Today’s post is just a personal post. Since my dad died last Fall, I have found myself to be much more reflective and so many memories that were deeply filed away in my mind have found their way to my consciousness.
The picture to the left is a picture of my two sisters and myself. While I don’t know the exact date, it was probably taken about two years before my older sister died due to complications from Down’s Syndrome. She was just nine years old at the time of her death.
When my sister, Donna was born, the doctor encouraged my mom and dad to institutionalize her. The doctor thought my mom and dad were young and didn’t need to be “burdened” with a Down’s Syndrome child. My mom and dad summarily dismissed his recommendation, brought her home, and loved her until her death just nine short years later.
I was three years old when my sister Donna died. Thus my memories are pretty sketchy. But from what I have been told, my sister really loved me. After all, she was a 7-9 year old girl and I was a “living” doll with which she could play.
Growing up in my family, I was very aware that I had an older sister who died as a child, but I was too young to grasp the depth of the loss. Now that I am a parent of four children, I can better understand the depth of pain and loss my parents must have experienced. When each of my four children turned nine years of age, I contemplated what it would be like to lose them which made my heart break for my mom and dad.
Not too long ago, while talking with a lady from TN, I discovered she had a brief video of my parents and my sister on 8mm film. Of course, I wanted a copy of that clip, no matter how long or short it was. So this lady actually had it copied to a DVD for me, and I presented it to my parents.
For those of you who remember Donna, and for those of you who know my parents, you might find the following video interesting. This video was recorded in 1959, making my mom and dad 25 and 26 years old at the time.
As I watch this video, here are a few thoughts that come to my mind.
- While I miss my dad, I’m happy to know that he is able to be with his daughter, Donna.
- I know that a person’s value is not measured in what they accomplish in life, but by in whose image they are made. Due to Donna’s mental shortcomings, she would have never been “normal,” but she was made in the image of God; her innocence was a daily reflection of God, and she taught others to love like God.
- I know that the imperfection in Donna’s body wasn’t nearly as glaring or noticeable as the imperfections in the souls of many “normal” people.