Why Disney?

Hi y’all!!

Just thought this would be a good follow up to my last post. Why Disney? Why does my family, specifically ME, love Disney so much? Isn’t it just for little kids? Let me explain.

Did you know that there is a reason the Magic Kingdom is not accessible from the parking lot? Walt wanted guests to truly feel like they had left the stress of everyday life to enter a world of fantasy, magic and wonder. Pretty smart, right?

As we become busier and busier, we become more connected to the world, and less connected to each other. When my family is on vacation, we try to have at least one tech-free day. Guess what? It works. Nobody complains. We actually talk….to each other. Our teens don’t mind being seen with their parents.

Even though we don’t have “babies” anymore, we still enjoy meeting characters. My nephew is still just as smitten with Tinker Bell as he was five years ago. Every visit, my youngest daughter tells Ariel how much my oldest daughter loves her. So, Ariel always takes the time for an extra autograph or picture. Last visit, we got a video message just for big sis.

I’ve even managed to get Big Papa to go on a kid free Disney trip. I can honestly say, I’ve never heard my husband laugh the way we laughed on that trip. We made some amazing memories.

We’re taking a break from Disney to try new places and experiences. Just a small break, like a year….maybe. Then it will be time to go back with the bigs (older kids and significant others) and littles (grandbabies). I say that the middles (teens) won’t get to go. But, when your sixteen year old actually wants to be seen with you, well, that’s magic. Isn’t it?



Why We Travel

“Are y’all going to Disney AGAIN?”

“A cruise?”

“Must be nice.”

So many times we have heard these phrases. But there is something we’ve learned over the past few years. Those trips make memories that are irreplaceable.

When I got ready to start holiday shopping this past Christmas, I asked my husband what we got the kids the year before. He didn’t know. They didn’t know. I didn’t know. That’s when I realized we’ve been doing it all wrong. Because if you ask them about that one time we were at Disney and dad got picked to go onstage at the Hoop Dee Doo Music Revue, they remember every detail.

Hear me out. We don’t skip out on gifts altogether. But the majority of what we spend goes to whatever our next adventure may be. It doesn’t have to be thousands on a Disney vacation. Maybe it’s a camping trip to the beach. This Christmas it’s a cruise. I’d much rather sacrifice all year to be able to give them real life experiences instead of the latest game console. My only regret is not realizing this when our older kids were still at home. They don’t stay kids forever, y’all. Soon enough, we’ll be a travel party of two. That, my friends, is WHY we travel.

The Story of a Girl

Exactly one month ago, we went to sleep and woke the next morning to find our lives forever changed. My 36 year old, little sister, was dead. Not so magical, I know. But I feel like this needs to be shared. You see, my sister, the one I knew, had been gone for years. This person, this addict, she was a stranger to me. I didn’t even realize just how long this stranger had been around until it was time to look for those cherished old pictures that we cling to after the loss of a loved one. That’s when I almost literally could feel my heart break.

They say addiction is a disease that affects the whole family. They say you’re supposed to love the person, hate the addiction. Separate the two, they say. They say and they say, and they say. But have THEY ever been there? I doubt it. Because it is almost impossible to separate the person from the addiction. I loved MY SISTER. This person, not so much. I watched her put our mom through the worst kinds of hell, again and again. I watched her choose drugs over her son, again and again. The girl and her addiction became one, again and again. She loved it. It loved her. To death.

I had no idea a person could feel so many emotions at once. But in the last month, I’ve experienced first hand the way anger, sadness, grief, guilt and relief can co-exist in one hot mess of mood swings. God bless my husband for never complaining, because it continues. I’m sad because my nephew will never remember his mom as “normal.” I’m angry because my mom is still going through hell. I’m relieved because deep down, I know she was sick. I get it. It’s a disease. I know she isn’t suffering anymore. I’m guilty for feeling relieved. There is no worse feeling than helplessness. When you have an addict in your life, you become very familiar with that feeling. You’re helpless as they self destruct. Helpless as those closest to the situation blame themselves over and over for not being able to reach her. But you can only throw the life preserver. Someone has to catch it in order for it to do the job. They won’t catch it if they are constantly turning away. My mom kept throwing that life preserver. My sister kept swimming away. An endless circle of push and pull.

I recently heard someone say that addiction is a demonic possession. I’d have to agree. What other explanation is there? What else could possibly steal your soul? You only have to look at the eyes of a person who is one with their addiction. No light. No life. Just darkness.

Maybe you’ll read this and think, “she’s gone crazy.” Maybe I have.

Maybe you’ll read this and think of someone you know or used to know.

Maybe this will help someone find some peace.

Maybe you won’t even read it to the end. But if you do, thank you.