Here's a story that will break your heart, and then make it swell with admiration for the love and courage two brothers, ages 6 and 7, showed recently for their sisters who have Down Syndrome.
First the sad part. According to a video posted on YouTube, the Hollis family lives in Central Illinois. They have four children -- the two boys, and then two girls, who have Down Syndrome. One morning last year they woke up to find their cars and house had been vandalized with spray paint. Some of what the sickos wrote is "unprintable," but one statement really stuck out: "RETARDS (spelled wrong, ironically). Get Outta here."
It's hard to imagine what kind of a blow that was to this family. "That day changed my life forever," mom Ann Hollis wrote. To think that someone would be that senselessly cruel is depressing and infuriating. But then something beautiful happened.
The brothers wanted to do something to stick up for their sisters. So they asked their parents to help them make a video. Instead of lashing out or expressing outrage, however, they instead chose to go the way of education.
In it the boys adorably but powerfully use a series of hand-written cards to debunk some myths about Down Syndrome. They talk about all of the things their sisters CAN do. They say their sisters aren't ALWAYS happy, and they even manage to insert some humor. They end by asking everyone to go to R-word.org to sign a pledge to put an end to the "R-word."
They are wise beyond their years, as I think many children are when they live with a sibling with special needs. While there are certainly struggles that come with such a role, I think it also gives such children so much compassion and acceptance that will serve them well in life.
What do you think of this video?
Image via YouTube