Well, our week in Disney World could not have gone better. The 11 of us went from sun up to sun down for 7 days and took it all in. It was magical and wonderful! We all had a different favorite moment at the end of the week, which is a testament to all the fun we had.
As I have written about previously, my happy memory from 20 years ago was turning around on Big Thunder Mountain and seeing a huge smile on my mom's face. So when we rode Big Thunder Mountain as a family this time, I knew I had to turn around and this is what I saw. Pure Joy!
This is exactly what I had wished for this trip. A trip filled with joy and happiness to put closure on the memories from before. During the fireworks show as I sat next to Adam, I just let it all sink in. I was in awe that all of 11 of us were here after 14 months of planning and 20 years of waiting. I was overcome with emotions of how Mom must be smiling down from heaven and I could feel her love and presence in that moment. I was filled with happiness at the thought of being here with my whole family. As tears streamed down my face, I just thank God for my family, for this trip, and for his blessings upon all of us! I also prayed that he bless my Mom and let her know how much she is loved and missed and that she would be able to bask in the joy experienced on this trip in her memory.
My dad shared our family's story with a cashier at the Ye Ol Merry Christmas Shoppe and when he picked up his package the next day he found a hand written note. It thanked him for sharing his story and said that Mickey came by shortly after we left and wanted us to have this angel ornament in memory of my Mom. It was a very kind and a generous act that is exactly why Andy and I love Disney so much!
The pain of losing my Mom will never go away and the painful, sad memories of our Disney trip 20 years ago with not be forgotten. However this trip was a powerful experience of healing, love, and proof that with time, love, and faith, life will go on and pure joy and happiness can prevail.
I have only shared my journey of grief with those very close to me and I was unsure about sharing it so publicly but have found this exercise to be very therapeutic for me. I want to thank everyone who has followed this blog over the last year and shared their words of encouragement and support. Those kind words and gestures have meant so much to me. I truly appreciate you and pray that you feel God's love and support on whatever journey you are on in your life. God Bless!
About the Blog
Many may wonder why after 20 years, I have chosen to share something so personal and that happened so long ago. I am sharing this because at the time I felt very alone and if these words would help someone else not feel so alone then that's worth my opening up about this time of my life. I also want to document these events and thoughts for my own two sons so that they have an account of why their Mom was so adamant that they always know how much I loved them. I also share this as a therapeutic release for myself on this twentieth anniversary.
This blog will not likely be an ongoing dialogue, but it may take me a year to share all that I experienced and how I processed the impact of this event for years to come. It still affects how I live my life today and will always shape the way I see the world.
I don't share these stories to ask for sympathy or for anyone to feel sorry for me. Sometimes life sucks and is hard and everyone experiences that in life. I don't feel my life has been any worse or any different that anyone else's. I do ask for prayers, not for myself specifically, but for all those dealing with the loss of loved ones. Pray that they may find the courage and strength to allow themselves to grieve for their loss and continue to live a life full of love and happiness as time passes by.
I was not a perfect daughter, sister, friend, or girlfriend at any point in my life much less during one of the most difficult times. I do not believe the way I grieved and reacted to these events is the right way. I do not believe there is a right or wrong way to grieve. This is the path I took and everyone must find their own path. I did what I thought at the time was best for me and it wasn't always what was best for those around me. That's what my siblings did too and eventually we all came out on the other side of the grief to live full and successful lives.