Thursday, 21 March 2013

Gift of JOY!

Today, March 21, is the 8th year of World Down Syndrome Day.

I was walking in our hotel lobby when I came across a banner which has a familiar face. I stopped and read the name of the event. "World Down Syndrome Day". How can I not know this?! Then I suddenly miss my sister.

We call our youngest sister, Joy. Even when she was still in our mom's womb, we knew that JOY would be her name. When she was born, some of our relatives were disappointed because of Joy's condition. But for us, Joy is perfect. 

We have our pet names. They call me Bjate (mixture of Ate and Jackie), Jenny is called Binene and Joy is Bjoyoy.

that's Bjate carrying Bjoyoy and Binene sitting.
When we grew older, I became very protective of Joy. Being the eldest sister, I made sure that nobody and I mean nobody would look down on my sister just because she has down syndrome. It came to a point that Joy felt awkward to go out with us. It happened one Sunday morning. We are about to leave our house to attend Sunday Mass when Joy locked herself in our room. I was a bit irritated because  I don't want to miss the mass. I was knocking on the door and convincing Joy to come out. Joy started crying and shouted "Nakakahiya ako!" (I am an embarrassment). Hearing those words broke my heart. Never in my life that I felt embarrassed of having a sister like Joy. I am proud of her. Since then, if I see people staring at Joy, I turn around and say "Baket? Ngayon lang kayo nakakita ng may down syndrome?" (Why? Is this the first time you see someone with down syndrome?) I may sound rude but this is the only way that I can protect my sister and show her that I am proud of her.

Now, Joy loves to go to the mall. She's also kikay! She loves going to salon and spa. She likes facial, manicure and foot spa. Our baby is now a lady. 

I believe that public awareness about this condition is very important. I had firsthand experience and people can be judgmental. So if you want to know more about Down Syndrome, click here.
Bjoyoy, you're so KYOOT!

Dear Bjoyoy,

Don't you ever think that you are less of a person because of your condition because you are one of the greatest blessings God has given our family. Some people do not understand what you have that's why they judge, let them be. What's important is that we love you. Mommy, Binene and Bjate love you so much. Please stay strong and healthy for us and please forgive Bjate whenever I scold you for disobeying Mommy or fighting with Binene. Be a good girl, okay? Drink your medicine and don't miss your doctor's appointment. 

Bjate misses you and Bjate is proud of you.


August 2012


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