Saturday, March 13, 2010

Loving Holland

I posted about a month ago that I was dealing with a bit of PTSD… and maybe I was/am or maybe I was just grieving what was Kathryn’s birth and her first few weeks of life. Maybe I am still trying to figure out this uncertain life we are leading.

In my quest to find my way through this, and I am finding my way for those of you that are worried. I’m feeling a lot better and have been able to process and work through this with the help of my amazing, understanding and AWESOME husband, some great mommy friends, who don’t know exactly what I am feeling, but are willing to listen.

While doing some research on the subject, I stubbled across the following 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.

I am enjoying navigating my way through “Holland”. I wouldn’t change our life with Kathryn for ANYTHING! She brings such joy and happiness to our days.

It’s funny after sharing the poem with Mike he said…that given the choice of going to Italy or Holland…we would both choose Holland…literally and figuratively.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Murphys, OK totally have not figured out the whole facebook thing but see your updates there occasionally. Actually since my Katie and Annie both have facebook pages and have to do a lot of their homework on the one computer we have ... I dont' get a lot of computer time.

Anyway - love your blog and pictures.

My brother-in-law lived in Dordrecht, Holland for several years and Steve and I visited him twice. Lovely poem.

Hope you are all well. The Rileys are all doing great. Mom and Dad are in Maine with Sean, Vickey and Nia this weekend.

Starting to make summer plans and hope we can all be in NH at the same time. Probably August. Planning a big RV trip to Pennsylvania - Hershey Park, Gettysburg and Philadelphia in July. - Love Tricia (riley) Donegan