Mother’s Day 2020: Nina Greene
In 1995, Nina Greene gave birth to a beautiful, curious little boy, Randy, who lives with Down syndrome. As a mother, what gives her the most joy is how similar Randy’s life and problems are relative to those his age, despite his disability. Randy, a 25-year-old man, is a college graduate who lives and works independently. He continuously fights the odds and works hard to achieve his dreams, showing the world his resiliency and strength.
Randy never gave up. To see him now living independently as a kind and caring man, with his sense of determination and happiness, makes me beam with pride and joy. My life is filled with love because I am Randy’s mom.
As a mother with a child with an intellectual and developmental disability, Nina’s biggest concern was
that Randy would live isolated from his peers. Her primary hope was for Randy to experience friendship and happiness. Throughout Randy’s childhood, his social life predominantly centered around my own, my friends became his only friends. Everything changed when Randy started high school, when he found Best Buddies.
Randy’s social life blossomed. His schedule began to fill up with lunches, movies, get-togethers, football and baseball games – on weekdays and weekends! Randy and the friends he met in Best Buddies created endless high school memories. Randy loves everything about Best Buddies, but the friendships the most!
Nina finds great comfort in knowing that regardless of the circumstances, Randy always has friends and a support systems. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, where many are physically isolated, Randy’s friendships made in Best Buddies remain.
It is difficult to find the proper words to explain the happiness I feel when I look at Randy’s accomplishments. So, I can simply say that I am grateful and blessed to watch Randy live his most independent life in the way he chooses to live it.
Randy attributes his kindness, his ability to enjoy new experiences and live every day to the fullest to his mother. Randy and his mother are both service-driven individuals, constantly volunteering for organizations that are meaningful to them. Their determination allows them both to achieve what they set out to do.
I hope I am a lot like my mom, because she is pretty awesome, and I love being with her.
Randy loves traveling and exploring new places with his mother. They have traveled to Italy, Ireland and England and plan annual trips to spend somewhere special together – Randy’s favorite time of the year! He also enjoys attending Broadway musicals alongside his mother and learning about the music and performances.
But mostly, I love being with her – it that makes me feel special and loved.
When asked if there is anything that she has always wanted to tell Randy but never has, Nina replied:
Randy, you make me proud and happy every day that I am your mom. Thank you for being a wonderful, kind and loving son and person.
When asked if there is anything that he wanted to share with his mom but never has, Randy replied:
Mom, I love you because you are smart, kind, you make our house safe and loving, and I am a better person because you are my mom