Amundsen House of Chaos

Let's face it, when you have a kid who survived a stroke, life is always going to be a little chaotic.

Friday, January 2, 2009

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Welcome to Holland

I just saw this little story and and felt it represented our life this past year. I realized that I have come to appreciate Holland in spite of my desire to go to Italy. It almost feels like we were in Italy for awhile but woke up one day and found we were in Holland. Even though our plans have changed I have realized that Holland has taught me more than I ever thought I could learn or appreciate.

WELCOME TO HOLLANDBy 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 the unique
experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like

When you are going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous
vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guidebooks and make your
wonderful plans. The Coliseum. Michelangelo' s "David." The gondolas
in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack
your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The
flight attendant comes and says, "Welcome to Holland." "Holland?" you
say. "What do you mean, Holland? I signed up for Italy. All my life
I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plans. 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 guidebooks. 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 awhile 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 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.


At January 2, 2009 at 10:29 PM , Blogger Cyndi said...

wow. that was inspiring.


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