She was fun to be around. Margie was a little older and her brother was my age. With another friend, Mary, we played every day during the summer in Maddox Cove, Newfoundland. My grandmother said, "The days aren't long enough for
Margie, Mary, Bernard and I were inseparable. First thing in the morning, we'd be busy. We always had a play "on the go." Our play involved getting rocks, an easy thing since we're talking about Newfoundland, and building a rock wall of a particular shape, such as a circle, with a space to allow entry. This area was the play. Here we played school, house or store. Everyone had a role, and we delighted in finding props to bring to the play. We spent endless hours there, often near my grandparents' house or near the homes of the other children. As we got older, the play became more elaborate, with rooms, and higher walls.
When not at the play, we played games with the other kids, red rover, hide and seek, statues, marbles, tag, and skipping, hopscotch or jacks. Swimming in the river or at the beach was a favourite pastime as well. Plays were for the morning, swimming in the afternoon and games in the early evening in front of the old school.
Margie was a great student in our school, loved shopping or working at our store and was an important part of our play family. As time went on, Mary, Bernard and I left the play and the props. What I didn't understand was that Margie had Down's Syndrome though she was just like us. It wasn't until I left the dolls and she didn't that I really understood the impact it would have on her life. That conversation with Mom was bewildering and sad. How could this be?
I later learned about the extra chromosome and all the resultant biological implications. However, this depersonalized information didn't describe the person I knew; the fun, happy, loving person who was my friend.