Saturday, October 1, 2011

Uncle Roy

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month. I'm going to share a lot of special people this month, but it seemed most appropriate to start by sharing my Uncle Roy with you. When I was a little girl and my parents would load us (me and my four sisters) in the family station-wagon and drive us five hours to my Grandma's house, one of the things I looked forward to most was seeing my Uncle Roy. Uncle Roy is one of the most fun people I know. He always had time to play and he told us all about how he would be a lawyer when he grew up. Uncle Roy was probably well into his twenty's, but I didn't know he wasn't going to be a lawyer or that he was already a grown-up. I'm writing about Uncle Roy, because he sports that extra special Chromosome. He was the first person I knew and loved with Down Syndrome. He's a large part of the reason we're on this journey, today.
This is Uncle Roy when we visited with him this past December. This picture reminds me of one of my favorite things about Uncle Roy, he's passionate about everything he loves! He loves the Tarheels and the Carolina Panthers and JESUS! I don't know anyone else who shares Jesus with the abandon that Uncle Roy does. He lives to tell people that Jesus loves them and God is Lord! He sits on the front row of his church and worships with everything he has. He just LOVES, plain and simple. He gives the biggest hugs (you have to remind him that you'd like to breath, again, at some point). When we were kids he'd tickle us until we thought we were going to pass out and a grown-up would finally intervene. He's just fun!

Uncle Roy's not as playful as he was when I was a kid, but he still loves kids. He enjoys just hanging out with my kids when we visit and they look forward to seeing him.
 Eli is playing a computer game while Uncle Roy splits his time between watching Eli and watching the ball game.
Here's Julie and Eli getting one of those big hugs. Uncle Roy gave them cards with a little bit of money in them. He knows how to give good gifts. He's generous to a fault and my Grandma (his Mom) has to reign him in sometimes.

Speaking of my Grandma, she is one amazing lady. Without her, our family would have missed the blessing that is Uncle Roy. 50 plus years ago, when Uncle Roy made his entry into our world, the doctor's wanted my Grandma to put him into an institution. They told her he would not live past age 2 (I'm sure he wouldn't have in an institution). She told them she was taking her son home. You see, Uncle Roy is the youngest brother to 7 older brothers and sisters. Grandma knew and shared with the doctor that the best thing for any child was to be loved and they certainly had enough love for Roy. So, she took him home. The entire family loved him, nurtured him and watched him grow into a young man who achieved so much more than those doctor's ever dreamed for him. Uncle Roy graduated high school and worked bagging groceries at the local grocery store for awhile. He reads some and studies his Word and just gives so much to the world by simply being who he is.

What would she have missed? What could we have missed? My heart can't even think about it. People with Down Syndrome are a blessing; a blessing that every family deserves! I couldn't think of a better way to start Down Syndrome Awareness Month, than to share the person who started our family's love of people with Down Syndrome. Uncle Roy will leave a legacy of love when he leaves this world (which will be a long time from now). He will leave that legacy in my sons, Joseph and Samuel, who are coming home because we know the JOY that comes from loving someone with Down Syndrome. Uncle Roy has changed the world and I hate to think how different the world would have been without him...

Thanks for letting me share my heart and my Uncle Roy with you! I hope you were blessed by who he is and by the love we have for him. I enjoyed sharing.

In the words of another young man with down syndrome: "Live Life Big...Love Someone with Down Syndrome!" Your life will never be the same.



  1. i love it! mandy a truly wonderful post. xxxxxx

  2. Thank you for sharing your Uncle Ray with us. My oldest son Jimmy has Ds and will be 25 next month. It makes me smile to read about adults with Ds who are his age or older. You are blessed and I am praying for your adoption. I am a prayer warrior for little Isaac.:)

  3. Thanks, Amy and Jane. Uncle Roy is so popular! He'll probably be making another appearance here on the blog this month. Blessings!