Thursday, November 17, 2011

C Is For Counting Your Blessings

When you have a child with special needs, it's easy to fall into the why me pity train. Why was my child born with this? Why me? Why us? Sometimes you get so swept up in the why mes that you forget to count your blessings.

C Is For Counting Your Blessings

Robbie may be different but he is happy. I have a husband who loves me. I have children who love me. I even have a dog who loves me. I am able to stay home with my last child. Although we may not be rich, the bills are paid (sometimes late) we have food on the table and a nice warm house to live in. I thank God everyday for the blessings he has bestowed on us. And on days when the why mes over consume me, I read this essay by Emily Kingsley and remember that Robbie is happy.

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 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.

linking to Jenny Matlock

Jenny Matlock


Angie said...

Thanks for sharing that lovely essay. My daughter is 18 now and is disabled, and although we adopted her and knew she would have a lifelong disability, you still mourn for her, wishing she could just be like the other kids her age - without pain, with legs that work right. But she is one of the strongest people I know and I know God can use her disability for her good, as well as the good of others.

I'm so thankful God allowed me to be her mom. I can't imagine life without her.

Angie @ Knick of Time Interiors

Leovi said...

Holland must be beautiful, I've never been there, but someday I will.

Andy said...

Life doesn't always turn out how we planned or expected. I grew up poor & although there were too many mouths to feed & not enough money, we never went to bed hungry & always had clothes on our backs. Our home was simple but it was filled with the sound of laughter and an abundance of love. My parents instilled in us that we should always be grateful for the smallest things in life as they are gifts from God.

Life is full of trials and tribulations, but your life is enriched with your family and the joy it brings you.

Lovely post.
Thanks for sharing & visiting. I appreciate the comment.

Cry Not For Me

Steph said...

Beautiful. So well expressed. Discovering that I was in Holland instead of Italy was like having a key that opened a door to a new and special world. Thanks for the encouragement to count blessings.

Judie said...

Having had a son born with hypothyroidism, and can definitely relate to this. And I've learned to love Holland.

Pondside said...

In our family we learned to love Holland with the birth of our first nephew, 35 years ago. We've had wonderful adventures!

EG Wow said...

I think you have a beautiful attitude and are a much stronger person than you would have been otherwise.

Jenny said...

What a lovely story. You are really an amazingly strong woman. I have always felt your positive attitude in your writing and I think the blessing of your strength is a beacon to us all.

You know those song lyrice? "It's not getting what you's wanting what you've got". That's the trick isn't it?

I think, for me anyway, the trick to survive chronic life is allowing myself to have a little temper, poor me, fit now and then. I do it privately. But I need that vent. Even steel has to have a flexing point!

Thanks for this thoughtful and inspiring post!

99.9 percent of the time I'm okay with Holland...but every once in a while I just want to burn those darned wooden shoes!


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