Part 3 Welcome Home. My flesh screams and I’m hanging onto the armrests of my airplane seat. I refuse to move. This is my anniversary. This is our planned TRIP. We are not moving. I do not want to stay. Honestly, I would live in France, if I had to, but guess what? I don’t have to. We are traveling, that’s it. No more, no less. I sit there, stunned. Unable to move or comprehend what all I’m about to see/smell/witness in this country I have never planned to go to.
What I Envision Versus Reality
The door of the plane opens…we grab our luggage that is packed for France….and we get off the plane. My first thought is the drabness of the airport. The busyness of it. I felt like I needed to wash my hands because so many people were touching me. They were all speaking in different languages. I found myself watching their mouths move, trying to read lips or get a nugget of information, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t understand any person or sign. There was also not a single person who spoke English. I felt trapped in this foreign country. There was nowhere, no one to guide me, no vehicle, no home, no food, nothing.
I picture us grabbing our stuff and trying to find our way out of that blasted, loud, big, busy airport. There was a moment when I needed air. Sadly, I was overstimulated by the news and anxious because this was completely out of our control. Air, I needed to breathe fresh air and take a moment to regroup. I was thrown into something that was not of my doing. There were two choices, I could either curl up in a ball and sob or I could find a way through the fear and uncertainty.
Ray of Sunshine
As I processed this news, I felt a ray of sunshine hit my face. I felt a cool breeze as we walked outside. In one moment, I opened my eyes and from as far as the east is from the west, there were tulips. I love tulips. Honestly, I love the beauty of them, the array of colors, the smells. Tulips come up every single year without fail. Far off, in the distance, I saw windmills. The most gorgeous background, I have ever seen in my life.
Absorbing my Surroundings
As we walk around, absorbing our surroundings, we think about Paris and what we will miss. The art, the food, the atmosphere……all of our plans, all the cool things we would see….we had to mourn that because we knew, we were “stuck” in Holland. Don’t get me wrong, Holland is phenomenally gorgeous, it is just where I wanted to be. I don’t mind a visit, but why must we live there. We had to mourn not seeing our family, our home, American food, the freedoms we had in America. There was just a lot to process.
Once our mourning time was done and we settled in to this new life….this new place with all these new sites, new foods, noises, smells. We began to acclimate to our surroundings and we began to learn about the cultures and the foods.
Holland and Its Beauty
Holland has its own beauty, but it was not what we had originally planned for. We had to learn to adapt and compensate for the things that we wanted to see in Paris and what we wanted from home. It wasn’t bad…just different. It was a change and I’m not one to like change.
I had to learn that I could not “fix” my children…only God could and will do that. I had to learn to let go of control of what was and begin to love what is. By mourning, so deeply, the loss of what was going to be a 10-day vacation to Paris, I was losing out on what was surrounding me.
Seeing Things from a Different Perspective
New colors, new foods, new scenery…..I began to love my new home and by loving it, I began to change. Ironically, I began seeking God more and seeking help for my depression. Also, I learned that FASD, RAD, Single-Sided Deafness, Opsoclonus Myoclonus Syndrome does not define my children. Finally, I learned how to love again…I learned how to love my God, my husband, and my children for who they were and not what I “envisioned” them to be.
Be open to change. Be open to new things. Stop trying to fix things. Stop trying to control what you are not meant to control.
Live life and love without abandon.