Monday, November 12, 2018

They Were Happy He Didn't Have Down Syndrome

Beth is our oldest and when I got pregnant with Sharaya a lot of people asked me if that was the wisest choice since we had Beth to take care of. What if this baby has Down Syndrome too? I had never really thought it but but we just told them that if this baby had Down Syndrome, then we'd know what to expect. We really weren't concerned about it either way. 

Now, I will admit that when Sharaya was born, the first thing I asked Chuck was, "Does she have Down Syndrome?" When he said no, it was such a huge relief. But we didn't live our lives like that, thinking Beth was a burden and she made our lives so hard... she was just Beth. One of our three girls. (How Chuck survived all those years I'll never know!)

Beth was Beth and that was that. We lived our lives. We've never been easily offended, or hurt when someone said an insensitive comment. We've just never taken that stuff personally.

So I was really surprised the other night when I heard a testimony at church from J who said a friend had been told her unborn baby had Down Syndrome and 2 holes in his heart. But after family and friends prayed, the baby was born perfectly healthy. No holes and no Down Syndrome!

The church exploded in praise and cheers. And I sat there thinking, "Wait a second." I was clapping too but something just wasn't right. For the first time in over 34 years, I felt... Well I don't exactly know what I felt. It was this odd feeling down in my heart.

It was such a real feeling too, kind of a mixture of sadness and isolation and shock. It's really hard to explain it.

Like you've just heard your best friends taking bad about you behind your back.

"Is this what you've thought all this time? Is this how you all really feel?!" 

It was like they were so excited he wasn't gonna be like Beth. But all these years I thought you all liked Beth?!

She's grown up there, attended for 30 years and all that time she's been the only person with Down Syndrome. And at that moment, when everyone cheered because he wouldn't be like Beth, I suddenly felt so isolated.  

But I was telling Chuck it wasn't so much about their reaction to the news about the little baby, but that feeling I had. That very real, first-time-in-my-life isolating feeling.

What was that? And why would I feel that way now, after all these years? Stuff like this has never bothered me before, why now?

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Yay!! We Have Internet Again!!

Just before Chuck left for work Monday morning our power went out. I'm SO glad it happened when it did cause just a few minutes later and he would have already gone to work. 

Thankfully he came in and woke me up and when we both went out to the living room we realize it was awfully bright for us having no power! Well there were two utility trucks parked by our house and they were actually blocking our driveway.

 Beth is afraid of the dark so in just a matter of seconds she was coming up the stairs, with a scared, frustrated tone in her voice, "My light went off!" "Yeah, Beth they're working on the power pole out front."

 Chuck headed to work and I got out some candles. Even though it wasn't even 5:00 yet, I knew we were up for the day! Beth crawled into Chuck's chair and ended up falling back asleep while I ate breakfast and got ready for work.

By the time I got ready to leave the sun was coming up. I woke Beth up to tell her goodbye and I know she doesn't like to be home alone in the dark so I opened the blinds to the backyard so she could see it was actually morning. She said a very surprised "Oh!"  so I knew it was okay to leave her.

By the time we got home, a new power pole had been put in and our electricity was back on, but we had no cable or internet. I was kinda shocked that PUD would just cut all those lines, restore their own and then drive away!

When Chuck called to get our internet and cable restored he was told we could make an appointment and they could come out later in the week. Seriously?! So Wednesday the Xfinity tech came out and sat in his truck for the longest time. I had a meeting to go to at work and when I went out to my car, that's when he got out and told me they probably wouldn't restore it that day because our street is just too busy to string lines across. I brought him inside to talk with Chuck and I went to work.

He promised they would come out at 2AM and restore everything then. I happened to wake up at 3:45 (this morning) and they still hadn't been here. Chuck called again and they finally came out this afternoon.

In the meantime, I called PUD and asked them why on earth they would just replace a power pole at 5:00 in the morning with no warning?! She assured me they would never do that and when I told her I had pictures to prove it, she put me on hold. When she came back on she told me that there had been an accident in front of our house early Monday morning and a car had run into the pole. So in an emergency situation, they just replace the pole without any notice.

I accepted her answer, you know of course these things happen but I realize now, they still should have put a note on our door AND let us know all the lines they had disconnected so we knew exactly who we needed to call to get everything restored.

And then this afternoon, while Xfinity was here, the guy insisted our land line was not with them, it had to be with a different carrier, the line hanging down in front of our big picture window was not theirs... when in fact, it IS theirs!! Grrr! Chuck even confirmed it when he got home so I know I wasn't going crazy trying to convince this guy! 

So now we have to call them back out... what a bizarre week this has been!    

Sunday, November 4, 2018

We Voted, Did You?

Whenever there's an election, we always sit down with Beth and help her fill out her ballot.

Now, we don't tell her how to vote, we just help her understand the issues. This week her and I sat down at the kitchen table and she watched me as I opened my envelope, then she copied me exactly. We tore off the tab at the top and I got the Voting Pamphlet. 

I read the issues out loud, then explain it to her in a way she'll understand. Which honestly helps me too! Some of those propositions can be really complicated, "Vote No if you want it to pass, Vote Yes if you want it to fail." Wait, what?! So I read them carefully and try my best to help her understand exactly what's being said.

We were glad to see the new way they have us vote here in WA State, by filling in the circle instead of just making a line. Beth loves to color!

I read the paragraph, then fill in my ballot and she fills in hers, then we move on to the next one. It takes a long time but we want to make sure she really understands what she's voting for or against.

Then we sign our ballots and put them in the envelope! Chuck and I always sign hers as witnesses because one time they let us know hers wouldn't be accepted because her signature wasn't exactly the same as it was the time before. So now we just sign them too and it's always counted. Then we lick the envelopes (Eewww gross! Why can't they make those things taste a little better?) and we're good to go!

And in case you're wondering, she did vote differently than I did on a few issues. 😲 😊