Beloved Addition, by Ellen Terry Holder

(A tribute to Betty Terry, delivered at her memorial service Saturday, 02/26/2011)

I want people to know so many things about my mom. I think that what I am about to share will give you deep insight into the person she is. I want to read a few passages from her journal when David was born.

October 19, 1977

“I am pregnant and expecting my 5th child to be born momentarily. This baby will be born when I am 47 years old. It has been a difficult pregnancy but the little one has held on for 8½ months and we can hardly wait for the arrival. The children are thrilled about having a new baby, and Ray and I feel so blessed.”

October 21, 1977
"David is born. Of this Mom wrote, “Tonight as I rest in my room I am like a mountain climber who has scaled Mount Everest. Heavenly Father watched over his daughter and little son all the way.”

October 22, 1977
The next day’s entry:
“Today we had some unexpected news. The pediatrician came to see me and said he needed to talk to us. …It seems our little son may be a Down Syndrome child. It will be verified through a blood test, and we’ll know officially in about 3 weeks.

This shocked us temporarily, but I was amazed at my reaction. At first I didn’t believe it because he looked perfect to me. However, as the doctor explained the things that helped him detect it, we both realized he was right. I am so grateful that I was not shocked by this. Instead, I fell in love with him immediately and feel I have to hold him, touch him and protect him. He’s so fragile and my love engulfs him….I feel this child’s spirit is perfect. We’ve supplied him with a physical body which may not be, but he is [here with us for a reason].”

“I also feel this child will help our family pull closer together and feel more love and compassion for each other and for others. I’m grateful he was born to us and want to become the best parents possible for him.”

“We’ve decided to name him David Joseph Terry. This means BELOVED ADDITION. Tonight I asked the nurse to put him on a demand feeding so I can help him get going and gain weight.”

Mom, who already had an Elementary Ed degree, went on to get her certification to teach Special Ed. Her commitment for David never faltered. Nor did her commitment to any of us.

I had the honor to help care for her in the last months of her life. Due to Alzheimer’s she gradually became like that beautiful but weak baby she fell in love with in 1977. It was my pleasure to protect her and comfort her and give back to her a fraction of what she gave to all of us.

I also had the privilege to watch my father care for her. His immense love was evident every day. Since she passed away Monday, her insight that David would bring us closer has never been truer, but only because she set the stage and the example.

I love you Mom!

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