Sunday, August 14, 2011

Our Fragile X Picnic

When I got up yesterday and saw that it was raining, my first feeling was one of indignance.  How dare it rain today - the day of our Minnesota Fragile X picnic!?

I didn't worry about it for long.  Because there's no better group than the Fragile X families to handle unexpected surprises, like rain during a picnic.  I kept the faith that everything would be fine.

And sure enough, by picnic time, the skies had dried up and the sun smiled down on us.

I was distracted with getting to know people and didn't get around to counting, but my dad said he counted twice and and came up with 50 people.  Several of us were having a great time greeting old friends, and meeting new ones.

Some were seeing others affected by Fragile X for the first time.

Some came from just down the street.  Others drove for hours to get here, coming together to share our experiences with Fragile X.  Our joys and pains.  Our children, grandchildren, moms and dads, cousins, aunts and uncles.  Because Fragile X is an extended family thing.  It's not something that just involves children.  The effects of Fragile X spiderweb across family trees and generations.

And yet, we are all just regular people.  Regular families, coming together to enjoy each other's company and to share food, conversation, and sunshine.  Were it not for the banner, labeling us as a group brought together by Fragile X, we could have been any group of people having a picnic.  Because that's what we are first - just people.  We're not defined by that one little gene, yet we are drawn together by it.

Online friendships can be so enlightening and valuable, but there's nothing like meeting those virtual friends in the real grass, trees, clouds, rain, and sunshine world.  It's the reason the International Fragile X Conferences are so popular.

We don't have to go that far to find Fragile X friends, though.

"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: "What! You too? I thought I was the only one."
~C.S. Lewis

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