One of the gatherings we participated in over the holidays included our longtime friend and colleague, Erika Jackson. Her large, extended family has become a source of joy and happiness in our own lives. At the end of 2010, one of Erika’s uncles, Van, was celebrating his 60th birthday. As a person with Down Syndrome, Van’s birthday was all the more special and wonderful. Everyone who knows Van is swept up by his effusive expressions of love. We hope you enjoy the poem.
by Bob Tschannen-Moran • 2004, 2011
He looked me in the eye.
With a glistening rivulet of drool
Running down his chin.
And his close-set eyes
“Guess what? Bob Moran,”
Never daring to try “Tschannen”
“I am a son,
I am a brother and an uncle.
I have family.
And they’re all right here, right now.
Being with them makes me happy.
And the feeling lasts forever.”
That’s the way it is with family ties.
They can make us feel great.
Held in a web of belonging
That transcends space and time.
But they can also leave us feeling lost.
In a cacophony of noise
That betrays our transcendent purpose.
What makes this family so special
for my friend with Down Syndrome?
Is it the hugs, the expectations,
the opportunities, the gatherings,
the stories, the laughter?
Or is it simply the wherewithal
to be, for more than 60 years,
We take it all for granted,
In our busy-busy, hurry-hurry lives.
But seeing Van,
Clearing tables and smiling
Through the sleepy comings and goings
Of his family ties
Makes plain a singular truth:
We are all surrounded by love.
And that makes me happy.
Coaching Inquiries: What makes you happy forever? How do relationships of love factor into that equation? What is your relationship like with your own family? With your friends? What would you like to clean up and resolve? What would you like to build on and celebrate? How can that happen today?
May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.
Bob Tschannen-Moran, MCC, BCC
LifeTrek Coaching International
121 Will Scarlet Lane
Williamsburg, VA 23185-5043