Legacy of Nathaniel A. Norris
Nathaniel Abshire Norris was born February 3, 1983 and lived for thirteen years. When Nathaniel Norris was born in 1983, by comparison to today, there was a lot that was not known genetically about Cri du Chat syndrome.
On the face of it, there was truly nothing remarkable about a little boy who could neither walk nor talk and who had to work so hard at just staying alive. Indeed, if report cards mean anything, then he failed everything.
Nathaniels goals in school were always the same as the year before, and these were goals that he never achieved. He never rolled over, he never bore his own weight, nor did he ever consistently identify sounds or purposefully select the best option when presented with choices. Not a remarkable life at all.
But this would be a very shallow assessment; very shallow indeed. Every life should be celebrated, regardless of failures or successes. Perhaps frailty is not such a bad thing after all; it may very well be that weakness has a whole lot to teach us.
Like any other boy, Nathaniel had likes and dislikes, hurts and pleasures. He needed to be included and accepted, and he showed love by gifting others with smiles and hugs and sloppy kisses. In his brokenness he proclaimed two important things: first, celebrate gifts that are so often taken for granted. And even more importantly, if we arent whole enough to love, then we are not truly whole.