Monday, April 12, 2010

Welcome to Holland

WELCOME TO HOLLAND
         by   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.

~This poem sums up how I am feeling at the moment; it's amazing how I can feel blessed and emotionally devestated at the same time. I love my life in Holland, but I do wonder what life in Italy would have been like.~


3 comments:

Glenys said...

Powerful, empowering & sad all at the same time.

Anonymous said...

love you sis....

Laura Monchuk said...

Thanks so much for sharing this! Big hugs to you.