December 22, 2018
Departure from Istanbul to Morocco, as the sun was setting, was extra special, as the plane flying in the same direction of the sunset, extended the wonderful colours in the sky for an hour or more, until long last the speed of Earth’s rotation, outpaced the speed of flight of the plane.
As we left Istanbul, I thought of a singing dancing donkey (Magare) I had bought there at Thanksgiving 2013, for my bother-in-law from Macedonia, Rade. As those thoughts were passing I saw a teenage girl with her mother, very affectionate, cuddling and smiling. This girl and my brother-in-law, had something in common, that I could tell just by their features, their extra, was an extra chromosome, that made their lives special for them and those related or associated with them. This extra chromosome is not limited to any one culture, people or place, it is shared throughout the world, as are the traits.
The teen girl with the extra chromosome, also known as Down’s Syndrome. Showed great affection and support to her mother during the 5+ hour journey. Cuddling with her mom, as she slept. Getting her mother’s food tray in position as the food came and waking her mother in time for dinner. Such a nice young lady helping her mom, and showing empathy when her mom, suffered from a headache. As they left the plane the 17 year old daughter led the way, as they went to the next plane on their journey. So often we think people who are different are not capable of things we are, but in many ways, they show they are, and in some ways not only capable but more empathetic.
My experience with people with Downs Syndrome, has exceeded my expectations, whether it be a friend’s (Nancy Johnson) son Aaron, who owns a town theatre in Nevada, the people I worked with when I was with the Department of Developmental Disabilities in Arizona, or my brother-in-law Rade, who has since passed. Yes they have their challenges and need assistance, but no matter their culture they seem to make use of the extra chromosome to brighten the life’s of the people who share theirs.
For me, adding a little bit of that sunset light to my life.
While she was more mature and capable than one would imagine, we were able to remember our child life like life’s as we were entertained by Charlie Chaplin, Tom and Jerry, and The Tasmanian Devil, which was our flight’s entertainment package.