In 2014 after the death of his mother, my nephew came to live with us. Daniel is 32, and has Down syndrome.
It was a big change as we had been empty-nesters since 2008. It isn’t always easy to live with someone with special needs, especially one who has at times difficulty understanding just what you are trying to communicate to him; the question beginning with “why” is a tough one for Daniel. Aside from that, Daniel is high functioning and quite able. He loves to help out around the house and is very proud of his daily accomplishments. Those accomplishments include; helping with the dogs, emptying the trash, mopping (well, sort of), making his bed, brushing his teeth, etc. Each day when I come home he gives me a rundown of his day which is pretty much the same as the day before. Daniel just needs what we all need – to be recognized and appreciated.
Daniel is hysterical! When he first moved in I was taken back by his quick-witted responses to his burps and toots. Some days I laughed so hard I cried. Daniel loves to make you laugh.
Daniel loves music. He spends hours in his room “rocking out”. I get that. I could do that too given more hours in the day.
Daniel’s room is a tribute to his life. He has photos everywhere. He has mementos he’s collected scattered about. He moves them around, and puts away and pulls out stuff from his storage tubs just about every day – he calls it “decorating”. He’s a bit OCD about his decorating.
Daniel loves the Muppets and Disney. It isn’t uncommon for Daniel to tell me about something new happening at Disneyland. The conversation usually begins with, “I saw something exciting today!”
Daniel loves deeply. Daniel will regularly repeat to me all of the family members who love him. He is a kind soul who looks for the best in everyone he meets. Rarely is there someone Daniel does not like and even if there is (and there is), he won’t be rude, he just can’t, it’s not who he is. If only we could all be more like Daniel.
My sister has suggested I create a YouTube channel or a Daniel blog so the world can see just how fabulous Daniel is. I’m considering it.