October 11, 2012

11/31 Book give-away: Grieve

In honor of Down syndrome awareness month I will be publishing excerpts from “From Grief to Celebration, How One Family Learned to Embrace the Gift of Down Syndrome” for 12 days. Each day features a different verb/chapter and at the end of the month we will give-away three copies of the book, signed by Alex. Priceless! 

I wrote, "From Grief to Celebration, How One Family Learned to Embrace the Gift of Down Syndrome"  to share this story of love, life, magic and down syndrome. Our critically acclaimed book details our journey through ten verbs beginning with grief, ending with plan and incorporating one bonus verb, celebrate. I hope this can be a resource to help others embrace, understand and learn. The book is available through this blog ($12.50) on-line booksellers ($13.99) and kindle (reduced to $3.99 during October).

Verb 1 - Grieve

Many couples grieve apart from each other, and we hear stories of marriages crumbling as the result of the birth of a child with special needs. John and I have been able to stay together, but we’ve had our differences and up and downs. We often disagree on Alex’s education or the appropriate punishment for bad behavior, but we often find a compromise, as I believe we’re both always partially right. John would say that we both needed to grieve separately before we could grieve together, and I wholeheartedly agree. Although we were together physically, I know for the few weeks following Alex’s birth, we were apart emotionally.

I cried, cried and cried some more. I remember after visiting Alex in the hospital, as she stayed and I was released, John and I sat outside the entrance to Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, IL, and cried so much we shook. I didn’t care that we were in a public place, the sadness we felt was uncontrollable. It was the last time we ever cried together about our grief for ourselves, or for the birth of Down syndrome in our lives.

My tears lasted for a month and a half. I spent hours driving around aimlessly in my car, sometimes with Alex, often by myself. On one of those first rides I heard the song, “What a Wonderful Life” by Louis Armstrong. I do not know why but this song soothed me and I bought the CD. I listened to this song over and over. I especially loved the first verse – “I see trees of green, red roses too, I see them bloom for me and you, and I think to myself what a wonderful world”. This was my healing song.

To read more please enter our give-away:

These are only two requirements to be entered in the drawing - and Alex will pick the winner!
1. Please like "The Ordinary Life of an Extraordinary Girl" on facebook (link on the sidebar), or
2. Follow this blog, on networked blogs (also on sidebar)

Of course, you will need to tell me you did this, either as a comment or by e-mail theextraordinarygirlllc@gmail.com .

Stay tuned
12/31 Book give-away: Research
13/31 Book give-away: Incorporate

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