Recently, I posted a picture of my son, Jon, who has Down syndrome standing with Tom Brady. We New Englander’s think of him as the NFL’s best quarterback. While there may be debate on that subject don’t have it with Jon. You will not win.
While where the picture was taken is not critical to this post, it was taken shortly after Jon hit the ceremonial first tee shot at the Best Buddies Hyannis Port Challenge golf tournament in early June.
A few days after the picture appeared on Facebook, I delighted in seeing that there were 119 likes and 15 comments. I read each comment several times and I looked at each person who indicated “like” and remembered how they were in my life.
This is what I found out:
I went to public school with 14 of you in Swampscott, Massachusetts.
I went to college with 11 people.
My friends and acquaintances made up 20 individuals.
My family came in at 8.
Neighbors were 7.
Friends and parents of both my kids were counted at 18.
Over 22 are from the disability community.
At least 15 were work colleagues
Four are people who are paid to be in Jon’s life.
My Facebook friends are from down the street and from many states and from two foreign countries (Israel and Denmark). Some of you I have known most of my life and others of you I have met along the journey of life. But, each and every person who took a fraction of a second to “like” the picture and those who wrote a positive comment are part of my support system.
Thank you. When you “like” a picture or an update on Jon, whether you intended it or not, you are sending me a strong and positive message. Your “like” or “comment” means you get it. It’s a “high five” or a warm hug. You are telling me that you celebrate the good days with me and want to comfort me in the days when the struggle returns. While it has been 35 years of joy on this remarkable journey in the world of disability, there are days when I need your love and support and Facebook brings it to me.
Parenting a child with a disability is a marathon, not a sprint and I want to thank you all for running with me.