Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Beauty of Being ...

Twenty-five years ago, when my daughter who has special needs, was a newborn, I was given this attached story. It really moved me and altered my thinking.

I can also relate it to my dealing with multiple sclerosis. There is no doubt that it pertains to almost any disability or life-altering disease.

Take a moment to read it. See if you are as moved as I was.




"The Beauty of Holland"


"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 trip--to Italy! You buy a bunch of guidebooks and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You even 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 flight attendant 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 has 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 learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you never would 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 Rembrandt's.

"But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy, and they're all talking 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.'

"But if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't go to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland"

--Emily Perl Kingsley

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