In my first week, I received several emails about the passing of several people we supported. I was struck by the way the people were portrayed as gifted, talented and loved. I was reminded of a family story. I grew up as the oldest of 9 children. And the first older kid that I looked up to was my cousin, Joanne. She was a few years ahead and me in school. And they handed down some very nice winter coats to me! Hand me downs in those days, in our family, were really great gifts! She also was kind to me, showed me her school work and talked to me about being one of the “big” kids. She was not very healthy. Her lips were a little blue and my grandmother warned me that she really was very ill. And not too long after, she died suddenly. Years would pass before I learned that she had Down’s syndrome.
It is good to remember that we are people first, gifted people first! It is good to be inspired by those gifts every day.