I didn’t write this, but I had to share because I have never come across something that describes our experience better than this. In case you were wondering… it’s short, and lovely.
“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…theColiseum, the Sistine Chapel, Gondolas. You may learn some handy phrases inItalian. It’s all very exciting. After several months of eager anticipation, the dayfinally 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 goingto 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, filthyplace full of pestilence, famine, and disease. It’s just a different place.So, you must go out and buy new guidebooks. And you must learn a whole newlanguage. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never havemet. 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 lookaround. You begin to notice that Holland has windmills. Holland has tulips. AndHolland 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 hadthere. 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 experience will never, ever, ever, go away. 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 maynever be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland.”
MY Response: I still cannot read this without shaking, but there is one part of this that I do not agree with and it is this: “…And the pain of that experience will never, ever, ever, go away.” I believe that one day I will be able to read this WITHOUT shaking. And with a smile in my heart because we will be on the other side of this, and we will have our “why”, and it will all make sense in the grand tapestry of this life.