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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Purposefulness (Purpose in Life) (05/25/06)

TITLE: Sarah
By Debbie Wistrom
05/30/06


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When you count birthdays, Sarah is 19 years old. When you look at her with an eye from the academic world, she is a 2nd grader. In her cognitive abilities, Sarah is between 8 and 10. Sarah has Down’s Syndrome and is a full participant in the world around her. Sarah knows no stranger.

There are no gray areas for Sarah. Everything must be done the way it is supposed to be done. She is blessed to have the family she was born into. A mother and father totally committed to keeping her at home with them. Grandparents who freely give of their help, love and support. No thoughts were ever given to sending her away. “She will be a little girl forever” is something her mother has said. Sarah was home schooled and was a student like any other, not always wanting to complete an assignment. Sarah is a true and constant reminder of the innocence of children. Praying at mealtime is just part of the routine, no matter who is eating or where the meal takes place.

Sarah has the courage to face the trials in her life, but is terribly afraid of storms. Just the sight of big cottony clouds makes her point to the sky with grave concern. Mom doesn’t get much sleep during stormy nights.

When talking with Sarah, one has to listen purposefully. She is deliberate and knows exactly she wants to say or ask. Even after thirteen years of speech therapy, Sarah struggles with being able to form the words her mind wants to say. When very excited, stuttering becomes a bit of a bother for her. But she is purposeful and while she gets frustrated she never gives up.

A memory of Sarah’s doggedness is from a time when the farmer’s market vendors would get together after closing. We had prayed and had received our food. Sarah asked if I wanted a bite of her hamburger. I declined as I had my own meal. Big mistake! “MOM, Debbie won’t share!!” To this day, when she offers me a bite of something, which is often, I accept. Sharing goes both ways, you can tell when she wants to try a taste of yours. Especially if there is ranch dressing involved, Sarah is a “ranch hound”.

While reading and writing are daunting tasks, she will pour over a menu, usually just to concede to what her mom wants her to eat.

Watching movies, playing Mario, and riding her bike are some of her favorite pastimes, but her determination is at full speed when she wants to stay with Grandma and Grandpa. She often tries to negotiate to get her way. Structure is ensured because her parents build time into their busy lives to give Sarah opportunities to do those things. Even as strong-willed as she is, sometimes she has to vacuum first.

Another past time she engages in, especially when out in public is pretending. Sometime it’s pirates and other times, you just don’t know what she is doing being sneaky. She doesn’t quite get the concept of teasing, even though she loves to take men’s ball caps from them. She loves to tickle and is getting better about being on the receiving end. Sarah loves men, especially policemen. The uniform is a magnet for her. Some of the officers in town know her and anticipate her approaches, as she is not shy. Some are so good and talk with her. Other big attention getters are little kids and small animals; she loves playing with her dog Molly.

Free with hugs and a greeting for all, Sarah has touched my heart and has helped me grow.


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This article has been read 739 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Virginia Gorg06/02/06
This is a sweet, well-written article. Have you considered writing as if it's Sarah telling the story? "Hi, I'm Sarah ....." I really wanted to read more :)
Ladonna Sweet06/03/06
This was a a very nice story, I have a multi hanicaed brother whom my parents have kept at home for 27 years. So I know what it is like. They really teach you alot. Nicley written keep up the good work.
Alfreda Byars06/05/06
I loved reading about Sarah, she's someone I would like to know. I thought your story was very well done.
Shari Armstrong 06/05/06
What a great family! Sarah is a treasure. Just a few minor things to edit (I noticed a missing word -"She is deliberate and knows exactly (what) she wants to say or ask." and some punctuation-all easy fixes) and this would be great for a magazine that provides support for families with special needs kids. I LOVED her concept of sharing :)
Tim Pickl02/21/08
Thank you for sharing about Sarah... it reminds me of John 9:1-3 (NIV) -- 1 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"
3 "Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.