Why Beyond the Waves

For all the years I have been running this blog, I just stumbled upon the fact that I never explained the why behind the name and our logo. For those who are just joining our story, or have always been following along, here’s our why.


Michael loves the ocean waves. It’s always kept him grounded, especially while I was attending university at UC San Diego. Our transition to living apart 4 years ago was devastating for Michael. Each weekend when he would come and visit with my mom, he was so upset he wouldn’t look at me the first 15 minutes we were together. Once it was time for him to go home, he would always have tears in his eyes. It always broke my heart.


It broke my heart, since I had no way of letting him know what was going on. The reason I chose to stay in school in San Diego, was so I could stay close to Michael. He didn’t understand why I wasn’t at home anymore. I didn’t have a way of explaining that I was away studying biology in school, and that it was to prepare for even bigger dreams in the future.


But one thing strengthened our bond and kept Michael calm and grounded during our visits-- the ocean waves.


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The repetitive motion, their white noise, and the beauty behind them consumed his attention, and made him forget about our situation. The beach became a perfect place to visit, as it was so close to our campus.


Yet for those who have swum in the ocean-- you know that waves can be rough. Being caught in a rip current with tall waves can be terrifying, especially if you can’t see the next wave coming.


But, if you look at the waves from afar, it’s easy to fall in love with the waves and become entranced with their beauty. And the same goes for growing up with someone who has Down Syndrome.


Everyday won’t be easy. Sometimes tough situations or hospitalizations come in waves, with barely any room to simply breathe or relax to take care of yourself. But by looking beyond the waves, I’m blown away by how much Michael has enriched my life. I continue to be blown away by his genuine kindness.


I have learned the importance of keeping the Down Syndrome community, and to raise awareness and provide a voice for those who need it.


As for our logo, I’ve included three waves, to represent the three 21st chromosomes present in Down Syndrome.



Julia ToronczakComment