Some of you know the Saarinen’s took our first vacation as a family of 5 last week. It was an Orlando extravaganza. The whole Disney thing. I know our babies won’t remember a blessed thing. And our teenager is probably outgrown it, but we were all onboard with it.
Our first full day was slated for the Magic Kingdom. It was gorgeous. 75 and sunny. Coming from Minnesota, you don’t realize how tropical that really feels until you are in it. We ventured into the park with our “We’re Celebrating” buttons. We hit the castle just in time for a musical number with all the big-time Disney characters. Mickey, Minney, Goofey, Princesses, Buzz Lightyear…all of em. We were strolling the two little ones up for a closer look and out of nowhere, I start bawling. Like serious breakdown. I kneel down next to Elle, our 2 year old…partly to avoid too many stares.
The enormity of the past year, I think, just hit me at that single moment. I realized that if we had lost Eve that I could never be standing there feeling the joy of being in such a wonderful place with all of my children. Something would have been forever missing. With this, instantly comes the thought of all the families we have come to know (and many we don’t know, but realize exist) that HAVE lost their children to killer heart defects and heart disease. Many of them have other children – and must TRY to go on and have family vacations and such, right? But how could you look up at Cinderella and not think of the child who wasn’t there to be part of it??
I have no doubt that the tears that day were indeed tears of joy. Complete, overwhelming joy. My husband and I were able to afford a real vacation with all three of our children in tow…to this very magical place. We were happy. And we were healthy. And that is something I will never have enough gratitude for. Cinderella, you made me cry. And I think I needed that. Thank you.