The Buddy Walk is not just about increasing awareness about Down syndrome. It is also about celebrating Down syndrome and uniting together to show support, love, and acceptance. The unification of family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors.
This year, Ellie Bear's Entourage had 11 team walkers and raised $550. (Thanks to those who participating and donated!) Our team was made up of adults and children, friends and neighbors. It was a blast. . . except for the moment when the bouncy house collapsed, but that is another story.
Many of you have likely read the poem Welcome To Holland by Emily Perl Kingsley. There is a follow-up to the poem called Celebrating Holland and I would like to share it with you along with some photos from Sunday's Buddy Walk.
|Ack! The walk hadn't even started yet and Bear pulled out her ribbons.|
by Cathy Anthony
I have been in
for over a decade now. It has become home. Holland
I have had time to catch my breath, to settle and adjust, to accept something different than I'd planned.
|There is nothing like the love between father and daughter.|
I reflect back on those years of past when I had first landed in
I remember clearly my shock, my fear, my anger - the pain and uncertainty.
In those first few years, I tried to get back to
as planned, but Italy was where I was to stay. Today, I can say how far I have come on this unexpected journey. Holland
I have learned so much more. But, this too has been a journey of time.
I worked hard. I bought new guidebooks.
I learned a new language and I slowly found my way around this new land.
I have met others whose plans had changed like mine, and who could share my experience. We supported one another and some have become very special friends.
Some of these fellow travelers had been in
longer than I and were seasoned guides, assisting me along the way. Many have encouraged me. Many have taught me to open my eyes to the wonder and gifts to behold in this new land. Holland
|Bounce Bounce Bouncy House|
I have discovered a community of caring.
wasn't so bad. Holland
I think that
is used to wayward travelers like me and grew to become a land of hospitality, reaching out to welcome, to assist and to support newcomers like me in this new land. Over the years, I've wondered what life would have been like if I'd landed in Holland as planned. Italy
Would life have been easier? Would it have been as rewarding? Would I have learned some of the important lessons I hold today?
Sure, this journey has been more challenging and at times I would (and still do) stomp my feet and cry out in frustration and protest.
is slower paced than Holland and less flashy than Italy , but this too has been an unexpected gift. Italy
I have learned to slow down in ways too and look closer at things, with a new appreciation for the remarkable beauty of
with its tulips, windmills and Rembrandts. Holland
|Sometimes you just have to "taste" your tutu.|
I have come to love
and call it Home. Holland
I have become a world traveler and discovered that it doesn't matter where you land.
What's more important is what you make of your journey and how you see and enjoy the very special, the very lovely, things that
, or any land, has to offer. Holland
Yes, over a decade ago I landed in a place I hadn't planned. Yet I am thankful, for this destination has been richer than I could have imagined!
|Why yes, those are indeed skulls on her socks. That's my Bear, rocking in her tutu and skulls.|