The Up Side of Downs

by Elaine Nash
I grew up with an aunt who had Downs Syndrome. When I was a girl, I found her annoying and an embarrassment because she wanted to tag along with me everywhere I went. I was not especially kind to her. One day my mother handed me "Angel Unaware", and insisted that I read it.

Anyone who has a person in their lives with Downs Syndrome- and those who don't, will love "Angel Unaware" by Dale Evans [as in 'Roy Rogers and Dale Evens']. "Angel Unaware" is a tiny, sweet book about their daughter, Robin, who had Downs, and it offers insight and wisdom inspired by life with a person who has Downs Syndrome that is unparalleled in other books. It's an old book, but it's been released many times, so you can still find it on Ebay or Amazon. 

This little book changed my life. It changed how I felt about my Aunt Kova, i
t changed how I view people who have special needs, and it inspired me to develop a deep empathy for others that continues to this day.  In fact, what I learned from this book and from Kova inspired me to adopt my special needs daughter, who has been the greatest challenge- and also the greatest teacher, of my life.

One of the world's great secrets may be that people who share their lives with a Downs person are among the very most fortunate of us. Downs people have such special lessons to teach those of us who will watch and learn and listen.  They remind us that it's the little things that matter- the small, sweet joys of life like holding hands while taking a walk, enjoying the smell of a flower, coloring in a coloring book, or sharing a plate of fresh cookies.  Most of all, though, they teach us that what matters more than anything is just giving simple and unconditional love.

'Angel Unaware' can found on and