Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Looking Through Old Photos.

The year was 1956 I think, when my mother at the age of 47 ..I think, gave birth to her sixth child.
He was a "surprise" baby. Mum was already a grandmother.
I was twelve and I was ashamed that my mother was "expecting" at the same time as my older married sister.
I told my best friend Ruth that my sister was having her second baby.
I didn't tell her my mother was having a baby too!

When Peter Quentin was born a dark cloud descended.
I listened all ears to adult discussions and heard my father say
the baby was "a mongol".

My little sister Linda was his champion. To Linda he was nothing but her adored little brother.
He was late to walk and Linda lumped him around on her hip.

Peter was knocked down and killed by a car on a pedestrian crossing at the age of 24.
We have many memories of his life and the funny things he did, the music he loved and the impact he had on our lives.
All he asked was to be treated with love and respect and he gave it back in return a hundredfold.

After having my own sons I returned to teaching and became involved in special education.
It was my privilege to know and teach many children with Down's Syndrome.
They are amongst the loveliest people I've known.
How different it would be today if a child with Down's Syndrome came into my family.
Personally there would be no dark cloud at all,
because I would know that here is a little person full of potential and love just waiting to be loved and accepted just the way they are.

Little sister Linda and little brother Peter Quentin.
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  1. I remember Peter as being full of love.

  2. An attractive blog and a touching story. My almost-3-year-old granddaughter and the 5-year-old Down Syndrome child of my next door neighbor are great friends.

    Isn't Hundertwasser Village great? Did you get to the Kunsthauswien?

  3. How touching your story is here of your brother, Peter, and his short life. Life has changed so much for the better in accepting folks for whoever they are in the past 50 years. One of my rewarding moments in life was handing out diplomas and shaking the hands of students graduating from high school, a good number of them with Downs Syndrome. As a former teacher and board of education member, I felt that we were finally, truly educating all children. Thank you for this heartfelt piece.

  4. brought tears to my eyes, thank you for sharing this story of your brother and how attitudes have shifted towards people with Downs