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A Father’s Love For His Son

June 18, 2021 | By Alan Neushwander

By Gary Boerema. Guest Writer.

Gary Boerema poses for a photo with his son, Erik. Erik has Down syndrome and receives services through West Michigan CMH.

God looked down on Earth and thought:
“I have a child to give”
But to the family of this boy
It’s love by which he’ll live

The love he needs and the love he gets,
Must all come from within
For the love he wants is something special
And his life will just begin

This family here on Earth you see
Will give this boy his home
He’s not considered “NORMAL” by man
He has Down Syndrome

God looked up high and looked down low
Until he found the one
The family with the love and care
To get the right job done

They devote their time with care
To give him all the best
To watch him grow and watch him learn
He’s going to make it yet

It’s not as bad as people think
He’s a special boy to us
For he’s more normal than most
Cause ERIK knows the meaning of LOVE!

I wrote this poem for my son, Erik Boerema, when he was born 41 years ago. Life hasn’t been easy as most people know. It’s a trying time for most parents with the ups and downs. But the one thing that keeps most families afloat is the unconditional love they get from their family. We learn so much from how we live and raise our families. The one thing about family that we all can take is the love our children can teach us. Erik is unconditional with his love. Not just for his family but for all who come in contact with him. He has taught not only his family but everyone he comes in contact with the importance of love and kindness. He does not ask to be treated “special” even though he definitely will take advantage of the situation.

I have been fortunate enough to be able to do the things with him for a much longer time than most fathers. I have been able to coach his sport teams for 30 years and am still doing this through Special Olympics. He participates in many sports. Among them are Poly Hockey, Basketball, Aquatics, Bowling, Track & Field, Etc. He has an outgoing personality and loves to be around people. He has high family values and spends a lot of his time with nieces, nephews and sisters. This is a very important part of his life.

I am so very proud of Erik. He has surpassed my expectations of the hurdles he has had to overcome in his 41 years. He has taught me many things of which I base my life actions on. Love, commitment, dealing with stress, etc. He has a profound influence on everyone he meets. I am so proud of his accomplishments and how he handles the life he lives. His wit and cleverness astounds me every day. I truly believe that God did pick the “right” family as we are so blessed to have Erik as a part of ours. I could not have asked for a better son than Erik and I love him with all my heart!