Monday, November 24, 2008

A Very Good Thanksgiving

Okay...so I know that Thanksgiving hasn't even gotten here yet but we are having company and my life's too hectic to chance missing posting that day. I ran across a story/poem today that exactly fits to how I've felt since February. Every Thanksgiving I try to find one thing to focus on being Thankful for. This year...I'm thankful for Holland.

WELCOME TO HOLLAND
byEmily Perl Kingsley.
c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley.
All rights reserved
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.

4 comments:

Angela said...

Amanda - I totally just read that a couple days ago! Kristen Oaks quotes that in her book "A Single Voice" as I believe she actually knows the author of that. How true is it that we plan for so much in our life, and normally, it ends up going in a totally different direction than we would ever imagine. For you, you would never have imagined that you would ever go through what you have with Ethan, and for me, it's something different. But how wonderful the actual plan that happens is when we step back, and take the time to enjoy it. What wonderful things come to us!!

Marissa said...

Amanda that is what my siggy means. *Holland* is and will be a beautiful life even if it isn't Italy.

Jenn said...

I love that poem. When I get sad, I read it to lift me up!

Right now I feel like I'm getting to visit 'France'...so you're time is coming, too!

The Kelley's said...

I LOVE this! I will definitely be taking this to my blog. It is true, once you take a step back and see where you are at you love being where you are. I think the author summed it up very nicely! We're glad everything is still going so good for your family. I thought the story your daughter wrote was very sweet and touching too. You can tell she loves her little brother very much!