The national stage she’s now been given means her choice could have much wider significance and constitute an enormous symbolic leap ahead for children with Down syndrome and their parents.
Rich printed several e-mail responses from his article. One of them was from NW Arkansas:
I appreciate and agree with your article about how Trig’s life could have an enormous impact on changing how many pockets of our society look unfavorably upon children with special needs. I am happy to say that in Northwest Arkansas, we are not one of those pockets. We have a 9-year old, Caleb, who was born with mental and physical disabilities due to Hydrocephalus. He is an inspiration to his family, his therapists and everyone else that spends two seconds with him. He was our first child, and we have had four more children since, each two years apart. The reaction we get from people, wherever we go, is not one of disapproval, but admiration. I cannot remember a single time anyone has ever approached my wife or me to question whether we made the right decision.
As an example, after Caleb was born, my work associates at Tyson Foods, Inc. threw us a baby shower. There were so many people that showed up to show their support, folks were spilling out of the large conference room and were lining the halls. As soon as my wife and I stepped into the hall with Caleb in her arms, everyone began to cheer. I have seen the same reaction with others that have brought special children into the world.
I believe God has a special plan for each of us, and can use children with disabilities to give perspective and inspiration to others like no one else can. Perhaps God blessed the Palin family with Trig for the very purpose of bringing perspective and inspiration to a Nation in desperate need of both.
Bravo, NW Arkansas! One of the jobs I did while I was in college was to take care of handicapped people. One of them, Norma, was getting her degree from Berkeley one class at a time and she wanted to be a writer. She was so much fun! I always remember her laughing. She was truly an inspiration. Then there was Michael, who I tutored. That guy would chase girls down the hall in his wheel chair. Yup, and the girls would love to ride on the chair with him. He was always laughing too.
I don't understand why people would want to rid the world of people like Norma and Michael. They made a positive impact on the people around them. We didn't care that they couldn't walk, or they had difficulty speaking. They enjoyed life and that enjoyment rubbed off on us. Heck, if they could laugh through their life in a wheelchair, then I can also go through life's hardships laughing.