Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Change of Plans--I'm going to "Holland"

Life does not always go the way you plan. I have had a difficult time letting go of some of my expectations and "plans" of my life as it takes on a different direction.

This afternoon, a dear friend referred me to this poem. It was actually written to describe how life changes when a special needs child joins the family. While this is not true of the twists and turns in my life, this poem really affected me and brought me peace....so, for now, I am headed to Holland! :)

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 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…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 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.


Jay said...

Awesome! Now I know where I can always find that poem, instead of looking through boxes and boxes of stuff!

marcia@joyismygoal said...

sniff :( sniff There are others in Holland w/ you and once the the newness wears - off understanding sets in, the pain lessens and Holland is Beautiful.

nikko said...

One quote I have always loved is "Life is what happens when you're making other plans." I find it so true, whether the unmet expectations are big or small.

You have a wonderful attitude. Hugs!

Suzanne said...

I am thinking of you! Good luck getting through all this. You have amazing perspective! ***Hugs***

shana said...

What a wonderful post. I've never read that poem, but it certainly does apply to many aspects of our lives. Good luck as you adjust to Holland. I admire your attitude during an incredibly difficult time!!!

Natalie said...

You are awesome!

zeebee said...

How are you so amazing??? I must talk to you, soon. I love you!
p.s. I love that poem, I will pass it along.

Amanda said...

I found your blog through my sister that linked to your sisters that linked to yours! Hope you don't mind. This poem is a good one and I really needed reminding that I need to enjoy the journey and the destinations we come to even though they weren't what we had planned! (PS-- leave your email on my diaper blog comments if you would like to be invited to see our family blog--I won't publish it).

the MILKY way (Chrissy) said...

awesome. thanks for sharing this!

Li said...

Oh, I love that. It's an awesome way to see life. Too bad we can't land where we originally planned!

AngeeBee said...

Because I am so far away I not only don't know what the significant changes are in your life... but I'm not even there to give you a hug! So, I will keep you in my prayers.

It is significant to realize that your Pilot on that plane headed for Italy and landing in Holland not only knows why He landed there... but He knows your exact purpose for being there!

I know that you will take the time to ask your Pilot and you will find that not only is Holland beautiful and you will be forever changed by Holland - but, more importantly Holland will be forever changed because of who you are and how you will make a difference there!

You are an amazing woman and I send you my love from Mexico!

Kathy said...

You continue to amaze me with your spiritual perspective on things! Hugs!

Thanks for being a part of preparing the RS bday. I felt the spirit so strong. Thanks

KP said...

Life is about changes, and you will emerge from this adventure stronger in all aspects of your life. You continue to amaze me, you are truly a blessing to those people whose paths you have crossed. I pray that your are comforted and at peace with your new destination.

The Tall and Short of it said...

I am going w u!
Thanks Jay!