Dear “Chromosome 8p duplication & deletion”:
This letter is to inform you that we have decided to let you go. We are aware that when the geneticist originally assigned you to our family, by strapping you around our second child at only 6 months of age, she indicated that you would be with us for life. However, we’ve decided to go in another direction.
After fourteen years of our current relationship with you as our son’s official label, we believe that your role in our family has become obsolete. Originally, yes, you served a purpose. You answered some questions and provided some insight. We initially acquiesced to your demands of fear, isolation and anxiety. I’m sure you’re proud that during your first few years in our family, you dominated every facet of our daily lives. You were given free reign over our emotions, our relationships, our plans and dreams.
However, after those initial years of you in the driver’s seat, we began to skirmish over appropriate boundaries, attempting to diminish your prominence in our lives. Now, after fourteen years, we have determined that you are completely obsolete in our situation. Ever since those initial reports the doctor placed in our hands, your definition has been: mentally challenged, developmentally delayed, physically disabled. However the young man to whom you were assigned is best defined as follows: funny, affectionate, kind, compassionate, and party animal. You have become irrelevant.
Effective immediately you no longer label anything or anyone in our family. Our most special family member, will henceforth be known as simply that: Special. Webster’s definition is: Distinguished by some unusual quality, especially important or loved. Perhaps “thanks” is in order as you were with us for quite a while, but we can’t muster an ounce of gratitude on this occasion. We simply say goodbye.
The Gomez Family
This letter was prompted by a question I came across on TheMighty.com: “If you could write a letter to the disability or disease you (or a loved one) face, what would you say to it?”