Sunday, April 18, 2010

How WELCOME TO HOLLAND Resonates in My Life

Tonight while visiting another blog, I was touched by a piece written for those who have children born with disabilities. It is all about disappointments in life and what we do with them. Before you read my post today, please click
here to read Welcome to Holland by Emily Perl Kingsley.

I wanted to have my Barry for many more years. I wanted to have him beside me as I followed my dreams for the future. I wanted him to be present when my poetry book was published. I wanted him to accompany me to readings where I could introduce him and tell people my book was dedicated to this man who had stood beside me through many decades encouraging me to continue writing and teaching. I wanted to share all my joys as well as my sorrows with my soul-mate.

I was not prepared for him to become ill and to suffer in the last years of his life. I was not prepared to loose him, to be suddenly and completely alone.

I have been overcome with my sadness and having to change the way I live my life. I had not planned for this to happen to me - not now. Maybe when we were in our nineties we would talk about death and how we would cope without each other. Both of us said we wanted to go together. Like in the Notebook, we could lie down together and go to sleep forever.

But our journey did not go as we had planned. We experienced  a drastic detour and he left me along the way. Now here I am learning a new language, meeting new people, seeking answers to questions I'd not thought I would be asking.

Others have arrived here just as I have, and they too muddle through the tests we stand each day. On this test are questions such as who am I now, what do I do now, and where do I go with the time I have left, is it too late for me to accomplish my goals? When we arrive in Holland instead of Italy where we had planned to go, we have to get off the plane. Staying in our seat will not get us back to Italy to see the fountains, the museums, and to eat the food and feel the warmth of a Tuscan sun.
Our journey has taken us to a new land, but it is not a terrible, nasty and unforgiving place. We can learn to live here. We must buy new guidebooks, but we have the opportunity to learn from this, to reach out and help others who have just arrived, to see beyond our own pain and recognize that the flowers are still blooming, and the music is still being heard. We have to get off and see what Holland holds for us. We might be surprised at what we find.

Glenda and Barry always enjoyed vacations together like this time in California


Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

Glenda, this is a lovely and moving post. It makes me miss Barry all over again. He was special. You had a loving marriage, one that seems a rarity in this day and age. You were real sweehearts.
He was life's gift to you.
Love, Kay

Tipper said...

What a beautiful post. I'm so sorry your life had a major detour-but you are an encouragement to others who are facing their own change of plans. And Barry-he'd be proud of that!

JLC said...

I'm glad you haven't disappeared from the bit of cyberspace I inhabit. Onward, friend.

Brenda Kay Ledford said...

This is a touching post. We never know what life holds, but we just need to keep on keeping on. I'm so glad you are going forward with your life. That's good. You have so much to live for.

Glenda Beall said...

Thank you, Kay. It is July 3.
It has been several months since I posted here. This weekend is an anniversary of the day Barry and I met. Our first date was on July 4. He arrived at my house in his cute little convertible and before the date ended, I had fallen in love and so had he. At that age we thought we had forever ahead of us. How quickly those years passed.
But we made some glorious memories.

Glenda Beall said...

Tipper, thanks for your comforting words. If I have helped anyone deal with this tough journey,I am glad. We never know the damage grief can do to us physically and mentally until we face it. I know that I will get through this but I will never be the same person I once was.