Sun Shine Down: A Memoir

Sun Shine Down: A Memoir

by Gillian Marchenko

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Overview

"Lifting my hand, I placed it on my breastbone and slid it towards my navel. My mid-section felt numb. Pushing down, it was as if I tapped another person's toneless stomach. White gauze held my empty abdomen tight. I had been eight months pregnant."

***

What if?

What if you dreamed of having a beautiful child and in your mind you saw the life you'd share with that child. First steps, little league (or ballet). Maybe the child would play piano or make you proud on the Honor Roll. There'd be eventual graduations, college, even marriage and grandchildren. You might dream it out that far. Or not. Every parent has hopes. No parents wish for pain-their own, or a child's.

Then you had a premature delivery in a foreign country. And the words swirling around you said a different kind of "what if." What if something was wrong? The dream was at risk-or so it seemed. Would you be ready for that? Could you make peace? Or would it take you down?

These are the questions author Gillian Marchenko faced as she woke up after an emergency C-section in Ukraine. Only her newborn child could answer them, in time. But first she had to find a way to hear more than the words "Down syndrome."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780989854207
Publisher: T S Poetry Press
Publication date: 08/18/2013
Pages: 138
Sales rank: 713,111
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.32(d)

About the Author

Gillian Marchenko is a writer and national speaker who lives in Chicago with her husband Sergei and four daughters. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including Chicago Parent, Thriving Family, Gifted for Leadership, Literary Mama, Today's Christian Woman, MomSense Magazine, Charlottesville Family, EFCA Today, and the Tri-City Record. She is also the Vice President of GiGi's Playhouse Chicago, a Down syndrome Achievement Center.

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Sun Shine Down: A Memoir 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
These days it takes me a couple of weeks to finish a book. However, once I picked up "Sun Shine Down" I simply couldn't put it down. I've read several memoirs from parents of children with Down syndrome (DS), but what really set this memoir apart from the others is that the birth took place in the Ukraine--a country where children with DS are institutionalized at a very young age. Marchenko received a birth diagnosis, which can be hard to deal with at first for some parents. In addition to the diagnosis, she received little support and comfort from the hospital, and her daughter was in the NICU for six weeks. All that combined would be emotionally exhausting for anyone. As I read her story I remembered my child's birth diagnosis and recalled how supportive and wonderful most of the hospital staff was, and my heart ached for Marchenko, whose hospital experience was the opposite of mine. Her memoir demonstrates why it's so important for medical professionals to be current on the knowledge of Down syndrome. Her writing is raw and honest. She doesn't sugar coat her feelings and struggles. She's also descriptive without being wordy. Through it all you can sense her deep and unconditional love for her daughter. Marchenko's story is one that shows that after the clouds disappear, the sun will shine down again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gillian Marchenko opens her soul in a way few of us dare. She allows us the privilege of hurting, healing, and loving along with her. Gillian's journey to accept the gift of her Down's Syndrome daughter is not only artfully written, but also serves to remind us of the grace God extends in the blackest of nights and the sun's warmth on the other side of that darkness. - Jennifer Ebenhack