My Favorite Picture
When I took back the old family photographs from my niece a year and a half ago so I could organize, label, and attempt to preserve them, it was an added bonus that I was able to scan them so that my oldest brother and I could have copies of them as well. That "added bonus" turned out to be a very special gift, as I have abundant pleasure at having all of them. Alas, there is always a favorite picture, it seems, and the above is mine. This is Marianne McHugh, born in 1930 in Nanticoke, Luzerne County, PA. Marianne was the oldest surviving child of my father's mother and was born with Down Syndrome. The story is told that the baby doll she is holding was given to her on the day she was born and was laid to rest with her when she died in 1978 in Niagara Falls, NY. She lived to a ripe old age for a person with Down Syndrome born in the 1930's. My mother also had an aunt, Anna Doyle, who was born with Down Syndrome in 1909.
I will always have a special place in my heart for people with Down Syndrome. I believe they are among the most loving, affectionate, good-hearted people ever created. They can be a very simplistic people, and, while we spend so much time and energy trying to teach them to succeed in a complex world, it is truly "us" who have much to learn from them.