Most who know me are well aware of my love for Disneyland. Over the years I have gone on different trips there with friends and have loved every minute of it.
I love the atmosphere, the rides, the lights, the magic, the characters, the food, the warm temperatures. It is a place of pure joy and fun (besides all the screaming and crying children of course).
Growing up we would go to Disneyland as a family during trips to Palm Springs. Since my childhood, I have just gone with other adults.
A few weeks ago, we got to go to Disneyland again as a family. Even writing that sentence brings tears to my eyes as my heart overflows with gratitude.
As I planned this trip (with a week's notice), I was overwhelmed with this thought:
A year ago we were planning my mom's funeral, and now I'm planning a family trip to Disneyland.
|Breakfast in the Plaza with Minnie and friends|
I am so thankful for the miracle of my mom living much longer than expected and for the fact that she was still well enough to take her kids and grandkids to Disneyland, something she had been dreaming about and hoping for.
It was a whirlwind of a week trying to book, plan and prepare for the trip, but the week flew by and off we went!
And it was indeed magical.
A place where dreams come true. Dreams of my family being together, having fun and sharing in our delight.
How wonderful it was to see my mom's joy in watching the kids' delight and wonder as they experienced everything for the first time.
To watch the kids dancing up a storm on the sidewalk anytime music was playing or there was a parade passing by.
To have babies falling asleep in laps and nuzzling their heads into you when a ride was a bit scary.
To get onto all the rides faster because you had a wheelchair.
To enjoy moments when one child would yell "That's the princess on my underwear!" or "HI MINNIE!" or when they would freak out to any of the fuzzy life-sized characters.
Even amidst the sporadic cries or breakdowns from being too tired, each moment was a delight and a reminder of how much I love my family and a reminder to enjoy every moment of every day that I have with them.
Going to Disneyland with kids was a first for me and it was so much fun to take it all in through their eyes and to be able to share the newness of it with them. Usually we race from ride to ride trying to cram in as much as possible. Being with kids gave opportunity to slow down and take it all in and cherish the little moments.
|Trying to contain his excitement of hanging out with Minnie|
So, although we are in this strange in between waiting time, with no idea of how the future will unfold (then again, perhaps all of life is like that, we just aren't always mindful of it), I am thankful for the moments of being together and enjoying one another.
I was so thankful too that my mom had no pain and lots of energy during our days in the park- how wonderful to be able to fully enjoy it!
So, whether at Disneyland, or cooking supper at home with my mom, or waiting long hours in the hospital for appointments and tests, I am continually reminding myself to enjoy and cherish every moment and to not take any of them for granted.
My meager words cannot fully express how full my heart is when I reflect on these things. Even through the long and hard days, I am grateful beyond measure and want to continue to treasure these things in my heart.