My wife, June, and our oldest daughter, Rebekah (Beckah June), share a very close and loving relationship. They are not only mother and daughter: they are the best of friends.
Beckah June was born 19 years ago on a very warm May day, much like this one (sunny). She turned 19 on May 2 of this year, yet she will never live on her own, go to college, or learn to drive a car. See, Beckah has special needs. She was born with Down syndrome, which left her with the mind of a child. Physically, she looks like a teen on the cusp of young womanhood, but mentally, she is more like a six-year-old.
Beckah can read only picture books that have simple words and is currently learning how to write her name and numbers. She loves the colors pink and purple and wants to be a princess like Cinderella when she grows up. She has been in and out of the hospital because she has a weak heart and lungs and often ends up getting pneumonia. Her latest round of pneumonia happened about two weeks ago and she is still on antibiotics. Beckah is also on oxygen until her lungs heal some more.
Beckah has always been what you would call "medically fragile". We do everything we can to protect her, but somehow, some way, germs find their way to her respiratory system and it isn't long before she is fighting for her very life. She is the reason why our hair is prematurely grey.
Besides Beckah, we have two other children: Bennett Jason (13) and Brianna Hope (9). Thankfully, both are perfectly healthy and are very patient with their big (little) sister. It is because of Beckah that Bennett and Brianna have shown a great deal of patience and compassion towards her (and all others who happen to have disabilities).
We often wonder what will happen to Beckah when June and I (Howie) pass away, but she will probably end up living with my sister Claudia and her family. Claudia used to work at a group home for children who were born mentally disabled, so she has a lot of experinece with chidlren like Beckah. I am sure Beckah will get lots of needed care there. Yet June and I don't plan on going anywhere any time soon. We will do all we can to ensure that we stay healthy, so we can be there for not only Beckah, but for Bennett and Brianna, too.
Brianna and Bennett would probably end up going with Beckah to stay with my sister and her family as well.
Well, we are going to get ready to go to church. Today is Mother's Day so they're having special services and then after, we will probably end up going to lunch. It is going to be a very nice day. I am truly thankful to God that I have the children I do, and I thank Him every day that He's allowed Beckah to live this long. Every day with her is like Christmas, Mother's Day, my birthday, and the Fourth of July all wrapped up into one unforgettable day; Beckah June is truly a huge blessing in my life! I am honored to be her Daddy, and also Daddy to Bennett and Brianna! I love them all to infinity and beyond!