Hello and welcome to the If We Knew Then podcast. I’m Stephen Saux.
And I’m Lori Saux.
And today we’re joined by a good friend making price Megyn Price. Megyn is a wife, mother and actress and one of the most authentic honest people I’ve met we first crossed paths on a Netflix show we both worked on called the ranch in this episode were honoring her Uncle Bill who made an impact on this world in the simplest and best way possible to love.
And what I learned in this conversation and what I was reminded of is to choose my focus because the gifts that my child have our gifts that others can aspire to and they’re the ones that really have an impact on society changing it always for the better through love welcome Megan price Megan thank you so much for joining us on the podcast you for me I’m so happy to be here well we’re excited to talk about your uncle and I really want to have this conversation with you since you first mentioned it to me thank you so much for inviting me because it isn’t often that I get to tell stories about him outside of my family and I really appreciate the opportunity let’s start out with you telling everyone a little bit about yourself okay I grew up in Oklahoma I am reluctant actress I tried to do everything besides being an actress %HESITATION went to school for other subjects and other things and you know trying to have a regular normal life and I just didn’t like that nobody was funny and then it didn’t make me wait %HESITATION so I learned super young that %HESITATION I guess like money and professional success did not make me happy therefore the moved to Phoenix or was not a scary because I know I didn’t really care about money or anybody knowing when I was I just wanted to do and I wanted to do %HESITATION so I waited a lot of holes at Houston’s St Louise and %HESITATION have subsequently worked with people that came in and were nice to me or not nice to me %HESITATION and and animals I don’t know I’ve been on TV for twenty years which is pretty crazy and my experience has been very little unemployment shockingly %HESITATION because I’ve I’ve always are had the good fortune in the good sense to just choose scene good people to work so I got really lucky that I ended up on Sirius that went for a really long time always with people that I love better still like my family today and I have a good friend who likes to call me up after any job I haven’t %HESITATION just retire you had enough good fortune that’s enough for you %HESITATION but I also think part of that is that I am saying and I am not a crazy person to work with and I do my job well and you know I I I tend to be drawn to the people that don’t show up in TMZ you know that don’t show up like lunatics %HESITATION yeah and I don’t I don’t like to be on camera I don’t like to be photographed I don’t like to be the center of attention I don’t like anybody knowing who I am so why in the hell did I choose my profession I have no I have a little girl yeah by the way that’s my code currently has been actually great from I’m fine being a dork at home I’m good I like the man it’s fun I have a daughter who is thirteen all in all eight and way too many animals and in fact run waiting lists for two more animals I it’s it’s out of control here and the inline Mary to somebody I had a crazy mad crush on when I was fifteen so we have not been together since we were fifteen yes I still think he’s as cute as I did when I was in the ninth grade so and %HESITATION and that’s that’s and I’m so happy to join you because I do not want to talk about my career I don’t want to talk about politics I don’t want to talk about how many kids during during kopen but you have to talk about my uncle bill and here here yes he’s on my desk and all terms right Mr Cutie with his Oklahoma shirt and is carrying out on to go to the beach that was his favorite thing to be used to come out and visit us all the time for big chunks of time and he loved it he got to be like the king of California I don’t know how it came up that Stephen %HESITATION about your uncle bill either it’s funny my husband asked me that and I said %HESITATION I mean probably one of the many hours that we were sitting around your neck and you know what we did we did have pictures on the ranch of families and maybe it was we just start talking or maybe I over heard we are you ever come to slam cool no because he keeps it grounded for life and I feel like you came to rules of engagement he gave me a new joy we’re just going to work because he walked into the studio %HESITATION where we shot grounded for life and it was on track and you know I grew up in the studios everyday like whenever you drop your stuff to go to ground service find bathroom whatever it’s like pretty normal uncle walked into the soundstage and literate like his arms were slapping his ID chips is had at because I never think that the ceilings are like your cleanings he looks away from the house %HESITATION and your every time I walk into a sound stage for the rest of my life I always think of him just his awe at how magnificent it was to him you know and it gave me it gives me appreciation every single time I walk into a stage it is now like it’s not that we work in a place like that we get desensitized to think yeah I think one of the guests that we’ve definitely come to realize with Liam is just the presence and the the unfiltered date there’s no E. they like I may walk onto a sound stage and thank man this is pretty amazing but maybe I don’t express it because what will people think of it you know what if there’s that there’s that thing that inhibits us in our life that I definitely noticed that’s the that’s the thing that Liam has he has like this unconditional unpretentious way about him if you are upset and he sees it he’s not going to think oh gosh was she going to say sure I don’t want to he’s going to go up to you and say Megan I’m right here are you okay and it’s beautiful and I think it’s something that I definitely learned from him to do more I because I see how it does affect in touch other people and %HESITATION it just it reminds me reminds me to be present and just always just be where I am right well for sure and I think with my uncle this is true but it’s like if he gave me a compliment it was a million percent from his heart he would never give him notice also complement less that didn’t even occur to him and when my when my uncle’s dad died my grandfather my uncle sort of transferred father to my dad and my parents had my grandmother and my uncle come live with them at that point and at that time I remember bill sent to my dad he said okay Tom you be my dad now and my dad said it’s my honor unique body and so my dad sort of became his dad and and my dad died on twenty four years ago this year and bill I remembered that week I don’t remember much from that week because it was really saddened by bill that we put his arm around me and he said okay your mate partner you and me we take care Joe that’s my mom you’re in me recheck kerja and that he he would say that to me I I can’t count how many times he said that like now he knew what are we have a job now the two of us and I have tons of brothers and sisters the bill and I always had that thing it was like we know what’s right and we’re the ones that were where were the executive team what a great partner to have and that was his word he always he called my little brother’s partner and he always %HESITATION this is so silly and I didn’t realize this until recently I’ve only ever driven black cars in my life I’ve only driven since since Phil said to me you know a good cars are black marks that scores of black cars the best cars and I always wanted to have a black car but when he came to visit so he’d be excited to get in my car I got a convertible because he always wanted to ride in a convertible he does not live in California like I would get it just for his you know twice three times a year visit I would buy my car according to appellant which is so funny but he always I would put him in the current all right copilot there we go and it was always Denny’s Denny’s Dennis on beach we can go wherever it was so easy to please Sir and separate all Megan did has he passed his bill passed he did he did %HESITATION just about six months of work started he had been in hospice %HESITATION peacemaker when he had just turned fifty it was bizarrely like it was almost like a cartoon like he was sitting in we were playing go fish and he literally just fell off the chair and we went what and we took him immediately to the hospital he was like well what happened and it was like he’s hurt and they put a pacemaker in and he had no health problems cheaters it was the most routine let medical procedure that should have been scary and it was just like oh we don’t measure okay that’s a start okay you’re okay and then we call them the six million dollar man after that and then not and then he had a history of pneumonia so that really was his he just kept getting pneumonia you know I can’t sort of beating him down a little bit which is why we’re we’re pretty grateful that he passed before all the codes that happens because I don’t know how I could reconcile that in my in my hand if if I felt like that was I don’t know he went very peacefully and he was very well taken care of my mom’s life and he definitely knew he was loved for sure so when was he born so he was born in nineteen fifty eight I think he was born the same year as my sister I think it was fifty eight because I look at the the journeys of you know the just the way things have evolved with down syndrome and just the society and I feel like the community now we have advocates it’s it’s a word and we’re changing the perception but I think about people who were born when your uncle was and I we had Steve Gustafson on here and I think his his sister was a little older right yeah we’re in the fifties and and just what was entered by family just the challenges that they were up against and I think that to me was definitely something I’d love to to talk to you about because he was your uncle so like did you were you aware of any of like the challenges or %HESITATION when you found out he had downed what down syndrome was %HESITATION yeah of course and my %HESITATION like I said he was born the same year as my sister so I have siblings %HESITATION that are a lot older than I am so they really they grew up next to him like he really was because he was born later than my mom obviously and %HESITATION they grew up with him back I have always heard the stories of my grandmother my grandmother was unbelievable she was the kind of person who was always happy with whatever she got which was on the line she was always satisfied she was always okay with with what once I heard a quote from my checking account and someone saying like why are you so peaceful and he said I don’t mind what happens and that was my grandmother she was not spiritual she was not yet not on which she just didn’t mind what happens and with bill she literally just walked me to school and said he’s coming to school here and they said he can’t come you know and at that place in time and the United States and everything it was like find an institution and she said it doesn’t need an instructional needs to learn how to write these letters and they let him go to school for I feel like it was kindergarten first grade second grade and then they let him do all the extracurricular stuff because she said he was having a hard time he wasn’t particularly like you know I select goes on and I saw a lot of that %HESITATION down’s syndrome per trade in you know even in my childhood as wastelands and they’ll probably never really advanced academically past five six so he could write his letters but it’s not point I think my grandmother started to feel like the negativity that he was getting at school was way bigger than the positivity but when he would go play sports and play basketball and do all the extracurricular stuff all the kids were great which one all kids for the kids that he was friends were great you know when they welcomed him in that way but I think school started to get to a place that you know any accommodations what Sir they didn’t have any way you know to help them out and so he ended up doing a ton of stuff and this is I don’t know I just I so credit her with this thank you for people talk about home schooling or any of that kind of stuff like she did alter it we said is being read chief notebooks and he would practices letters to practice writing and he was always doing all kinds of creative study what works so he always was involved with the person’s daily dinner sama when he was growing up and and she really was so unapologetic and so proud of him and that’s always how all of this work I remember being a little kid at a place called water world in Tucson Arizona with all the water slides and all that stuff and I think I must’ve been about maybe eight my little brother was six or seven and does bill Springer place like a fly on these water slides he loved to swim he was his favorite thing so we were waiting to go down the slide and some kids were in front of us and kept looking and looking and looking at him and finally one of them said cut the line you don’t have to go after him and I just without thinking okay I’ve never had anybody you know in my that’s not my thing I was a sweet little good girl and I I already killed I just couldn’t kill that guy we need to my uncle and his building you know he was aware when people would make fun of him so we were his biggest protectors my little brother lives there his story that he was waiting one time for my dad to pick him up airforce training she and so my dad bill went to get my little brother restraining and my guess and check okay and so we walked in and you know at that point fifty five year old man and he walks in and says I am here for just a and so then your first name I don’t think your dad to all and this is bill amber rose hello it’s me engines goes awesome it gives real hard he never tells anyone in the airforce group that that was his uncle and they were so confused they were just so can I gotta say I credit the guy who just assume that that was his dad hi there I love so much about that story yeah I love it yeah we was enough for him when he was like our special needs uncle are you kidding me no he’s the he’s the one everybody awkward and Chris is like I’m gonna sit next honestly next about ransom calories is David Johnson he would always like to play the guitar you know R. but it’s the best job you ever in your life because it’s it was that presents that you talk about totally present in music he loves music like he just connected in a way that taught all of us are working at you know that really wasn’t all my cousins say the same thing we were always great all around him he taught us how to be grateful everything was the greatest thing I guess he was the best gift receiver in the world everything was my favorite thank you for everything that’s a good thing for kids to grow up with you know we just we grew up with that you sound like our thirteen year old went with the with the water world story because she is a defender you know she is C. but and she also %HESITATION when you say it’s great to grow up with that that’s that’s how we feel too because there’s we’ve see in the community or maybe people new to the community who have questions wondering how is bringing a child with down syndrome into into a family how is that going to affect other siblings and we say it a lot we have episodes about it but it’s it’s overwhelmingly a positive well when I heard that too I mean I heard that when my daughter was fine and we were talking about having eight and doctor said that she said you know well you know at that point I think I was thirty eight or something and she said well you know your uncle had down and what if that happened and what you want to put that on your daughter my husband was sitting next to me just like %HESITATION %HESITATION %HESITATION lady really stepped in and I said put down on her yeah because that’s what my own I remember my grandfather saying my grandmother was not religious at all he said you know bill chose this morning he chose who would ever choose background but no one would ever choose seven he said the strongest soles shoes because they know we need less hi my biggest gift was my daughter meeting my uncle you now the way she was with him it is unclean yeah she has another cousin who has %HESITATION SMA it’s a it’s a horrific semi rare disorder and you know he’s really compromised and the way that she interacts with anybody who is has any kind of a hard time in her school there’s some kids that have certain learning disabilities just the way she is I don’t know she would be that way had she not grown up with uncle bill you know I didn’t I don’t know that should be that understanding and that patient she’s not racing with me you now but that is just it’s it just becomes ingrained I think when you’re when you’re around any special characters such as special okay I hate to say that it really is such and such a magical no not pull downs kids are the same but I used to volunteer for Special Olympics a lot of the things that I would see in common were total joy in the moment it’s just a total unbridled joy in the moment the total appreciation these things that you can’t teach we try you know we try to teach our kids to happen I just feel like the example of that is is what we found in our to be honest as a parent the stereo types because they were you know they were if they were fed to us and and just mass quantities and also with the medical profession we’ve done a few interviews with like people from the medical profession that fess up to the fact that that that conversation needs to be different because the information that’s given to him to mothers about down syndrome what that does to anybody who’s expectant with a child who has down syndrome it one what it does to their pregnancy and the things that get that just get planted in their minds that are not based in reality and are not true they’re not a correct depiction of the life in the journey that I’ve had with my son so what have what happened was we fought those stereotypes and I know you know sometimes people say stuff and you’re just like oh the way it’s sad just definitely comes from maybe not the nicest place but then a lot of times it comes from a place that it’s just the stereo type that’s in society that just gets propagated where it comes from somewhere and so when you say you know that I know not to say that they’re special or I know not to say this or that I thought that for so long and then one time I just I I was watching Liam and I’m like I fought it so long that I almost denied how beautiful it is how beautiful that it’s just presence and it’s not something that week you you can have it you do have it right because your uncle your daughter has it we have it because I think when when we go through this narrow typical life and we have all of these things and challenges and we disconnect and something else happens but we see it first we feel the effects of it and then when we actually went for me I went it’s just because he’s present it’s just because he when he loves it comes from a true real place it comes from a pure place that doesn’t want anything that isn’t concerned about anything else but that love and I love the way you said that because I think the reason that I like that is because insane any sort of like all kinds of things it makes people with down syndrome other this is their special unicorn thing that they have and what you’re saying is exactly why I find out which is you can have it too you can have it here and I became so fascinated I’ve I’ve never done drugs I’m not a drunk person but I can still fascinated moderates I went with %HESITATION Michael Pollan’s book about hallucinogenic so he wrote this whole book the name is a read holding thank but it was about %HESITATION how as a grown man he decided to take this you know medical grade Silas psilocybin and be monitored and if you’ve heard about this stuff but he’s a journalist you know in his conclusions were it wipes away all of your preconceived everything so in now this is true for everybody who drops but I’m just saying even the way that he did it sort of medically west to remove all of your package I remember when I was reading and I thought like my uncle like he was clean slate every day he didn’t have those assumptions about people he just didn’t have to he would never judge anybody he couldn’t lie you can line and you would never change and like you’re saying we’re we’re cultural license socialized to sort of be cool and kinda not you know and you you have a %HESITATION a sort of a track of you getting these little groups and I feel like my uncle didn’t his group was just clean slate with everybody and he just assumed he was going to like it but shouldn’t we all do that and you do you think about that he was a a clean slate every time I think that might be where the stereo type happen because people from the outside saw someone that was just happy and kind someone who is just present and honest and they’re like well that’s not that’s not real that’s like a human you have to have an extra chromosome in order to be there because that’s not he must not get it if he’s that happened you must not get how gross the world but we can the thing is as we can yeah my daughter’s not knowledgeable on the sheet she not done sooner but she has her own issue sometimes but what I do see about her and and I really appreciate you saying that to like this as much as you fight a stereo types you know my daughter has no judgment she doesn’t have treatment of people and one time I was driving her to school it was one of those deals for like everybody stops and lets these people turn out well this guy just texting and not paying attention literally slow rolled his giant truck into my car he’s cringing her car so we get in the car I feel terrible we’d like blocked coldwater canyon it’s a whole disaster and nobody was hurt and it was fine he was horrified to me change numbers and so we’re driving to school and I said we’re gonna help people it’s what what happened and she said yeah we are really telling we met the nicest man right we meet the nicest man you know I mean her perspective was like it was great but usually we just drive to school we met that super nice guy he was really friendly and you know it’s that kind of stuff thank you you know she reminds me of that and it’s like well that’s what I feel is that include inclusion is I don’t just feel inclusion is better for society it makes us a full society it makes us an empathetic and sympathetic to Moore a full real loving society and I think what happens is when when we start to exclude different people because they’re different we miss out on that we were picking them up from school one day and we we came across this boy who used to go to his school and they were in a more and they’re in a special it’s a special it’s more of a specialized school yeah I think so and these kids were amazing they all had their own distinct style they all were cool present great conversations like I saw when I was like Hey how are you how school has let’s go we have these great conversations and I said when people are picked out because they’re different and society or school or the district doesn’t want to support them and says we can’t do it here and so they get filtered to other places this is what people miss out on I mean you’re missing out on the flavor of the the color does that the truth just and and I think that when we segregate and and push people out the message that sends to somebody who is one hundred percent at least appears neuro typical is don’t be different don’t be individual and then did the effect on that child is what if they’re dyslexic but they don’t have a word for it what if they have feelings inside that they just feel so alone about like what if they’re doing what is right what everything I have never %HESITATION difficult I think I don’t know I’m not gay I’m a white girl guess what I still felt excluded incomplete kids don’t feel up her coat thank you John and my my daughter is going to kind of a specialty twice exceptional school for the last three years and she wants to go to okay school she can go to public high school and I had a conversation with a counselor I had one conversation are you ready to fall over dead I %HESITATION was applying for school for her for seventh grade and I had the head of admissions saying to me what the school needs is your daughter and the girls at the school will eat her own life don’t center to the school and I said shame on you shame on you I mean really you exclude my daughter even though you said she certainly can your coursework you know she’s quirky she’s it’s not like there’s that’s so discriminatory and he’s seen it this is not a kids at the school need a kid who’s not like them but they will each Hurlock I mean she was saying she thought to be kind to me but I just thought that’s what’s wrong that’s what is so wrong with education and I’m so excited to synergy’s tracking into public school here because I was talking to I can’t speak she said do you have any idea the quilt that we have going on at this school she said it is so fantastic and it’s a great school and it’s free and it’s it’s every kid from everywhere and when they were talking about %HESITATION accommodations you know for her like maybe she does better if it’s visual rather than audio whatever you know whatever little comics she goes on the governor to make all those accommodations because kids are now typical sometimes you need please I mean there’s it’s just allowing your kid to be I just think when we were kids if you could just be it can’t yeah it was okay just to be a kid it’s turning back I mean there’s there’s so much more inclusion now in certain scenarios it’s just I think in the in the private schools especially it’s it’s recalling homogeneous I was walking with a mom once and and we do like every kid counts at our school it’s a week of inclusion of might it should be every week should be every day inclusion and because really it’s not only just you know reaching out to like inclusion but I do have that long arm to to just a kids who want to just be kids and and like you said have all these other things going on that they’re intimidated to just be who they are and I think every kid should be able to be who they are and then we accept every kid and and if we keep like separating people al that’s what creates that fear to be individual that fear to be yourself yeah well my kids are going to make it all the time but when she was super little she taught herself to read to so everyone around us was like some some some weird going on here like this is not really she’s just so fine she’s so great and she is she’s hilarious and she’s all these amazing things so they said well you should definitely interview at this highly gifted school first grade right okay I mean I guess yeah conserved whenever I cues like crazy and she comes in for her interview the first great chief financial right she walks in and I think she really liked her all that time again something she she always their own outfits and they were in the office and they were wonderful should wear a skirt over skirt anyway she walks up to the to the admissions neighbor named Jack and she’s running around like that in the city %HESITATION excuse me we put our name tags right here and she said why would you put it there because my hair is going to cover it up but he didn’t really see in the Senate because you need to follow the rules and we were like thank you nothing like this is not now %HESITATION rule that you can’t whatever hit another cat yes that’s rule a rule that you can’t put your name tag on your belly why who cares why can’t one can have their name on the building and we have over four years that idea is fine for just like have the scene kid yeah and squash all the individuality out and that’s no fun it’s no fun for anyone it’s no fun for society it’s no fun for what what is that going to do what does that create as were as were moving up unless the the the irony that a name tag is supposed to tell you about the person well if you put the name tag where you want it done that tell something about yourself you’re right it’s like EE ridiculous thank god for good teachers like these young teachers yes he is so much more I was a teacher I remember being embarrassed in preschool my daughter didn’t wanna so she wanted to do some stuff on her own and she tried to go check out this and check out this which you choose to do stuff around in this teacher I remember I was sort of like self deprecating single well I don’t know maybe just one o’clock your kids and she has no she claims she doesn’t want to play with their blessing so simple story but she doesn’t want to be you know part of this journey group no she just she doesn’t want to well I think that happens sometimes I know what’s happened to us as parents and I’m sure it happens other parents out there where the message that we’re talking about that get sent to other kids when we don’t have inclusion is the message that gets planted in the parents so if you can be the biggest advocate and then you still have that what Steven and I realized like every IP we go N. apologetic we go in like where Oliver asking from can we just have a when it’s the it’s the law it’s the people fought for that law to be passed for those rights to be given and we and it just becomes this thing that then we begin to propagate and it does take one person going now you’re you’re fine she just doesn’t want to play like you would never think twice if if you were someplace and everybody was doing something and you were just like that I just I mean I don’t wanna play but all of a sudden these messages have been sent to us so many times that we forget and we need to be reminded of the think the bill’s mom was there then you know like before before idea I D. N. five oh four is an eye peas and that no there was none there was none of that she just never treated him like he was less than exactly who we were she never ever ever my mom always said she never apologized for him she was never seen and my aunt my great aunt my grandmother %HESITATION shoes please work dot was renamed you would always have a cigarette hanging out here and a headband and how stress on she I mean she was like your thirteen year old and me as an eight year old it was like we’re looking at what do you look at what’s up it was just so he always had like a whole tribe of women again this is a sitcom that you should be honest yeah my gosh maybe because it was before you know it became a real conversation that just just the same as they were talking about bill just the same as with as lam maybe it was just that being present and knowing Hey man what are you staring at and this is my kid I’m not is that I’m not verify any of my kids when you’re being rude right thanks for she had a really choice springs but I won’t I won’t share here and family family planning counseling no I love it because that we’ve been in the grocery store and people like we stopped going to the park we just love going to the park because of things and we’ve been in grocery stores to where people come up and then you’d like for me I always thought I’ve got to say the right thing I’ve got to the end and we may need a little more dot in us maybe we need a little more dot because you’re just like you’re just trying to buy like some frozen peas and people come up and say stuff too that you go when I say how like how do I react to that like because it rule number one is like personal spades man you’re a total stranger going places where you’re prepared for these questions right and that’s not a good place thirty we’re going to you know a store or just to pick up me no the post office or something and you’re just prepared for okay what I say if this or how to maneuver away from someone that may be approaching and and that’s that’s no fun at all we need to get yeah we need to get back to the place of I think it’s inclusion and acceptance right we just need to get back to like you be you I’m gonna be me and we’re we’re all great and connected in let’s just gel like that well and I think also what you’re describing is what to be on TV it’s the same thing the exact same thing and my mom well I’ll say that I want to be touched me and you know talk to me and %HESITATION I loved you were would ensure they like when you’re pregnant and you’re telling all of that stuff is just people my husband is always going %HESITATION they think they’re being nice when someone tells you so much prettier in person you are TV you look so much younger and thinner in person any what they think they’re complimenting you and they say something about your child and you’re like they think they’re saying something nice or they’re saying something supported or anything always weird like it’s just always great my mom used to say this is the thing she says she has to mention our thing but she would say if there was any family with a child with down syndrome my mom couldn’t help herself because she loved her brother so much and she would say to the parents my brother could be your daughter’s twin that was her code language so then it was like you wouldn’t get that she got it like in this way and I don’t know how I felt about it I have no idea but that was the only my mom could do you like I’m with here like in such a good way I could use the joy of my life and that’s what she would say it’s like my brother could be your son’s twin it’s funny there is a code it is a definitely a code word because it’s almost like you know that maybe this might be taken wrong rate but if you’re just like like it’s a handshake it’s like a you know that it’s it’s like a secret handshake and there’s been different there’s been %HESITATION when I had a younger lady maybe in her twenties come up and just say my brothers down to Jim and he is the closest thing to me and I and I love more than anything what’s his name as a lien does he have a sibling I said yes and and she just said she’s lucky luckiest girl in the world walked away that’s not as much a code word more of a beautiful conversation yeah that’s a great that’s but that’s where we should be we should we should feel comfortable saying that you’re absolutely right and but then I feel like some people who may have experienced more of that like aggressive kind of stuff you know they do feel like that you need to have I just want you to know that I understand and like it’s like a societal thing at and when I talk about being on TV it’s because I’m different that’s right so then I’m different and that person is not on TV and I have a really good friend who is non binary she’s gay she shaves her head she was very armpits all these things I don’t even think twice about it she tells me when she was in an army like camping around with her way there were people who would literally see them turn away and not talk to them and I’m like what she’s we’re getting re person they would look at her and say you’re different than I am and they would walk away and my jaw hit the ground what sure yeah I mean I’m not traveling things like there’s some people who just want even going on and she was sort of clapping in this kinda nervous way and I said honey but I think that is it and maybe that’s sort of a human and animal things like your difference so that’s not open anymore I’m here can’t like what’s not different but what’s normal normal is what what anything when you were talking about you that you hope it gets better I think one thing that just came in and I always say I think I got a step that I’m sorry eleven but one thing it’ll it’ll take all my I think so way better than sort of that’s my new cat Florida no it is that okay %HESITATION one thing I noticed that for the last couple years like millennials were really gotten that the fuzzy under the lollipop and one thing that came to mind that I was always hearing this was about the emotion about their standing up or complaining and I thought that’s not a bad thing there is the same our guys this is wrong what you’re doing is this is wrong we accept everyone everyone has a right everyone has a voice everyone should be here there’s no normal it’s just each individual and and I’ve kind of him I’ve no I’ve not kind of or sort of I’ve embraced the millennial this new generation and I’m so happy for society for Sophia and the society that’s the changes that are happening and like her generation because she’s the same age as your daughter what they’re doing what they’re creating how do they think they’re the voices they have so my friend who I was talking about she also was an athlete and she’s older and so she says I’m gonna talk to your daughter because there’s a thing about parasitic wasps that I think she’ll just look so they get on facetime yesterday and my daughter wasn’t in the room is national parks my friend you know my girlfriend so they’re chatting chatting chatting later on she comes up again she’s thirteen years old she’s turning fourteen right she comes out we’re getting ready to watch and somehow I like records my friends and my friends wife and I said oh yeah that’s your wife you know she’s great originals yeah she told me additionally why would that even be anything poured her unconditionally why would that you can get isn’t that lovely yeah and from the time she was born she talks about the color of people’s skin %HESITATION he has brown skin your speech can be as the skin she didn’t I’m not talking before she can you know what she was getting busy it was just that it was like %HESITATION she has a river she walked to will be colder at the Beverly hills hotel she’s not looking over so much from since Sesame Street star she’d like a left or a little table and walked over and she was four years old she stood in front will be coverage just hi will be I was like well honey she said I love you will be you have the most beautiful skin I’ve ever seen that was so sweet but I remember being I’m just so sorry for my child it was just like yeah I don’t know that that whole thing right and I’m very glad about that for my kid but it isn’t it isn’t the case everywhere and that’s what’s always shocking to me is just seeing a lot of %HESITATION exclusion hopping up and really loud angry waste is frightening to me it’s frightening I feel like that set off a hopefully a an alarm in people to understand that if we do have a society that’s not inclusive and judgmental and put people in boxes this is what happens because that that is only born from fear and anger and now you can look at someone and go Hey Megan has blond hair I’d I’d that’s so different I love I love your hair it’s like I can acknowledge the differences that we have and then learn about him that’s different than saying Megan has blond hair and put her in this box and this is how I feel because that here you know it’s it’s different I feel like our mantra my my sisters and my friends and I stay with my daughter all the time when every year in cheer the antidote to fear is curiosity that is the absolute magic bullet to fear it I don’t know what my next job is going to be that scary if I get curious about what my next job is going to be then it’s exciting then there’s hope it’s coming we’re gonna do some of you know what I mean I don’t know what I’m curious about what’s coming next it is out in the garage for example your doctor and for his dress he’s currently building a table with no screws in it with just like more disenchanted because he wants to learn how to do it okay that’s awesome that’s curiosity I can’t imagine what his last year has been yeah that’s a whole nother part wow that’s it that’s it I’m yeah it’s been it’s been rough for everybody it’s been a long time but I do like what you pointed out too because I think all of the negativity and the fear and all that has made a hyper awareness well I think it’s a good it’s again that lake %HESITATION bringing it background is I see Liam’s unconditional love and presence and I learned from that I think that’s possible that’s a good lesson but then we see what hate and anger and that’s a different lesson you know where and it’s true Cena like you can and then you can make a choice like this is what where that love and inclusion brings us and this is what that hate and judgment that’s that’s where that leads us and I think that in both situations we have the ability for us to learn and then make new choices well and I think I was just want to ask how do you feel at the end of the day like how do you feel having acted out in earlier act how do you feel you feel good at the end of the day thanks I don’t think so yeah I I don’t I don’t think you know I remember one time when I was little and I got mad at someone and and I and I hit someone who is saying horrible horrible things to me and I carried that around with me for so I felt so horrible for hurting another person regardless of the fact that that person definitely was not being very kind at all I I heard from hurting someone else I can’t be it can’t feel anything else but that you know maybe underneath a bunch of stuff you don’t feel it anymore but can’t believe that hurting someone else would feel anything other than pretty crappy well I did something that’s great that I I told my daughter about the other well this last summer because we were in Oklahoma where I grew up and we went up and my mom’s acne on my my diary from when I was younger and it just I sort of started remembering these things that happened and %HESITATION there was a girl in my fifth grade class and her name is Julie Wilson and she was nerdy as one side of whatever I was trying to be cool and fit in with some of their kids and I drew some horrible picture of this growing like over whatever words interfaces that all classes and whatever and I wrote some like double instead like Julie and Bob something about Julie you know smelling matter you know something just me interesar and I didn’t get in trouble and I went home and I remember just stopping and going to my dad and Saint Patrick this picture of this girl and I don’t even know why I did it and I thought these are the girls would think I was cool I don’t know what I thought and I feel so terrible I think I’m going to throw up and I don’t know what to do and he said look at the phone company I guess you know we have to do and as I said her last name is Wilson pretty common I called every lesson in the phone book asking them if they had a daughter named Julie until I found the one that was for it makes me cry because I felt so terrible that this little girl had gone home thank me I’m gonna be the one that’s like the main kid I’m not going to get and I apologize to her and I said I was so sorry and I I don’t remember much else about it but I just know the feeling like it’s in that kind of unsolicited just meanness it made me feel so terrible I still feel terrible I still feel terrible you know I never did it again I never did it again how much of that %HESITATION just awareness of hurting someone else and what that was to think was derived from having bell yeah because it was I didn’t do that we were in my brothers and sisters and I we did not if anything we were the opposite person that needs to be stuck up or we all stuck up for underdogs old ways and that’s why it was so out of character was soon I was so not me %HESITATION because I think we always grew up sticking up for him always and my mom was very happy when I was growing up and I remember sticking up for her J. like you know just back off man you know because people are just need people can just be so mean and I think that’s I mean who knows that’s that’s part of %HESITATION part of what you just I don’t you don’t know where it came from but you just so did it come from my own call for sure yeah for sure but it’s it’s so ingrained and my daughter has a two you know she hasn’t from having been a little kid with him too he was my favorite my favorite colors are him with her you know when she was a little bit well when Liam was born we and we were sending them to school one of the we knew that Steve was Stephen because he’s more of the statistic person he was like this is how many children have down syndrome where all the kids with down syndrome Liam was the one of four kids who had down syndrome that went to the school he goes to the school’s been open for a hundred years and the other three kids were basically in the school at the same time so for how many years there was never a child with down syndrome in that school he had a teacher that had thirty five years and five years old and never had never had a job which sometimes and %HESITATION that will just it just takes what was like where are the kids not in not in English classroom yeah not on curriculum not and and and one of the things because when we were talking about you and bill the I guess about a year ago and I just was I was so interested to I wanted to hear what your journey was because you know obviously Sophia has a brother and I just I want and I wanted to know what that relationship how that forms you and more to do and the impact and you know society and and you know watching your grandmother be an advocate and and all of those things I’m so interested in you know what bill’s life was and how it changed over the duration of his life even you know as far as more acceptance or having more of a voice and self advocating but mostly this morning I told Steven I wanna celebrate bill I want to celebrate his story and you know because his impact has impact and and who is the way that it comes back to me all the time all the time is when I’m home because random people come up to me and say because my uncle worked at the university of Oklahoma in the cafeteria so there was a program that had been started for awhile and he would go bust the tables and he would get no work done because he would sit down and chat and everyone wanted them to be with them and you know we have a coke and hang out with these people for a while all those kids that went to school became studies I will see them around him and they know me because I’m on TV whatever they know that he was my uncle and he was always writing about me and people randomly will coach meeting go thank you bill how Izzy and creepers I have to say that he passed away in a burst and all my friends grew up with him you know all my friends grew up with my employment my best friend ginger from the time I was seven I mean she made a special trip to see %HESITATION you know when he was in hospice like he he made an impact on everyone who ever knew and because eight you couldn’t answer craters injuries to say you can never be sad when you’re around you just can’t give you sat and when he was found it was almost unbearable you know when something it was almost unbearable but I think that %HESITATION his presence made everything lighter everything better it just everybody got out of there on hand you know it was it was we were always in the moment and I hi just free holidays now all holidays because he loved every holiday and no matter where I was and what was going on I would forget to give my husband a Valentine’s card but I was sending a care package to bill because he lost every single holiday it was just a new reason to decorate his room to have anything to wear different hats to sing a different song to do it every holiday was his favorite holiday you love Easter he left everything I mean I think that’s I should say I hate holidays since you now just hard it’s hard he loved life he loved everything about life yes everything about he loves food so she and he didn’t like it his response was yes yeah so he’s still very much in all of our lives and this memorial and we did it %HESITATION I’m telling you that we people everyone in my family flew from everywhere everywhere to come to his moral everywhere I mean my cousin was in China and came back for his moral it wasn’t we have a funeral we had a huge heart and my my cousin made this giant slide show that we have all sent pictures for him and we make this huge mail that ended up lasting seven hours or something and we all sat in these giant hit a record rainbow room everybody just took a microphone and told stories about bill four hours hours and hours and hours and hours %HESITATION just all these different bills stories and we all had certain things that our kids say but we don’t say I love you we satellite view because that’s like that’s built I love you and we just we will text each other I love for you everybody you know it’s like there’s so many things that still you know they’re just still in our family and and his soul still a part of this matter was astounding to me about my cousins and cousins I hadn’t even now who you know their kids talk about belt and it’s dear friends and your kids friends and he was just such a force of nature and I do agree with my grandmother I mean I agree that only the strongest soldiers to have down syndrome because it’s a harder life for them in our opinion but I I don’t know that it fell hard for my uncle I don’t think that he felt like he had a hard life you love to sign you loved his family he loved strangers you loved his life you didn’t feel like he got dealt a raw deal he didn’t want people would feel sorry for him it was confusing to me why do you feel sorry for him you know he didn’t meet his Katie and that didn’t make any sense to me you know I think that might let I don’t think that I know that my life and my family’s lives in regards would be greatly diminished without having him as parents of lamb I think that when you were just saying as far as how other people may view him in with petty or is less than are some of those negative things most people just love him some people love them but then you know kind of have a different expectation on him than than we know he’s but his ability yes and I know that maybe being up against those things sometimes I may think because those maybe are important to me I may fear that they will make his life challenging or less than but I think the reality and hearing each of your uncle I think that’s the reality you know and a life that’s loved and a life that that brings love and has lived full full of the things that are so important full of all these gifts for humanity all these gifts everyday life that bill touched every person who was able to have a conversation with him that may not have known what down syndrome was that may have had a perception or belief until they met him was able to see so many possibilities whether it just be wow what a light how do you get that light I can have that light or he’s some he’s able which to me is you know more people they don’t accept there’s there’s like a lot of black of expectation there to go I was wrong about what down syndrome is and not everybody gets to have that impact on the world not everybody gets to to change the world and that way %HESITATION and it’s exponential I think that it’s love and I think that it’s really what the world needs and so when I think of Liam this conversation has planted some really Frein an opening seeds that maybe I won’t worry as much because I know the one thing that he does have is that he’s him and who he is that’s that’s his that’s his gift and it’s a gift to the world to the other things that we advocate for and fight for I think there for him maybe more for us I think that what the world needs as well Liam gifs and what bill gave and I think that there’s a the sound like when you said his his difference hello I just think about in terms of how much I work with my daughter on self esteem and how much work on self esteem will work on self esteem and couldn’t work on sixty your ruling was he never thought one second that he should be different number one second but you know my mom get a lot of the things he tells like you dear and my mom went in if you figure out how to not worry about your kids let me now but I can imagine well exactly figure that one out but my mom used to say it breaks my heart would bill says he’s gonna grow up and get an apartment it doesn’t break his heart it is for he doesn’t have that now he loves drawing pictures of his apartment she doesn’t have regrets my uncle never had regrets it just didn’t happen when you would walk in and this is what my cousin Lisa nice and we got together to talk about bill she said my self esteem has taken such a hit because now after let me as much as me hello my husband and I love my child but I will never have anyone lined up like the fourth of July when I walk into a room and say %HESITATION never have anyone lined up like that yeah and he would call me beautiful girl you know it’s just it’s a girl so yes I feel lucky so so grateful to have medical it’s my sister’s on there that I was gonna can do this with you guys in the city can we do what can we do it to alter anything everything we can have a bill series you too many people gonna be my family is I love that because honestly I am dead the demographic is the small tiny demographic that we’ve become but it’s like this beautiful gift where your family and the people that bill touched is this is this huge yeah and I was doing this thing my dad was in World War two and and you know course they’re all these crazy stories of my dad and like he was in the battle bulging almost died a hundred times and I was reading this thing in my brother and I went to Belgium in summer my dad wasn’t I said you know when you think about it I have this vision of this enormous football field people that wouldn’t be on this earth had my dad not survived interested it trusted his instincts and have that courage all these kinds of things and it would be a football field hold people and now I’m thinking about the number of people that my uncle affected it would be three football fields because for every person that he physically interact with that person told somebody about he’s a little mini celebrity in Norman Oklahoma like people knew I was in high school I get stopped at the mall so we’ll go to her uncle and %HESITATION you thank you now eat people near here because he was yeah and all the people there are changed and then have a good day because they ran into I mean that’s a big thing on a small crime now the world needs more of it the world definitely needs more of that and I’m gonna miss it completely dominoes right and it’s I think that’s what people don’t get that’s not that’s not the face we see when people talk about down syndrome that’s not what the doctors think when they go to expectant moms that’s not what the school system feels when they’re sitting across from you know saying they’d be better someplace else that’s that’s not but that is the truth right that’s the reality and I don’t know where the rest of it came from maybe like a convenience somewhere a long time ago %HESITATION but the truth is what you’ve been talking about the truth is your uncle bill and and all the uncle bills and Liam’s and these beautiful people that are out there the transfers across the board and that’s the other thing that I feel is like minding the kids that my daughter is friends but who are all manner of flavored their own you know brand of cereal and some kid who someone says he has X. Y. Z. whatever he has do you know how much fun it is to talk to you do you know how much the kid loves to cook and wants to come over to play just because you want to cook with me what what does it have to do with whatever is different about that kid like what’s different I love people who am I it is middle of the road I’m not interested in that I’m not interested in somebody who is as my sister says paste eater that’s our favorite server gets the middle of the but there’s a great book called differently wired read this book there’s actually read every book I read every book that exists about kids and everything but don’t do it it’s just different required it’s not worse is weird outlier and works all differently differently wired to my husband in so many ways let me tell you too are differently wired we’re all differently that’s what makes a great course that’s what’s great I feel so honored to have learned about your uncle bill and then on a more personal note it does in a little lightness to my heart you know just to there is a clarity because we get we get caught up in the challenges yes thank you for that because that really is a reminder you know that like no whatever whatever your kids staying is that makes them different it makes them different in tons and millions of great credibly great ways ways you’re bundling or waste you know my favorite thing is to say it’s never boring around here it’s never going there’s a giant paper mache head being made in there okay Rick and Morty which I do not appreciate my husband is introduced my daughter some crazy cartoon but do you know she’s taking her little brain and she’s making a paper stalker I love it let’s celebrate that right I think kids feel like that’s what they have to do because it’s safe and I think that’s really the that’s really the side effect of a non inclusive environment because if if I’m different that’s what different that’s how it gets treated but you know the truth is in the real world there’s probably not one person they admire that wasn’t considered different because the those are the people that go out and change the world right those are the people who have their their individuality and their creativeness and artistic and it hasn’t been snuffed out and they’ve made it through the fire intact how you gonna push boundaries and and find new spaces yeah if you just sit in the same one as I look at my daughter and I have tried to like move all the chess pieces so that you know she’s not gonna do this is gonna be easier her investment can be hard for her and we’re going to walk the path bill my girlfriend said to me who are you friends with who hasn’t gone through pain hello she said she’s gonna she’s gonna go through pain and it’s gonna make her who she is they’re going to get hurt in it it’s so hard for me to accept but when you think about it all my favorite people are we my husband and I went to high school together he pointed out at our reunion all my friends who did not fit in apple he was cool in high school I was not the only people that we hang out with now are my friends because they’re the ones who as we say didn’t peak too early but they’re the ones who do things differently who do things in a different way a girl that we went to high school and I forgot this until just now a girl we went to high school with new minor call in at the university of Oklahoma which she was a freshman she got up and he was my uncle she immediately changed her major because she loves hanging out with them so much and she runs an entire special education program in Oklahoma now and every time we see her she always says you know it’s you know what was your uncle you know what your uncle that’s that’s the attacks you know of somebody who’s wired a little differently and that’s the message we need kids to understand that’s the new message that they need to hear is that that’s difference changes the world being different is is growth are the inventors are the creators and everybody’s different so you give it to everybody can be an inventor everybody can be a creator everybody can do that and and I think that’s just what kids need to know let’s celebrate our life every single life and those lives that people try to tell us aren’t worth as much your look down on and with whatever perception they have that that those words don’t matter it’s that case because the reality of it is Mr ago bell is the is the love that gets put in the world you know the lady with the lovely little bills because I was thinking is there one that actually it’s just so great my dad said to my uncle you know what Billy boy we’re both getting a low chance I think tomorrow we should fast and tell us %HESITATION what a wonderful way to see life I love that again thank you so much for joining us for the vote yesterday it’s been a pleasure thank you for having me it is literally the most fun afternoon I had since COVID.
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