I feel as though this amazing woman needs no introduction… but, I will anyway. In the days after Sam was diagnosed with Leukaemia, Diane was sending me messages of support – in the midst of her own pain, in a matter of days before she would lose her only son, Blake. This is just one example of the sheer expanse of her generous heart. Despite their immense grief, Diane and her husband Paull continue to be an amazing support to so many people and live out Blake’s legacy of love. Thank you so much, Diane, for sharing your beautiful boy with us here. ~ Annie x
Wow, what a privilege to be asked to contribute to this amazing month of writing for Down Syndrome Awareness. I’ve pondered over which topic I would write about… oh yes, I have many floating around in my head! But I’m a little bit different to most of the parents who write about their gorgeous children with Down syndrome, because I am the mum of an angel – an angel named Blake.
It has been just over a year since our gorgeous little boy lay in our arms and grew his wings, on Friday 13 September 2013. He was 19 months and 9 days old, and my only child (although my husband has children from his previous marriage). So Blake was my world, our pride and joy, our present and our future. He was our little boy who happened to have an extra chromosome and was diagnosed at birth with Down syndrome. But to all who knew him, he was simply Blake.
Quite honestly, I could fill in the whole month speaking about Blake. I would tell you of all his gorgeous antics, such as his two handed wave, the way he blew kisses and said “mwah” as he kissed the back of his hand instead of his palm. I could tell you how, if he was sitting, he would grab both our hands and rock backwards and forwards, giggling, so we would sing “row, row, row your boat” over and over again. Blake would engage people and always look them straight in the eye and, when he knew he had their full attention, he would reward them with a full body smile.
If we had the time, I would share with you how much Blake loved to play boo, and how he had favourite toys, such as his big eyed “jarf” and soft bellied doggy dog. He loved to knock his wooden blocks over, loved to turn the pages of his books and knew to open his cards and look inside. He would push the buttons on his toys to make music and dance to it as it played, and he knew to push the button three times in a row to make the alphabet song play again so we would sing along. Blake loved to roll around and play on the floor with his toys and look at himself in the mirror…oh, and do selfies on my phone!
I could tell you how Blake got all excited whenever his daddy came home from work or walked into the room, but how he would push daddy’s big head out of the way to see Giggle and Hoot on television. I would tell you how he loved to go for rides in the car, how he liked to pat our goats, and how he held a tiny chicken and gently held an egg without dropping it. I would share how delighted Blake was in his swing – the higher the better – and how he loved balloons, pulling on the string and tapping them gently.
I could tell you how Blake loved food, gobbling up his fruit and our home grown vegetables. How he really loved to have a bath and just how much he would laugh when he sloshed the water to drench me.
I could tell you of Blake’s whole body smile, his beautiful big blue eyes, his wayward blonde hair and how tall he was for his age. I could tell you that he had big feet, beautiful soft skin and razor sharp teeth when they first came through. I could tell you of his gorgeous contagious giggle that made his whole body move, of his captivating smile and of his absolutely amazing easygoing and cheeky nature. I could tell you how he gave beautiful kisses and cuddles, and how he fell asleep in my arms every night.
These are the memories we cling to now that we can no longer hold our beloved, beautiful Blake in our arms.
Yes, I could go on forever and, in fact, I will… but, for your sake, just not all on this page.
We are the parents of an angel – an angel named Blake, an angel that happened to have Down syndrome. Would we willingly go down the path of having a child with Down syndrome again? In an instant, without a moment’s hesitation.
Diane and her husband Paull live in country Victoria. Diane moved from Northern NSW to marry Paull and soon they welcomed their beautiful son, Blake. While Paull has now gone back to working in earthmoving, Diane is still finding her feet after losing Blake and is trying her hand at making goodies, primarily for children. Her little enterprise is aptly named ‘Jarf and Friends‘ in Blake’s memory. Together, Diane and Paull’s main aim is to continue Blake’s legacy and honour him through promoting positive awareness of Down Syndrome and childhood heart disease. You can learn more about Blake on his Facebook page, Blake’s Million Smiles.