Not long ago, I read an article that said, within a generation, there would be no more children born with Down Syndrome. If I recall correctly, it indicated that genetic advances would make this, and other disabilities non-existent. Although I can certainly understand that people would wish to avoid these physical and mental challenges, would it surprise you that this eventuality also makes me sad? It does.
I have a son with Down Syndrome. Colton is 26, almost 27. What a joy he is. Funny, loves music, an encyclopedic memory of music he’s heard or movies he’s seen are just a couple of his many positive attributes. He loves going anywhere dad goes. He holds the door open for ladies, takes the offering in church, and loves to go out to eat, and to karaoke. Sounds normal, right? I agree!
The older I get, the more I realize life has a “texture” we don’t always realize is there. This texture is a combination of all the parts of our lives. You’ve heard the old saying, “We are the sum total of all our parts”? It’s true. Colton adds texture to my life. He creates that which is nearly impossible to define. Without him, life would be….well, not as good! Not even close!
My point is, Colton doesn’t “take away”. He gives….adds….enhances. Children and adults with physical and mental challenges of all kinds do the same….they add! I so understand people’s motives for finding the “cure” for Down Syndrome or any of the other challenges life throws at us. What concerns me, though, is….what do we lose?
We will lose grace….humor….undiluted love….absolute loyalty. We wouldn’t be the same. It just isn’t possible. We will not be as good a people. I know I would never be as good a man without Colton. As a result, the US will have a hollow spot where these beautiful lives once were.
Better off? I don’t think so.
Joe Herman – Colorado blog writer. (It’s an honor to join Miriam!)