"Thank heaven there is tomorrow. Because there is tomorrow, all our yesterdays have meaning and all our dreams have hope."

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

My Vacation to Holland

I actually heard this "parable" a few years ago in college from one of my friends who was teaching a church lesson. Recently, another friend emailed this to me. It reminds me that there is joy in everything. Even when life doesn't turn out the way we thought it would - there are beautiful things we need to notice and appreciate. I would feel ungrateful if I ignored the amazing three months Jason, Gavin and I spent together here on earth. I can't say that I only imagined having my son for three months, or even that I would have such a high needs child . . . but there was so much joy and beauty. Just a different type of joy and beauty than I planned for. Maybe we all feel that way from time to time.

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.


Cindy said...

What a PERFECT parable. I think it can relate to each and every person in a different way. You truely inspire me to view things in my life differently. Thank you Lindsay. You're great! And you will get to go to Italy some day :)

Kate Rosenvall said...

I have to admit that when I want some encouragement in my life, I turn to your blog. I needed to hear that analogy. It paints a perfect picture of what life is about and what is important in this life. Yes, Italy is nice, but I think Holland is even better. Thank you for the upliftment.

alli may said...

beautifully said.

Debbie Freeman said...

Thank you for sharing that. You always have a way of seeing things in the neatest perspective. I will definitely be passing that parable along!

Kevin and Natali McKee said...

What a great post, it is great to think about and so true.

Kajsa said...

Hi there. You don't know me but my husband (Troy Farnsworth) went to Granger and we started clicking away on our friends' blog links because you never know who you are going to find!

We have a 2 1/2 year old son with special needs and we were immediately drawn to your blog and to your beautiful Gavin. How could we not keep checking back periodically? Can you tell I am trying to justify reading a stranger's blog?

So we have read all about your journey with your sweet Gavin and just had to let you know what an inspiration you have been to us.

I know we are not in the exact same situation but we did go through a grieving period due to missing that whole Italy trip! I am constantly amazed at your perspective and insight into your experience. You have come to many realizations that took me YEARS to reach.

So I hope you don't mind if we keep popping in once in awhile. Thank you so much for sharing your experience and wisdom!

Kajsa Farnsworth

misti said...

That really is true. I know life is never what you planned.