Inspirational

 

 

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 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 out 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.... and 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 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.

 

By Emily Perl Kingsley, a Sesame Street author since 1970 and mother of a boy born with Down’s syndrome.

 

 

The Starfish

 

The old man awoke just before sunrise, as he often did, to walk by the ocean's edge and greet the new day. As he moved through the morning dawn, he focused on a faint, far away motion.

 

He saw a youth, bending and reaching and flailing arms, dancing on the beach, no doubt in celebration of the perfect day soon to begin. As he approached, he realized that the youth was not dancing to the bay, but rather bending to sift through the debris left by the night's tide, stopping now and then to pick up starfish and then standing, to heave it back into the sea.

 

He asked the youth the purpose of the effort. "The tide has washed the starfish onto the beach and they cannot return to the sea by themselves," the youth replied. "When the sun rises, they will die, unless I throw them back into the sea."

 

As the youth explained, the old man surveyed the vast expanse of beach, stretching in both directions beyond eyesight. Starfish littered the shore in numbers beyond calculation.

 

The hopelessness of the youth's plan became clear and the old man countered, "But there are more starfish on this beach than you can ever save before the sun is up. Surely you cannot expect to make a difference."

 

The youth paused briefly to consider these words, bent to pick up a starfish and threw it as far as possible. Turning to the man, he said,

 

"I made a difference to that one."

 

Adapted from The Star Thrower by Loren Eiseley 

Sourced from choosinghope.org

 

 

 

This year, nearly one hundred thousand women will become mothers of handicapped children. Did you ever wonder how these mothers of handicapped children are chosen?

 

I somehow visualize God hovering over Earth selecting His instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As He observes, He instructs his angels to make notes in a giant ledger.

 

He passes a name to an angel and smiles. “Give her a blind child.”

 

The angel is curious. “Why this one, God? She's so happy.”

 

“Exactly,” says God. “Could I give a child with a handicap to a mother who does not know laughter? That would be cruel.”

 

“But has she patience?” asks the angel.

 

“I don't want her to have too much patience, or she will drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wear off, she'll handle it.”

 

“But, Lord, I don't think she even believes in you.”

God smiles. “No matter. I can fix that. This one is perfect. She has just enough selfishness.”

 

The angel gasps. “Selfishness? Is that a virtue?”

 

God nods. “If she can't separate herself from the child occasionally, she'll never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child less than perfect. She doesn't realize it yet, but she is to be envied. She will never take for granted a spoken word. She will never consider a step ordinary. When her child says “Mommy” for the first time, she will be present at a miracle and know it! When she describes a tree or a sunset to her blind child, she will see it as few people ever see my creations.”

 

“I will permit her to see clearly the things I see... ignorance, cruelty, prejudice... and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life, because she is doing my work as surely as she is here by my side.”

 

“And what about her patron saint?” asks the angel, pen poised in mid-air.

 

God smiles. “A mirror will suffice.”

 

Source: the web 

 

 

And finally:

 

"Don't cry because it's oversmile because it happened"

 

Attributed to Dr Seuss