Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sweet Daniel...

I have been very fortunate in my career to have met many interesting people. Some of these people have forever changed my world. Daniel is one of these people. I have known Daniel since he was nine. He came into the shop and hopped right into my chair. He would always greet me with, "Hi, Beautiful!" He had no inhibitions and was as friendly and energetic as he could be. Daniel always sees the world so innocently, and he shows you what's really important. His sweetness is infectious. He has this wit that will make you shriek with enjoyment. Daniel is always so funny. Sometimes, I can't really tell if he is joking or serious.

You see, Daniel has Down Syndrome. His mother Gaye had no idea he would be born that way. It was an unexpected shock. She had four healthy children, and assumed he would be as well. I often wonder why God gives certain people these trials or lessons in life. Then I meet someone like Daniel and his family and I know why. They teach us how to be brave, strong, and uninhibited. They teach us faith, hope and love.

Gaye is one of my favorite people. She is so unselfish, kind, gentle, and funny. Her patience is to be admired. I love to watch the magic between her and Daniel. He is a constant joy in her life, as well as his family's.

He would always talk about his job, about his week, what car he would get when he grew up, and about his dreams. He was especially entranced by Margo. She was the girl for him, he was sure of it! Well, Margo is a friend of the family and lives out of town. For years he would talk about her. I thought it would be a fleeting romance. I learned all about Margo, always inquiring about his calls or letters. Although I had never met her, I knew that she was genuinely loving and kind. My Daniel was in love with her.

Well, he decided to ask her to prom. When I heard this, my heart dropped. I was so fearful that the rejection would kill him--that he wouldn't be able to deal with her answer. I remember asking many questions about his intention. "Why her?" He was very matter of fact and stated that she was beautiful and he loved her. He thought maybe she would marry him one day. Okay, now I was nervous. I didn't want him to get hurt. I thought he needed to be protected.

I secretly talked to his mom. Did Margo know just how much Daniel was enamored with her? She informed me that Margo did know and that she wasn't sure how it would go, but that he really wanted to do this. O.K., if she was sure!

I automatically assumed she would say no. She would have no time in her busy life to fulfill his dream. Well, my fears were unfounded! Margo said yes! She went to prom with Daniel. She lit up his world! She gave him the most unselfish gift a person could give--her time. Daniel will hold that memory, like a fairy tale, for eternity!


Diane Hobaugh said...

Hi There Lori,

Not only are you aware of the beauty you see in life, but you have been inspired by what you saw in Daniel. I know how important people like you are in the life of a child. My six-year-old daughter has Down syndrome and she lights up people's lives just talking to them in a grocery store. I am on a wonderful journey with her.


Leslie said...

This is such a wonderful story. I know a few DS children, and they are the most loving, free spirited happy people I have ever encountered!!!
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