Last Monday we returned to see the doctor who gave us Jadon’s SMA Diagnosis. We had not been there for TWO full years. When we got the diagnosis we ran off to Madison Wisconsin to have him cared for by the amazing SMA specialist: Dr. Schroth.
It was strange returning and then reflecting on that day our lives changed forever. We were given a copy of the essay called “Welcome to Holland” shortly after the diagnosis. The essay meant a lot then, but now it means so much more. Returning to the place that our plane “landed in Holland” was very surreal.
I still have dreams of Italy, as the essay states. Instead of loading our van to drive 8 hours and see our doctor, I dream of loading it for a camping trip or one of those long baseball tournaments I hear so many complain about. However, we don’t let ourselves dwell on those lost dreams for too long because we might miss the great things all around us, like the incredible people we see on our trips to Madison.
My favorite part of the essay is this:
“So, you must go out and buy new guidebooks. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.”
We have met some AMAZING people.
With August (SMA Awareness Month) ending I want to take a second and thank all of the AMAZING SMA FAMILIES. The things people have done to raise awareness and fund research simply blows me away. It spans from individuals, to families, to foundations.
While I would NEVER wish an SMA diagnosis on anyone, and if I could give each SMA family one thing, it would be a cure, I have to say I am humbled by the families walking this journey while we do the same. I am honored to know them.
So, SMA Family, Thank you for all of your support – We love you.
Welcome to Holland – By Emily Pearl Kingsly
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 Sistine Chapel, Gondolas. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.
After several 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 guidebooks. 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. You begin to notice that Holland has windmills. Holland has tulips. And 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 experience will never, ever, ever, go away. 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.