A few years ago I attended a family reunion in Texarkana, Arkansas. I designated myself to be the reunion photographer so I tried to notice everybody. One person, Boyce, had Downs Syndrome but always was pleasant and smiling. One day I noticed that Boyce stopped several times in front of a mirror, looked carefully, straightened his shirt, straightened his tie, raised both his hands to the sky, mumbled something, and then proceeded about his routines. I was puzzled about his activities so I asked his brother,Eddie, what Boyce was doing.

Eddie replied, “A few years ago our parents bought a family grave site for themselves and Boyce. Because of Boyce’s illness they anticipated his death. However, first one parent died and then the other. When Eddie brought Boyce to see where their parents were buried, Boyce became visibly upset. Upon further questioning he showed he was concerned about his death. If his parents were dead and the tombstone marked their burial spot, did that mean he was buried where his name was written. Eddie carefully explained that Boyce had a middle name and the person buried there did not. That satisfied Boyce.

Eddie went on to explain the mirror. When Boyce goes by a mirror he checks himself, straightens his clothes and tie, raises his hands in praise, and says,”Thank God, I’m alive.”

Boyce taught me a lot that day. Each day is unique, precious, and a gift from God. What can I do but to rejoice and be glad in it?

By Dan Roberson

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