Welcome everyone, it seems like it was yesterday for my last post and it was months ago already! Gabe, Lottie, and Maggie have grown up so much since my last post and of course Vince has been born and is six months old! Crazy how time flies! Gabe continues to add more phrases each day, he and I had a conversation the other night on how his day went. I wanted to share with you the wonderful and emotional experience I had while traveling. I was on a plane at 37,000 feet, about two hours into the flight, I got up to walk around and as I was a standing up a gentleman asked to read the back of my shirt. I was wearing one of our Down syndrome Love shirts with the definition on the back (found here), and after he finished reading the back of my shirt, I knew instantly that he was a strong and proud father of a wonderful child with Down syndrome. Over the next few minutes I had the honor and pleasure of talking with him about his family’s journey with Down syndrome and the ups and downs they had been recently experiencing. I learned they have a wonderful little girl who is the same age as Gabe. As I continued to listen to his story and began to understand everything he and his family had been through, I was inspired by their little girl’s determination to live. Their precious little girl had conquered various serious health issues and defeated them all with a smile on her face. Learning about the difficult battles they have fought and won was life changing. It was a reminder to me how lucky Kristie and I have been with Gabe's health.
Because I was wearing a specific t-shirt on a specific day at 37,000 feet, my life has been forever changed. I'll never forget that conversation. I want to thank this gentleman for taking the time to talk to me on the plane as we headed toward Florida. My life is forever better from learning about his experiences. The purpose for Gabe the Babe and Co is to promote Down syndrome awareness, but most importantly it is to bring us all together. It is to supply all of us the catalysts we need to have conversations with strangers. These strangers are just friends we haven’t met yet, they are individuals who we can relate to and they have a similar perspective on the world that we as parents of children with Down syndrome have. We all know it is an emotional roller coaster raising children and it is the greatest ride of our lives. There will never be a greater feeling in the world than watching my children grow up and conquer challenge after challenge. The time, dedication, and pure effort it sometimes takes for Gabe to accomplish a task demonstrates Gabe's true character and how determined he is to win in the game of life.