I was talking to a friend last night about how this English summer, despite bountiful nimbo-stratus clouds hovering, has been quite memorable so far. I then remembered the last summer I spent in Manila before moving to the UK. My days were spent playing with my sister and my niece, exchanging childlike trickery and learning about the wild adventures of an explorer called Dora and a purple dino called Barney; my nights were spent with old and new friends, talking shop and making promises of never drifting apart over sunrise, good food and awesome tunes. Overall, one of the best summers I’ve had.
It was also one of the scariest summers for the following reasons: a friend and I almost died – thrice; an old love resurrected and the timing was off because I was newly single; my cynicism for all things love-related went above par; I was about to embark on a new life on the other side of the world, leaving family/friends behind; and lastly, while my peers seemed so settled/sure about everything I still didn’t really know what my purpose was. It was all happening, but it wasn’t happening at all. Go figure.
That said, the most memorable – and by far the scariest – moment that summer was the time I dropped my baby sister. Surely most of us have been dropped as kids before (I’ve been dropped twice as a baby by both my grandmothers, one of them rolling down a flight of stairs and landing on my head) but my sister has Down Syndrome (DS) and had hypotonic muscles so we were all extra careful of her. Anyway, she came out unbruised (thank God!) but that cry-fest afternoon felt like an epiphany of all sorts. It made me realise that one of my life goals is to protect her and to protect people who have DS too. I hope I get to serve my purpose soon.
Years on, K’s become a healthy, happy, bright little girl who just lights up the room and makes everyone fall in love. Some of you would have seen me flaunting her photos across old blogs/sites. For the longest time, I’ve gushed everything K-related: her birth, her first birthday party, her big and small milestones, her impact on our family as people and as a solid unit. I hope she’s inspired you to learn more about DS and I hope she continues to inspire us to see the world differently and be better people.
Thank you also for your encouraging words, for being a part of her journey, for being a part of our family’s journey. Can you believe she’s eight years old now? Yeah, neither can I.