Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Please read the post under this one labeled "some thoughts" first, so you understand why I posted this poem.

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.


nixon5 said...

I love that story it is so great.

Heidi said...

That is such a nice poem. I have never thought of it like that before. I will keep your family in my prayers.

Shanda said...

That is a good story. It can be related to a lot of areas in life. Don't focus on what you thought you'd have because you will overlook the greatness you are surrounded in already. Your fam is in my prayers too.
Also yes i will have a website it is being built and should be running in 2-3 weeks its I have some of my inventory here already though if they had questions. But like i said the website should be up and running really soon

maidmarian4 said...

I am so glad that you read it and posted it here. It is truly a gem for many many people/kids. I like the outlook of it as it is not a negative thing - but something different that only you and others around Josh can experience.

I will always hold that poem close to me as it helped/helps me with Brooke.

Chan said...

That about sums it up, doesn't it.