The summer after I graduated high school, I went to see a tattoo artist to get my very first tattoo. This wasn’t just a spur of the moment kind of thing; it was something I thought about doing for months before getting it. I had always told myself that if I ever got a tattoo it needs to be something that means a lot to me, and that something turned out to be a someone. When I was 10 years old, God gifted our family with my little brother, Jack. I knew Jack was someone special before he was even born. A few weeks after Jack was born the doctors told us that Jack has a condition called Down Syndrome. Being 10 years old, I really didn’t know what this meant. I remember my mom telling us that Jack will still be able to do all the things that we like to do, like dancing, playing catch, and riding bikes, but it might take him a little longer to figure out how to do all these things.
Jack is someone very special. He sees the good in every situation, place, and person. He doesn’t see race, social status, or gender; he sees people for who God made them to be. I know that God lives in every one of us, but Jack allows God to shine through him unlike anyone else I’ve seen before. Jack’s Down Syndrome has done anything but hold him back. If anything, It has allowed him to see the world the way God intended it to be. Jack is ten years younger than I am, but he is and will continue to be the person I strive to be like everyday. I got an ‘extra chromosome’ tattooed to remind myself to be more like Jack. My tattoo holds me accountable to be loving, accepting, and welcoming to others just like Jack is. It is a blessing that there are people in the world that only know love, and how to love others with their whole being. If everyone had a heart like Jack does, then there would be no more hate in the world.