Thursday, December 30, 2010

On Enjoying Life and What It Gives YOU

My friend Lynda Milligan who is one of the owners of the Great American Quilt Factory and Partners with Nancy Smith from Possibilities brought this to share many years ago when she took my Asilomar class- I am sharing it here because she asked what "Welcome to Holland" Meant
Welcome To Holland
by Emily Perl Kingsley

Matthew and 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.


Maree in NC :-) said...

and Holland is a very wonderful place filled with lots of love! :-)

WoolenSails said...

What a wonderful post and so true.
I hope you and your family have a wonderful New Year filled with blessings and love.


Donna Avila said...

Thank you for sharing that story. It has encouraged me and I will be using it to encourage others too. See you in Asilomar in March! I hope to have my quilt top ready to share by then. Donna

Quiltdivajulie said...

As the mother of a special son, this story touches my heart in SO many ways.

Bless you!