Sharmi was born with Down syndrome and ever since that day she brought happiness in her wake. Sharmi has since passed away, but even now her life continues to inspire her family members and others to serve.

Raising a child with Down Syndrome

When Sharmi was born, the doctor offered to have her sent to an institution, her mother was clear on the choice. “She’s my daughter; I want to take care of her.”

A family and life full of love ensued. Every Sunday evening as a movie night for the family Sharmi, would often pull out the popcorn before her dad could get to it and she loved to dance with her grandma.

Sharmi would spend a lot of time with her sister Valerie and Valerie’s friends. Valerie would tell her friends like all children with Down syndrome, “Sharmi just wants to be with and participate with everybody else as much as she can.” Valerie took her sister on many shopping trips throughout the years so that Sharmi could try on clothes, “and that’s how she was with our family; if we went, she went.”

Individuals with Down Syndrome are without Guile

“She just always had this pleasant way about her that just made people love her,” Valerie said. “These children are completely without guile. They love everyone. They’re continually positive. They overlook all of your flaws, and they just are wonderful to be around.”

One of Sharmi’s special gifts included serving other people. “I don’t think you ever go wrong when you serve somebody, and Sharmi would do anything for anybody that she could,” Valerie said. Their dad, David, also said Sharmi’s condition allowed his family and him to serve and teach her basic skills in return.

When A Loved One with Down Syndrome Passes Away

After her mother died and her siblings moved out of the house, Sharmi went to live with some other women with disabilities. Her health started to decline around age forty, but her family was always there for her. Valerie took her on shopping trips and brought her to family dinner as long as Sharmi was able.

It was difficult for Valerie to see her sister start to get Alzheimer’s disease, have seizures, and have to use more medication. Sharmi contracted pneumonia for a time as well. Through it all, Valerie never stopped caring for her Sharmi.

“You didn’t want her to go, but at the same time you did, because you knew that she was suffering and could no longer participate in the world,” Valeria said. “A couple of weeks later, she passed away very quietly and peacefully, which is what we wanted for her.”

Sharmi’s family will forever be grateful that she lifted the spirits of everyone in their home throughout her life.

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