Thursday, November 5, 2009

Welcome to Holland

We got some tough news today. Nothing life threatening, and nothing I was totally unprepared for, but tough none the less. I'll write about it in more detail maybe someday but not today.

I wanted to write something tonight, but I wasn't sure exactly what I wanted/needed to say. In my haze of frenzied googling I stumbled accross something someone else wrote that sums up perfectly how I feel. I have no idea who she is, but I'm going to turn it over to her anyway.

So....take it away Emily Perl Kingsley -

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland." "Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."


But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay. The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met. It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss. But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

12 comments:

Tricia McWhorter said...

That was a really wonderful post. It says so much by all it doesn't say. And it's kind of true about any curve life happens to throw at you. You have to learn to appreciate wherever it is you happen to land.

Tori said...

That was a beautiful and very sad post. It speaks a lot of truth, though.

Jennifer said...

That is an amazing post. And it really gives a beautiful description that makes it a little easier to understand.

Noelle said...

very poetic and thought provoking. a wonderful analogy.

Raven said...

What a beautiful, touching post. I like the metaphor that she used. Very powerful and poignant.

Blogging Mama Andrea said...

I have two kids with some issues and this post tells exactly what it feels like when you find out what you planned isn't waht you get. I posted about it this week.

I hope that whatever is happening you remember to take it a day at a time. It seems impossible but look ahead to the positives you can find and hug those kids. Sometimes that's the best thing in the world to do.

Keely said...

*hug*

robin said...

This is a great post. What a great analogy for any time when life takes a hard sharp turn in ways we never dreamed.
Sending good thoughts your way.

Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

((HUGZ!!))

Lynear Thinking said...

Holland is an nice place to be too. The chance of being surprised in life, especially when raising kids is pretty much 100%. But I like to think there's a reason for everything, something to teach us. An open mind and an open heart are all you really need.

Frogs in my formula said...

Very thought provoking. I like how she writes, "It's just a different place." That's a good outlook. Good seems trite, but you know what I'm trying to say.

Hugs.

Casey said...

Well I'm not sure what's going on but I hope everything is going ok in FoNland.