I sit here, rocking you, staring into your beautiful two-toned, almond-shaped eyes. I see so many stories through your eyes. I can remember the time in the hospital when you were hooked to tubes and wires and you had multiple machines pumping medicine into you. I remember you fighting to move your body, your mouth making a dry painful soft noise as a machine continued to breathe for you. I remember looking into your eyes. I remember seeing pain and suffering and I remember you looking at me telling me "Mom, please help me, make it go away." I remember feeling so helpless for you, I remember wanting to scoop you up out of that bed and hold you. I remember wanting to take the pain away, but remembering this is your lot and this was your battle to fight. I remember telling you I would hold you when I could and I would never leave your side. Those eyes, were tired and worn and exhausted. They showed pain and looked helpless. But you never lost your spirit, you never lost your fight and through it all, your eyes always had a twinkle of life in them.
As painful as some of those memories are to relive when I look into your eyes, they strengthen me and give me hope. Your eyes tell a joyful wonderful story of pain and sorrow, but of overcoming, of never losing hope. I love the beautiful stories your eyes have to tell. I love the twinkle that your eyes hold no matter what the struggle is for you.
I remember hearing of your diagnosis and reading more about it. One of the main physical characteristics of Down syndrome are eyes. They say that children, adults, people with Down syndrome will have almond shaped eyes. They say it like it is a bad thing. They say these eyes will define you, will let someone know that you have Down syndrome just by looking at you. These almond-shaped eyes will be a tell tale sign. I read of many moms and dads who don't like the almond-shaped eyes because they don't like what that means for their life, their future.
Looking back, I have to say that they were in part right. Your eyes do define you in many ways. I personally like the almond-shaped look on your face, it fits you just right. But looking into your eyes I see so much more. I see the stories you are yet to communicate, I see the battle wounds that you carry with you, I see the hope that you give to so many people, I see the love that you have for everyone you meet, I see the beauty that God created just for you. And through your eyes, the stories that you are telling, I get to see a whole new perspective on life. I am the blessed one because of those almond-shaped eyes. But sometimes it is looking beyond the physical appearance and looking right into those eyes and the stories that they tell.
When I am sad, you look directly into my eyes, lay your sweet head on my shoulder and gently caress my arm. You see stories in my eyes too. Without saying a word you communicate a love, a story, a passion, a gentleness to me. You understand me in a way that no one else does because you see something no one else can see. I truly believe that you see the soul of a person because you are not concerned by things of this world, by outward appearances, by what others tell you.
When I am struggling, when I am exhausted, when I feel worn, you look at me with such compassion and strength and tell me a story. You remind me that I am strong because He gives me strength. You remind me what faith can do, it can move mountains. You remind me how important hope is. You remind me of miracles. And most importantly, you remind me of the little stuff, the simple stuff, the most important stuff. You remind of love and not just any kind, the sacrificial love of Christ.
When I start to wonder how will I ever make it through? When I start to wonder why? When I start to get angry because people just don't understand? When I see the ignorance of people and their unwillingness to accept differences. When I start to doubt why I was given this long journey. When I start to feel alone and cry. When I feel like I just cannot go on. When I feel like no one understands. I look into your eyes. I see the stories that you have to tell, I remember the overcomer that you are, and I remember what God has done for me, I am once again filled with the strength that I need. I remember it is all because of your almond-shaped eyes.
When I look into your eyes and see how joyful you are and how full of life you are, it gives me comfort and peace. No matter how tough this journey has been or will get, we can overcome any obstacle that is put in our way. You have overcome so much, you have shown just how mighty and powerful our God is. With faith, hope, and perseverance we are tested, shaped and molded to be more like Christ. And your almond-shaped eyes remind me that the journey is not mine, it is not the one I planned. Things will not go the way that I want them to, the outcomes will most likely not be the ones I prayed for. However, they will be God's perfect plan, just as He gave you to me.
When the world would like to say that your almond-shaped eyes are a defect, I look into them and say they are perfect. They were created in the image of Christ, perfect and whole. So while someone may look at you and think something horrendous or be completely ignorant, I see the stories and the strength and the love that your eyes hold. You are teaching me, dear child, to look through life with a different lens. Personally, I like how the world looks through almond-shaped eyes so much better than what it looks like through oval-shaped ones.