I am happy to be a part of a state that has signed into legislation removing the words “mental retardation” and “crippled” from the state statute. Unfortunately, I am saddened to see that a handful of states are still not taking action. (See if your state has made changes: http://www.r-word.org/contact-your-local-government.aspx
There are not enough words to express my thoughts and feelings regarding this population of loving, caring individuals. That’s exactly what they are- loving and caring individuals. They still deserve love, caring and respect in turn.
I love Holly over at Holly’s House… Not a Perfect Mom’s Blog. She has a great blog and while I only know her virtually, I adore her spirit. She posted the other day about her daughter Brooke who has Down Syndrome. I choked back the tears to see the r-word spread across Brooke’s picture. The disgust knowing that anyone could use that word on another human being- on someone as precious as Brooke- makes me ill. So I am asking you- each and every one of you- to stand up and take the pledge with me and thousands of others to end the R-Word.
Will you join us?
WELCOME TO HOLLAND
by Emily Perl Kingsley
©1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley.
All rights reserved
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 ofpestilence, 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 …