This weekend our family traveled to Greensboro for their 8th annual Buddy Walk supporting Down Syndrome Awareness (Buddy Walk National Organization). None of my family had ever attended a Buddy Walk before, so for all of us this would be a brand new experience, and for hubby and I it would be an emotional one. We started out our day meeting in the parking lot of our hotel with the rest of the family so that we could all "pin up"with our Team Rachel support pins that I had made and then to follow one another over. This is my SIL Kelly getting a squeeze off of the girl of the hour who because of a really bad cold seems to have her tongue out in almost every picture I took, HA
My Parents and brothers Ted and Jimmy
My second big cry of the day, I had my first one back at the hotel while getting ready, this one starts when I see the Welcome to the Buddy Walk sign. It's real and we are here, we are going to be at our first Down Syndrome event, we are going to be surrounded by other parents that have walked in our shoes, felt what we have felt, and have had the overwhelming feelings that we have. Each one of us handles our feelings in different ways but each one understands the silent language and welcomes the newest member with open arms, we are and extended family and this is our reunion. When we got to the parking lot I just stood at the back of the car hiding for a moment, finally David came around and said it was going to be OK, gave me a quick hug and said, "lets go".
Our Team Rachel ribbon, her colors (brown, pink and aqua). I simply took plane brown satin ribbon, pink harlequin glitter ribbon, and embroidered them together with an aqua R.
This is my brother Jimmy, my parents and my cousin Cynde
Both of the boys got painted like pirates, of course Jon said he wasn't a pirate he was "Davey's Mate"
Rachel had a bad cold and she fell asleep right after her lunch and just before the walk began . . . . . she slept through her very first Buddy Walk.:-(
My brother Jimmy and SIL Kelly
My funny Love takes a turn on the big slide
Jon being brave enough to try the climbing wall
David Jr. and his Dad on the larger climbing wall
OK this was a hard moment for me but also a joyful moment, it's one of those things that God gives us as parents. I felt so blessed to be standing there with such a beautiful little girl who is so healthy and has a bright future ahead of her. But I was also standing there at the beginning of our FIRST Buddy Walk . . . . . the first of what I know will be many. Excited that it was our first . . . . . but overwhelmed that it was the just the first of many years.
It was so amazing to look back over my shoulder and see my family supporting us and loving us through this moment. I have no doubt they will be there for Rachel and us for the many years ahead. The Buddy Walk is much more then finding awareness or being a part of a cause, it is about being a part of a family. On October 15th, we found ourselves in a park in the outskirts of Greensboro having a family fun day and walking to support our daughter's right to have the BRIGHTEST future that she wants to have.