The Disability Forum

Mary Etta Tubbs, B.A.

Pathways, Inc.

This article is dedicated for everyone who has a disability.

“Celebrating Holland—I’m Home”   by Cathy Anthony (a follow-up to “Welcome to Holland”)

I have been in Holland for over a decade now.  It has become home.  I have had time to catch my breath, to settle and adjust, to accept something different than I’d planned.  I reflect back on those years of the past when I had first landed in Holland.  I remember clearly my shock, my fear, my anger—the pain and uncertainty.  In those first few years, I tried to get back to Italy as planned, but Holland was where I was to stay.  Today, I can see how far I have come on this unexpected journey.  I have learned so much more. But this too, has been a journey of time. I worked hard. I bought new guidebooks. I learned a new language and I slowly found my way around this new land.  I have met others whose plans have changed, like mine, and who could share my experience. We supported one another and some have become very special friends.  Some of these fellow travelers had been in Holland longer than I, and were seasoned guides, assisting me along the way.  Many have encouraged me.  Many have taught me to open my eyes to the wonder and gifts to behold in this new land. I have discovered a community of caring.  Holland wasn’t so bad.

I think that Holland is used to wayward travelers like and, and grew to become a land of hospitality, reaching out to welcome, to assist, and to support newcomers like me in this new land. Over the years, I’ve wondered what life would have been like if I’d landed in Italy, as planned.  Would life have been easier? Would it have been as rewarding? Would I have learned some of the important lessons I hold today? Sure the journey has been more challenging, and at times I would (and still do) stomp my feet and cry out in frustration and protest.  And yes, Holland is slower paced than Italy and less flashy than Italy, but this too has been an unexpected gift.  I have learned to slow down in ways, also, and looked closer at things with a new appreciation for the remarkable beauty of Holland with its tulips, windmills, and Rembrandts.

I have come to love Holland, and call it Home.  I have become a world traveler and discovered that it doesn’t matter where you land.  What’s more important is what you make of your journey and how you see and enjoy the very special, the very lovely, things that Holland, or any land, has to offer.  Yes, over a decade ago I landed in a place that I hadn’t planned, yet I am thankful; for this destination has been richer than I could have imagined.

            This article is not intended to diagnose, only to provide education to increase public awareness and sensitivity

Pathways, Inc. is a family mental health clinic that provides relationship, individual & family counseling, Psycho-Social Rehabilitation, and service coordination. For more information, call 208-878-3350.

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