They used to call them ‘mongoloids’ – imagine that!
If everybody had a pejorative moniker, mine would be “four eyes, fat bastard, lucky he still has hair”
Fair? Who cares?
What would yours be?
Imagine going through life labelled as a sub-human,
Mongoloid! That would be about as bad as it gets.
They are some of the most beautiful personalities on the planet.
I know .. I had an aunt who was born into that affliction,
What a restriction …
.. on life, not that she ever fretted about her lot
Knew no better, no airs, graces
Just occupied her little bit of space on the planet,
Spreading love and warmth
And we nieces, nephews and others
Were all the better people for it
My wonderful grandpa and his wonderful wife,
My beautiful grandma, Milly,
Said no, she is no freak, she is our beautiful girl, and that’s just how it was..
And how it’s going to be, church, state, do-gooders, anyone else,
Don’t cross me.
My mum, one of four girls,
Brought Lil up, no big deal,
The love in that household was palpable.
Lillian, my beautiful aunt
Did not know the meaning of “can’t’
Just … is and now, though probably not always how
She could knit, play the piano a bit,
Not much else, but loved her TV shows
No burden to anyone, just a beautiful soul
Sixty six when she died,
of course we cried,
But we also celebrated a magnificent life,
Would never make any man a wife,
Though she had a few movie faves
We shared a few laughs and raves about them
Almost seven decades, unheard of for a “mongoloid”
A term to avoid, at all costs, now that we know better.
These days, if you are not overly affected
You are not as protected, you are included.
Down syndrome kids have jobs, some have careers
Mature bosses love them,
They give back in spades,
Respect cascades, in both directions,
We have moved on, we now understand
and thank goodness
how grand to see what they bring
to the betterment of our souls.
A great thing.
[Copyright John Gates – 2019]