Monday, October 18, 2010

Johnny and his friends

I woke up yesterday morning and noticed a few more deformities caused by MCTD. When I pointed them out to Ron I commented that it won't be long before he won't recognize me. He tenderly replied that he will always recognize and love me just the way I am. He then asked me if I felt any joy. Yes I do. All in all, as noted in previous posts, I am doing quite well.

Which brings me to Johnny. He is my Downs Syndrome nephew. I was lucky enough to attend his Special Olympics basketball game last Saturday. To watch all these kids (and I say kids though there was a gentleman who had to be in his late 60's) play their little hearts out was truly inspiring. Katie. She made her very first ever, basket. Jerry, or his name might have been Terry. Jason. He is around 47ish, very short. Under 5' I think. Running up and down the court clapping trying to get the fans involved. Another girl all decked out in her sports goggles. That was all she needed to feel like a winner. And Remi, short for Remmington. We sat by his dad. He kept almost losing his shorts. And Heidi was there to watch, though she never saw the game. She kept her head bent down always looking at the ground with those sad dark eyes. She is autistic. She won't ever speak. She is painfully shy. literally. Her mom was so darling. Her countenance radiated love, just like my sister.

And of course John, my sweet nephew. He's 20 yrs old. He would run up and down the court. You know his coach told him where his spot was cause he would run to it every time, and stay there. John shoots underhanded, as do many of the players. He came soooo close several times but the shots just didn't fall that day. He's a great shooter.

Then there was Bryan. Bryan looked to be the most physically disabled on the team. His left arm was completely immobile. It took it's place at his side, elbow bent at a 90 degree angle, and his hand hung at another 90 degree angle as well. And it was so thin, I'm sure from muscles that had never been used. His legs were very bent. His knees were so knocked that he would have to take an extra swinging motion just to get around each one to walk/run. As if that were not enough, his feet pointed in to one another, yet another obstacle to navigate with each step. Bryan looked like he could have cerebral palsy.

Bryan made one of the three baskets of the entire game. A hook shot because he only had the use of one arm. He was the first to run up and down the court in his ackward kind of way. He knew how to defend. He would put his arm up in the face of his 6'3-5 opponents. Yeah, the other team had some TALL players! Thus, only the 3 baskets for our Huskies. I commented to my sis how inspired I was by Bryan. She told me that his mother was told he would never walk. NEVER! As I said, he was running.

The Huskies lost. The score was 6 to 30 something. John wished he would have made a basket but he and the whole team felt like winners. Because they are. i learned so much last Sat morning, by sitting and watching and cheering. They are so dear and innocent. Which reminds me of one of my favorite stories. One day John got out of the shower and came walking out without a towel. Linda told him he needed to remember to wrap a towel around him next time. So the next day, sure enough, he came walking out with a towel, wrapped around his head!

God bless these sweet people. Actually, God bless the rest of us. for we will be the ones who really need those blessings.


  1. I love this post! It's true- WE are the ones who need the blessings.

  2. love this. my daughter leah has some physical handicaps and goes to school with a few girls who have down syndrome and they are the sweetest things i've ever met. ever. i can't think of anyone else i would rather have her spending her time with every weekday morning. i once heard that these sweet spirits will one day receive clarity of mind and stand as character witnesses of all who associated with them one day. i don't know if it's true or not, but it makes sense...and makes me want to treat every person with love and respect.