cherish each moment

every once in awhile a friend will ask how i'm doing with dealing with everything since hubby1's accident. It's been 11 years today since that "lovely" day and we now realize that the personality shifts, the memory loss, the physical limitations and frustrations are here to stay. Some of our plans for the future will never materialize and we've had to go through some of the stages of grief......mourning for the things that we hoped would be.......

i found this beautiful article today. it was written by a mom with a disabled child, but it pretty much explains how i felt when i realized that hubby1 is going to be dealing with the after-effects of the accident for the rest of his life and that means that I will be dealing with them right along beside him.

This was written by a mom, Emily Perl Kingsley in 1987:

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.

make sure you tell your friends and family that you love them today! and cherish each moment.


  1. jill, I didn't have any idea that your husband had an accident. Do you have any previous posts about it? I would like to know more about your story. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  2. I read that story not too long ago - but it's just as powerful the second time around. What a wonderful message. Thanks for putting things in perspective for all of us. :)

  3. Very poignant and beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

  4. What a lovely story. Being that I'm a person that doesn't deal well with loss of anything--not even my things--it's hard to bounce back with proper perspective. Thanks for sharing this...catch breath...look's going to be ok. I'll have to remember this next time around. :)

  5. My husband had a accident 4 years ago which has left him with Traumatic brain injury. you put it so well it brought me to tears. But unfortunately I feel very alone and have not been able to move on at all. I can't get over what could have been.

  6. Jill...I cannot thank you enough for sharing this post today. It's exactly what I needed to read. I have been struggling recently with so many emotions about my husband's health especially in light of his recent 4th heart attack (after bypass!) and his broken leg.

    This post just put it all into the perfect perspective for me. Again, thank you so much for sharing it!

  7. Lovely way to look at things, and I'd like to think that's how I'd do so. All for a reason, as they say (although often we don't fathom the reason as soon as we might like.)

    God bless!

  8. I just now read this post, and I also had no idea about your husband. My dad suffered a debilitating stroke, and my mom has been his main caregiver and this describes how she feels when she has shared her feelings with me.

    I will pass this along to her.

    God bless you, sweet lady, for giving of yourself, while you've had to give up on dreams while not giving in to despair.

    There will be a Special place for you in the afterlife.

  9. That is a very accurate 'description' of what it sometimes feels like around here. I have learned to embrace Holland and have found it has so much to offer to my life. God is good. Even when you feel like he sent you on a detour. He is Good.