Monday, August 20, 2007

Welcome to Holland

I was reading my email & somebody had this in their signature. Yes, it's really long for a signature. But it amazed me at how fitting it was for me to read this today. Today of all days. In my mind there's a little angel just letting me know that she's thinking of me too and I know that she knows just how much I miss her.

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 guidebooks and make your wonderful plans: the Coliseum, Michelangelo's 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 guidebooks. 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 many never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland.

Hailey Grace Williams 8.20.02 - 4.14.04



What a darling one!

I have enjoyed your kindness and am passing on the Nice Matters award on to you.

You can post the logo on your blog to let everyone know that someone thinks you are NICE!

- Teresa

Vera said...

This is very sweet - thanks Stacie, I've saved your story, and I'll keep it if I ever need the words to send to someone. Or a way to understand someone else's road. Thanks, Deb (Vera is my mother, who passed away in May 07 - I'm trying to make her a blog that has letters and cards she wrote to my siblings and I before she passed - in case you wondered about the different names!)

Vera said...

PS Hailey is beautiful, what a precious little face!

Karen Campbell said...

Geez -- I haven't been to your blog in eons ... what a sweet looking little angel she was. And how true the sentimnents in that sig line were ...

MLouIsPink said...

What a perfect way to describe the journey some of us take in parenthood. As an adoptive mom that describes our experiences, too, even though it was a completely different path.
When it comes to getting pregnant and having babies, no one ever prepares "you" for a less than perfect outcome.
What a precious picture of Hailey, her eyes are just beautiful.

inventivesoul said...

Thank you Stacie for posting this to your blog.

The analogy is deep and perfect.

Amber Dawn