the clinic, instead of the moments of concern over my daughter’s health.
This young woman is there every time we go and we have come to love her deeply. She is articulate and her resume is impressive. She is a powerhouse in the Best Buddies organization and calls Maria Shriver Kennedy a friend. She has stepped in for Oprah last minute and has met more celebrities and famous people in her 30+ years than I will in my lifetime.
She survived open heart surgery when most did not and took the verbal bullets long ago, so some day, kids like my daughter would be able to go to school without being made fun of in the hallways.
I can say without a doubt, I would be more than proud if any of my three daughters were this successful in life!
As we sat in our room, this special woman picked up on my nervousness and went into action, deciding she would accompany us on our little adventure into the bowels of the hospital. Personally, I was happy to have her by my side as I was by myself and she created a sense of calm. It also would give me the opportunity to learn more about her – which I did. Her story was music to my ears.
As the day went on, and she became more comfortable with me, she told me about her dad and how he had passed away unexpectedly several years ago. Her eyes watered as she told me the story surrounding his death. I told her that he was looking down at her from heaven and was surely proud of all she had accomplished. She looked me straight in the eye and said, “I knew you believed in Him.” (She didn’t mean her dad.)
It was then that I realized why she was so insistent on being at my side.
As the doctors worked on my little one, this angel held my hand and prayed out loud for my daughter and then prayed silently by her side while they did the test. She brought me so much peace that I cannot help but believe God had placed her there Himself.
There are few people I can think of that could bring a sense of calm to such a difficult situation. She brought light and the beauty of humanity to several dark hours – and for that – I have been truly blessed.
Thank you dear one, for being my angel. You were just what I needed.