I need MAJOR organization help, and it would be GREATLY appreciated.
This is a rather personal essay, but feel free to critique and correct, as I have to have it in by 12 tonight. Procrastination is truly the root of all evil.
"Mama, Maria's hitting me again!" The Korchagin household was shaken by the scream of my uncle. "Sasha, you are a grown man, you shouldn't whine. Stop it. Maria, don't hit your uncle." I hid behind my grandmother's skirt. My forty-year-old uncle was appalled by the finality of the robust woman's sentence. Grumbling as he always does when he is upset, the man went into the living room to watch news. Similar little scenes occurred every day until I was at least seven. It was difficult to grasp that my uncle wasn't normal; I loved him even though we fought, even though sometimes he acted more childish than I did. Down syndrome rendered him incapable of independence, a five year old trapped in the body of someone much older. Yet he helped raise me. I remember how he used to feed me and make me tea. We still talk regardless to how much of that conversation he can understand. Living with him has been a blessing, a gateway to tolerance. He has given me the gift of acceptance. By protecting him from those who refused to be kind, I have learned to stand up not only for myself, but also for others. He gives me strength.
You cannot judge a book by its cover. My uncle Sasha is a prime example of this. Grey-haired and wrinkled, he is missing one eye. He didn't loose it in a war or a fight, simply playing with another child who wasn't careful enough when throwing a knife. He has Mosaic Down's, yet the healthy blue eye looking at you is as understanding as any other. He is naïve, accepting of others, gentle, and loving. I've learned from him. A journey all of its own, trying not to get angry when he did something wrong, when he wouldn't stop talking, when I wanted to make fun of him and had to stop myself, thinking "He is just like me, but he doesn't understand." Hurting him hurt me instead; I would cry for hours when I said something that upset him. My parents let me learn on my own, without admonishing me if I made a mistake. Over the years, when children my age began calling him names, judging him, I started fighting back. My uncle is the most grateful person I know.
A sad predicament: Your child has Down syndrome. My grandmother lives with my uncle to this day, even though she is almost eighty and he is fifty-five. They are friends, companions; she protects him, just like I have learned to do. The experience of growing up with a disabled person cannot pass one by without making an impact. It has left a mark on me, one that allows me to accept others as they are, disregarding skin color, mental abilities, religious preferences, and sexual orientation. It has taught me that we are many, and we are different. I wish to pass this message on.