Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Welcome To Holland

I know there are plenty of my readers who are parents of children who have diabetes. There are also other readers of my blog who have children with various kinds of special needs. This story can relate to all of us. All of us who walk outside society's boundaries of "the norm." Every mother worries about her children but when they have special needs on top of the regular demands of childhood, well sometimes we need a little reassuring that we are doing an ok job. That we have the strength to conquer this challenge and, if nothing else, that we have each other to lean on. Thanks for supporting me on this adventure.

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.

Welcome to My Holland
~These are supplies that will keep Miss Sydney alive for 1 month.

~An occurance she does at least 8 times a day. ~Tiny fingers. Callused and poked.

~Through it all, she still finds her smile. Holland isn't such a bad place. THE CHALLENGE: If you have your own special Holland that is your life, repost this on your blog or facebook. Post a few pictures of your trip to Holland and then let me know so I can come check it out.

12 comments:

phonelady said...

wow that is an amazing way to look at life thanks for sharing this I love it . too cute .

The Herrigs said...

Shamae...love this post...what a unique way of looking at a diabetes diagnosis.

Hallie said...

Love it! Thanks for sharing! I will definitely repost it on my blog! It's true- Holland isn't so bad- just different. And I DO get sick of hearing about Italy!

KLTTX said...

I've read the same story but changed for infertility/adoption. Its appropriate there too. It seems like you guys are doing a great job managing Syd's disease and you have learned so much in just a short time.

AjsMommy82 said...

I never get tired of reading this story...I love it!

-I posted it on fb :)

The Lane Family said...

I recieved this story when we found out Jenni had some serious heart issues and hydrocephalus. At that point we had no idea that her time with us would be so short. When I read this story I thought how true it was.

Then we had Avery and have had and continue to have many challenges that know one can explain with her health and once again I love this story. I will re-post it on my blog.

Once again you are an amazing mom of an amazing little girl who has a tough disease. You always amaze me with your knowledge and your strength!!!

Meri said...

I've reposted it on my blog. It is such a beautiful story. Holland seems to be very crowded these days...so many must detour from their planned path. Thank goodness Holland is filled with so many beautiful people. After all...I met you there, didn't I.

Mel said...

I love it, ty for sharing it!!

Kasi Lee said...

That is a beautiful story, and I am so grateful you shared. It is definitely one that I will remember. THANK YOU!

Crystal S. said...

Shamae, I love that! I will be reposting this along with pictures, as soon as we all recover from the swine flu.

Thanks for sharing that!

Anonymous said...

Life is amazing! I never would have thought that the story I used in presenting for over 10 years would come back full circle through my own daughter and granddaughter! I'm very proud of you and Sydney!!
I love you both! Your Mom

Megann said...

You are so inspiring Shamae! Thanks for all your amazing posts and insights.