Ladies Camera Club

28 May 2012

Touchdown at Schipol

This weekend I was reminded just how incredibly cruel life can be.  I have done nothing but break my heart since Friday night right up until this afternoon when my sweet Belles came into the bedroom, sat right next to me on the bed and touched my cheek.  The fact that she was more interested in wanting to know if we were going to my friends BBQ was insignificant to me.  But that precious, feather light connection of her hand to my cheek was like she was draining all the anxiety from my sad, selfish shell.  I honestly believe Ellie is my earth angel.  She knew I was feeling dreadfully low and her way of softening any blow with me is to either offer a much needed sweet kiss or touch my cheek.  And if you could bottle this brand of magic up, it would sell for millions.

I perked up and said "yes, we shall go to the BBQ" and her little face lit up so majestically.  And for those of you who haven't met Ellie, smiling needs to be encouraged - it doesn't happen naturally.  She LOVES going to my friend Jane's.  You don't have to make excuses or have to explain things to them.  They are so accepting and gracious.  I know Ellie feels right at home there and believe me, besides our house and both our parents houses, she doesn't care much to go anywhere else.

my chipmunk - in all sense of the word.  She is FOREVER stuffing her pouches with food and they can be still full an hour later.  

In light of this weekends highs and lows, I wanted to share a very short story with you (although I blogged about this a while back but I can't find it in almost 2000 posts).  So I'm going to share it with you again.  If it resonates with you, share it.  If it doesn't affect you then still, share it.  But most of all, share it with your children.

 "Welcome to Holland"  by 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 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 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.




29 comments:

Angela Weimer said...

Such a heartfelt post. Ellie is definitely your Angel. Such a special Angel. Angela

fionalawlor said...

I prefer Holland to Italy any day :) lol Such a lovely way of putting it, and your so right!!
Fiona x

Bettyann said...

Thank you for sharing this lovely post. Take care of your sweet angel.

Bettyann said...

Thank you for sharing this lovely post. Take care of your sweet angel.

Sue said...

I hope life is tresating you kind today.

Anonymous said...

Full of emotion which needs to be shared. thank you.

Angela Dawes said...

Yep you never leave!!! I know life is good but there's always something missing, those doubts that never go away the constant feeling your not doing enough when your exhausted.....

Ellie is a beautiful young lady & you must be so proud of her - enjoy this gorgeous weather together, bug hugs xx

Anonymous said...

Not ashamed to say I just blubbed...... For you and me. My DS2 has High Functoning Autism and Bi-Polar disorder. Always knew he was "different" but he was 21 before anyone took me seriously and he was diagnosed - and at least we now have a diagnosis, unlike your darling Belle. He's now 25 and never worked, because lets face it, what employer will take someone on who can't cope with people, and sometimes wakes and sleeps in a different time-zone to the rest of the UK, who takes everything literally and who can spend 4 or 5 days in bed because he can't cope with the world? And that's just a part of it..... but he'll come and sit next to me and give me a quick hug and that's his equivalent to your Belle's little touch. And that is when I blubbed. And then I know the world is going to be alright after all. Holland is a beautiful place after all -even if you were expecting Italy.
TFS. Jude.x

Lelly said...

...and you are a wonderful mother

Jaki Morris said...

Thank you for posting that, I hadn't seen it before.

That is so,so true. There is nothing wrong with Holland, is there?

Take care, wish I was nearer and we could cheer each other up.

Jakixx

Sharon said...

What a lovely story, Kirsty, and so true. My daughter and I broke our hearts over the prom story. Ellie looked sooooo beautiful and grown up in her dress with all her hair done. XX

Glitter Monkey said...

Love this analogy. So special xx

Irene said...

Kirsty, what a very moving and sincere post and a timely reminder that there are always two ways of looking at things. Ellie is a very special girl and you an incredible mum.
I have been meaning to drop by and also say Well Done on your new site and the many things you are now offering. I hope your business blossoms, you deserve it!

Helen Anderson said...

What a beautiful story Kirsty, thank you for sharing. I strongly believe everything in life happens for a reason, though sometimes it's hard to understand that reason or why it's happened to us and not someone else. Ellie is blessed to have you as her special mum and you are blessed to have her as your special daughter. Sending big hugs to you both xx

EmmGee said...

I think there's something in this for us all. EmG xx

EmmGee said...

I think there's something in this for us all. EmG xx

EmmGee said...

I think there's something in this for us all. EmG xx

JANE KNOWN AS LIZA T said...

you need to remember that you are so very welcome, my girls (even though Lady C is bonkers and Katherine knows you well enough now to give you 'attitude') love you coming over, they get sooooo excited. An secretly so do I.....;)
WAS ALWAYS TAUGHT TO KEEP EMOTIONS IN..XX

Shirl Davis said...

This reminded me of the Sky1 TV series, currently running, called 'Touch' - are you watching it. Kirsty? It could be seen as a far-fetched sci-fi story - unless you know anything at all about special children. Then you would watch it (as we do) with the child in focus. At that level, the whole story theme is riveting as well as extremely emotional.

Ellie is special, loved, adorable and will always melt your heart ... but there are other sides to her story and we all, I hope, share your down days, knowing you are brilliant to have come this far already.

Keep strong, safe in the knowledge many of us watch in awe of the way your little family network is coping and growing and experiencing more in one lifetime than many others will ever know.

Judi said...

Oh Kirsty, I have goosebumps on my goosebumps after reading that. What a wonderful way to look at the hand you have been dealt in life.

You and your darling girl are lucky to have one another and long may you enjoy your special relationship. xx

Anonymous said...

An amazing way to express the pain and the delights you experience together. Thank you so much for being there to do this and many people will be touched and learn so much because you have shared your tears, laughter and these words.

Helen said...

Such a beautiful story. I'm not a mummy but I've worked with and been friends with children with disabilities and know how special they are when you give them time and look under the surface (which most people don't!). And looking at another beautiful photograph of your daughter with her beautiful hair and silky smooth skin, there's no wonder you can't resist getting the camera out when she is around. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Dear Kirsty - For some life has no seeming struggles,for others there's a struggle at every turn. My children have health issues and it weighs heavily on my heart too. Its always there in the back of my mind, whatever I do I think about it. But life really is very short in the context of eternity, where God promises there will be no more crying and all pain will be wiped away, thats what I hold onto.
God Bless

Di said...

Crying here Kirsty - do you realise you actually got Utopia? Such a lovely post, snots all over the place here. Be brave, strong and be proud - and most of all, share the immense love.

You have a girl to be so proud of, rise above the melee and you will have the wings of a bird, probably a dove, sweet Ellie.

Love and hugs, Di xx

susiesu said...

Ellie IS your Earth Angel.

Had not seen this before but what a wonderful analagy. (Sorry if I have spelt this word wrong brain isn't what it used to be.)

You are special, Ellie is special and your family are special.

Keep smiling lol Susiesu xxx

Sue L said...

My parents took that holiday detour when they had their disabled daughter (me)in the 1950s.
They made sure their daughter was a person in her own right and sometimes went their own way against the Doctors who always thought they knew best.
That seems to me what you and your DH are doing so well.
My parents loved me for who I was not who I might of been and for that I have felt most blessed.
I love to read your blogg and thank you for sharing a small part of your lives with those of us who come to see what you and Belle have been up to.

Debo said...

I don't know what to say, but had to let you know that I've read your post.

{hugs}
Debbie

Pink Sunshine said...

Hi Kirsty,
I love reading your blog.
Thank you for posting this, its so so true and full of emotion.
We too went to Holland for a while.
This time round I dare not dream of Italy, just take one day at a time!
Lots of love to you and your beautiful family. xxx

Anonymous said...

Thanks for reminding me of a beautiful poem that meant the world to us when we had our first baby, our daughter. It is perfection and sums up those feelings so well. Even though we went to Italy the next time round, we know that Holland is a truly special and wonderful place if you just take it a day at a time and try not to be afraid.

Colette x.