Sunday, December 26, 2010

Welcome To Holland

This poem was just intruduced to me a few days ago. It immediately brought tears to my eyes. It's perfect. That's all I can say about that it's perfect.

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 & make your wonderful plans. The Colisseum. The Michaelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. Its all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags & off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in & 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 & there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine, & disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out & 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 a while & you catch your breath, you look around....and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....& Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming & going from Italy...& 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 fat that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things...about Holland.
-By Emily Perl Kingsley

This immediately brought tears to my eyes....for the obvious reasons, but also because I was meant to read this. All those close to me know how passionate I am about The Netherlands. I lived there for a year. It's the most fabulous place in the world. If I couldn't live in the US, The Netherlands is where I'd go. This poem hit home, in a great way. I have printed it off & it's now in my purse, going everywhere with me so I can pull it out & read it whenever I need to. I also love the part about meeting a whole new group of people that I'd have never met. This couldn't be more true! I've met a fantastic group of people through this whole thing that I'd have never had the pleasure of knowing if this wouldn't have happened. I am one blessed girl...

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