Being Peter’s sister has been, and continues to be, one my life’s biggest blessings. It has taught me so much, it’s difficult to put into words. I’ve never known anyone as loving, happy, and strong as little Peter! It never mattered what life threw at Peter- he always had a smile and a loving disposition. He was joy personified! So many people ignorantly focus on Peter’s “imperfections” because of his Trisomy 18, but he was such a gift to our family! Peter changed my worldview in many ways. I’ve always tried to be a giving, positive person, but knowing Peter really put things in perspective for me. The little, insignificant things that bog one down in life- getting stuck in traffic jams, having your lunch order made incorrectly, etc.- are so much easier to bear cheerfully because of Peter’s example of joyfulness in the face of adversity! I can say without a doubt that I am a better person because of Peter. When I hear that kids like Peter have “no quality of life” it breaks my heart! No quality of life? Peter’s main occupation was giving and receiving love! He is the only person I’ve ever known who honestly never hurt another human being. I can’t think of a life better lived!
Not only has my life been so enriched by knowing Peter, but so have the lives of my children. I have a daughter and a son that are very close to Peter’s age. Now that my kids are in school, I’ve seen first hand how cruel children can be to those who are “different.” They pick on the girl with glasses, or the overweight kid. Because of Peter, my children have a tolerance and an awareness that many kids just don’t possess. They’re not afraid to say hello and look a person in the eye if that person is in a wheelchair. They see a real person, with feelings and a family, not merely a physical condition! As much as I’d love claim it is because of my parenting, I know that it’s because of Peter. Loving and knowing Peter has taught them something truly priceless: regardless of one’s physical “imperfections” EVERYONE is worthy of love. I think the world would be a better place if everyone learned that lesson.