Years ago I was randomly flipping through channels trying to find something to watch other than reruns of M*A*S*H for the 534th time, and I came across a movie that had Tyne Daily in it. I have no idea what the movie was called and I only caught the last five minutes of it, but I stopped anyway because, well, it was Tyne Daily. And I can't think of anything she's ever been in that I haven't liked.
She was giving a lecture in a large auditorium about what it was like raising a special needs child. I was just in the beginning stages of adjusting my life to this illness, and what she said in that movie affected my attitude more than any advice I had heard before or have heard since.
I'm obviously going to paraphrase as I don't remember the exact wording, but in the movie she said that finding out you have a child who is sick is like taking a trip to Italy. You spend your whole life dreaming about this amazing trip. Others that go there tell you stories about the city, the architecture, the people, the food. You study the culture and learn the language, save up your money and get on the plane.
And then right before you are about to land, the stewardess gets on the microphone and says, "Welcome to Holland."
You stand up and shout, "But I'm not going to Holland. I'm supposed to be in Italy. I've prepared for Italy and that's the only place I want to go. I don't want Holland."
But there are no more flights to Italy, and you have no choice but to stay in Holland. You complain and you brood and you tell everyone you see that you were meant to be in Italy. And then you stop and look around. And you realize Holland isn't such a horrible place.
It has a slower pace than Italy. But the people are kind and the flowers are beautiful and they have their own culture to admire. And you start to realize that while you planned and longed to live in Italy, if you let go of the disappointment of being left behind you see that maybe Holland is exactly where you were meant to be.
And you learn to appreciate it's beauty.
And you find things to be grateful for in your unexpected destination.
Tyne Daily caught my attention on television that day. But her words changed my outlook on life. Whether it is a huge life change like being sick or simpler changes in day-to-day plans, I often stop to remind myself that it's ok. I just thought I was going to Italy but I landed in Holland. And I've learned to stop looking at where I think I'm supposed to be... because that's when I'm able to see the beauty in where I am.