My dearest Sarah,
I remember a time many years ago, when I could look at one of the first signs of spring and see simply flowers.
With their tall green leafy stems, their round pointy petals in a kaleidoscope of colors, I could stare at them for hours and still see only tulips. And then you entered my world. Your arrival rocked me to the core for a short while. My firmly grounded feet felt like they had all of a sudden encountered murky soil. With each new step, I was unsure of my future. Our future. Before I could fully embrace your existence, I had to endure a series of tests and trials. Not all of them pleasant. In fact, I still carry the pain of a few to this day. Yet, God had a plan for us Sarah. For you and me sweet girl.
I will never forget the first time another more experienced mom shared with me the poem, Welcome to Holland by Emily Perl Kingsley. It gave me a new found hope. I wasn't sure I was in agreement with the idea that I was heading to Italy, yet I sure knew I wasn't planning on hitting Holland either. I had a future mapped out. It included a Career. Money. Status. Maybe even Fame. I was headed for great things. I was sure of it. Your extra chromosome wasn't written into that plan. It took me a few months, but eventually I threw that old plan away. Truthfully, for a few years though, I hated the sight of tulips. Gradually, I grew to appreciate them and what they stood for. A different place. Still beautiful, but different.
We have been through a lot precious girl. I've held you in my arms far too many times not sure if your next breath will come. Just this afternoon as we were driving down the highway, I looked back through my rear view mirror, and wondered if your fragile body was going to recover from a desperate coughing spell. One that forced us to pull off at the next exit. I asked my God,why? Why today? Why after all these years?
Then we turned the corner and there they were. Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of them. Scarlet and pale yellow tulips. We are in Holland Sarah. Forever in Holland. Beautiful, beautiful Holland.
If only I knew back then what I know today. That the miracle of your birth was just the beginning for me. A fresh start to a grand and glorious life. I do wish I had realized sooner, that you were sent to teach me. To allow me to see the light through your eyes. To feel your love, a love like none other. It is so pure. So precious. So unconditional. If only I had been given just a glimpse of the bright and beautiful woman you were to be. I'm learning sweetheart. I need your patience for me to truly appreciate the plan that was outlined for us. God has known all along where we are going.
Later today, we have a meeting. A discussion that will help shape the future, not just our future, but the future of others on this vast Ohio State University campus. You are a pioneer girlfriend. How very blessed I am to be invited to ride a long.
As I look over your shoulder and see the infamous Ohio Stadium, I am reminded of the times you needed to be removed from the game festivities due to breathing issues, once involving a police escort. It makes the symbolism of the tulips today even greater. You are larger than life itself Sarah. Helping to change the world. I am truly privileged to be your mom, and oh so very grateful that my plane landed in Holland.