Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Angels in Disguise

In my book, Life With Charley: A Memoir of Down Syndrome, I have a chapter where I talk about angels. In the chapter, titled "Pwomp and Circumstance," we are shopping for a suit for Charley to wear to the prom. Brad and I had little money to spend, so we found ourselves at Goodwill looking around. Out of nowhere, a man approaches and starts holding up clothing items for Charley to try. At the end of this post, I will include a portion of the chapter...

I've been thinking about Angels lately, and how they touch us. Angels kind of come out of nowhere, to tap us on the shoulder and remind us that life is precious. 

I've always thought of people with Down syndrome to special angels. They touch us in ways other people cannot. 

These are some of the fantastic folks from Angels in Disguise

Just to show you what kind of people they are...

Charley and I contacted them and let them know we were in Louisville. My mother was in the hospital, and we were in need of some serious cheering up. Before we knew it, we were having breakfast together, and Charley had a slew of new friends. 

Later, when Charley put his head on the pillow in the hotel room, he said, "Mom, I like my more fwents."

I said, "How could you not?" 

He wasn't alone. I like them too. Charley knows who likes him and who doesn't. He knows who tolerates him and who wants to be his friend. 

We found a restaurant full of friends that day.

Today we are celebrating our new friends, by posting some photos and adding their Angels in Disguise link to our sidebar. Please give them a visit, won't you? This is a fabulous group of people who celebrate the gift of Down syndrome. 

Thanks Angels in Disguisefor making us feel so made Charley very happy! And well, you know the drill...when Mama's happy, everybody's happy!

As promised, here is an excerpt from Life with Charley. 

Charley’s Angel 

You know how some things keep coming back to you long after they’ve happened? That’s what happened to me, and I’ve played it over and over in my mind. I thought I was hearing things when Jordan said she’d been the one to ask Charley to the prom. “But Jordan, you can go with anyone,” I’d said to her. “I don’t want to go with anyone,” she’d said. 

Oh, me of little faith. How could I have doubted him? What gives me the right to assume he can’t get a date just because he has DS? Why wouldn’t someone be thrilled to be with him? He’s the most fun person I know. Apparently, Jordan thought so too. 

It’s been nearly six months since that day. Since Jordan asked him to her junior prom. Since she became his reason to breathe. And now, here we are, just three weeks from the big day. But first we have to make it through spring break, and I can’t think of a better way than to take him shopping for a tuxedo. Problem is, we can’t afford one. There’s a Goodwill store down the road, and I’ve seen some suits there, so off we go. As his luck would have it, there are no tuxes. As my luck would have it, Charley doesn’t care if it’s a tux or not. 

Brad’s at work this morning, unable to join us for this outing, but that’s okay. He’s elected to take Charley shoe shopping later in the week. Meanwhile, Charley and I are standing at the coat rack in the back of the store. “I don’t know, Son, you’ll just have to try them all.” 

He tries on three or four, but nothing works, when out of nowhere there’s a man standing next to us. He’s a tall man, well over six feet I’m sure, and he’s dressed in khakis and a polo shirt. I have no idea where he came from, but there he is, picking items off the rack, though barely looking at them. I notice he’s watching Charley. 

“I go pwomp,” Charley says to the man, like he’s known him for years. “Oh?” “Yeah. Me, Jordan.”

I tell the man Charley’s looking for a coat to wear to the prom.

The man takes a blazer off the rack and hands it to me. “Have him try this one,” he says. 

Charley puts it on but the sleeves come down past his hands. The man hands us another. Then another. They are all too long. Until the last one. It turns out to be Charley’s size but, oops, there’s a skirt with it. 

“Oh for pity’s sake, it’s a girl’s suit,” I say to Charley. 

“I like it,” he says, and sure enough it’s a perfect fit. 

The man says, “Just don’t tell anyone and they’ll never know.”

The next thing I know the man is helping us look for a shirt and tie, and Charley is all set with a “tussado” for the prom. 

“I like him,” Charley says. “Tell the man thank you.” Charley says, “Can I keep him?” 

I look at Charley for a split second. “He’s not a puppy.” The two of us laugh, but when I turn my head back so see the man’s reaction, he’s gone. 

“Where’d he go?” I ask Charley. Charley shrugs his shoulders. “I no know. Wheh is he?”

“Son, tell me the truth. There was a man here, just a second ago. Right?”


This is where I’ll stop for now. If you want to know what happens you’ll need to read the book. You can find it here:

***Thanks for visiting our Life With Charley blog. Please, come back often! 

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