Saturday, April 26, 2014

A Different Perspective

Beckett and Daddy decorating Easter Eggs
Easter 2014
A new special mom friend shared this with me a couple of nights ago. A poem written by Emily Kingsley.  This mom happened to see it while her son was in NICU.  You may never experience the life of raising a special needs child. I am not a victim, I am not helpless. God has given me a purpose and a greater love than I have ever thought I could experience. A selfless love. A life of gratitude and appreciation. Not one to be bitter, envious, or selfish. I will admit that this is the hardest thing I ever have had to do. The strength I have is only through my faith in Christ. If I influence you in a way that is encouraging and one that builds, then I have done my job. I am no better than anyone else in this world. I do what I do because its to tell you that you could if you needed to too. If I died today and people spoke of my life, I would want you all to know that I would hope that those things above you would remember me by.
Welcome to 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 vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guidebooks 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 some horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.
So you must go out and buy a new guidebook. 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."
The pain of that will never, 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.

Written by Emily Perl Kingsley


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