Oh Kaitlyn, how I remember the Disney World days. Once your daddy and I quit smoking 2 years before you were born (which saved lots of money) and I started work as a nurse, we could then afford to go on nice vacations.
I bet in your lifetime we went to Disney World at least 14 times. We would always ask you and your sister Stephanie where you wanted to go on summer vacation and we would come up with different places, but all you both wanted was Disney World. This was ok with me and your daddy, for we LOVED Disney World as well. No other place offers such magical rides. They are more than rides, they are experiences and themed wonderful adventure and wonder unlike any place we have ever been to. Actually, nowhere else ever compared to there. So we would do what ya’ll wanted and every year it was Disney World.
The first time you went with us you were 4 years old. I was so scared you were too young to enjoy the experience, that the dark rides or the fast rides or the rides that plummeted down from great heights would scare you. Well, I certainly never had to worry about that because you were fearless. Every ride was a thrill to you and you were scared of nothing.
Being a worried mother though, there were some rides I would not let you or your sister get on for a few years. One was Space Mountain. A rollercoaster ride in the dark which makes it seem like you are flying in space. I didn’t let ya’ll ride until you were both half grown and once you both got off you both looked at me and said ”WHAT was so scary about that??” You said you could have ridden that thing at 4 years old.
You were braver than all of us. I stayed scared to ride Splash Mountain for years because it has a great drop at the end and I do NOT like great drops. (but I soon learned to love it). But not you, you fearlessly rode with your daddy as me and Stephanie waited for 2 hours while you waited in line to ride. We thought you decided to stay with Brer Rabbit the rest of your life.
Oh Kaitlyn, do you remember the churros ya’ll loved so much? The ice cream with the strawberry or orange swirls in them we ate on those hot scorching June days? Do you remember going to Epcot and going through all the countries sections and we all stopping in each one so you and Stephanie could spend some of the money you had saved for vacation? You so wanted a crystal chess set so much but it cost WAY too much. I always wished you could have had it.
Do your remember the breathtaking fireworks show at Epcot at night? I can still see your little face looking up into the sky with wonder. Do you remember going to Kennedy Space Center, and you having a lose tooth? We had to go to the bathroom so you could pull it because it was so loose. There was another child in the bathroom screaming their head off for some reason and Stephanie and your daddy thought it was you pulling your tooth. You would have never screamed like that about a tooth.
How about the places we would stay? Sometimes when our finances were average we would just stay at a regular motel outside the Disney Property. But on years that were more lucrative, we would stay at one of the resorts on the Disney property. This was our favorites. We stayed in so many. Disney is first class in their property and each resort is themed. Oh you had so much fun swimming in the beautiful pools. You could always swim like a fish. Staying on their property we could always use their transportation; bus, Monorail, or boat and we didn’t have to step foot in our car the whole time we were there.
Remember all the water parks we went to in Disney?
Oh remember, remember remember. What wonderful memories I have of all those times. Do you remember I would always buy the unofficial guide to Disney World and you and I would sit down and plan each day, which park we would go to according to the projected traffic that day. Which rides to run to first according to which rides filled up the fastest. We would plan a schedule and take it with us and go by it. We were always there at opening, standing there at the gate with all the other throngs of people with the smell of their suntan lotion, their fanny sacks, their water bottles and shades, hats. We were right there in the middle or near the front waiting, hearing the Disney World opening from a loudspeaker, and with our best running shoes on we would walk like fury to get to the first big ride. Do you remember Rockin’ Rollercoaster by Aeorsmith. A rollercoaster that blasted us off at 2 Gs and the greatest adrenalin rush we ever had? Remember once we rode it about 10 times in one day?
I can still see you there Kaitlyn, in all the years we went, through your little girl years right on up to the last year you went with us when you were 18 before you left for college. That year we stayed at Disney’s campground in our RV. I see your pretty bright blonde hair blowing in the breeze as we crossed the water on a boat at Epcot to get to the World Showcase. I see you standing beside me at night at a vendor as I bought you a hat when you were into hats. I see you with that hat on your head, and feel you hugging me after you got your hat and my thinking how I cherished you. I see you with all the excitement and daring that you had in you, with all the life and love of life in you, marveling at all you saw and experienced. I see you on every single ride, every single section of Disney World, every resort, every water park; I see your sweet face, a face I will never see at Disney World again. You always wanted to go to the new Harry Potter section at Universal Studios (another place we frequented). You never made it there but always said you would get there one day. You didn’t.
I see you there Kaitlyn. My memories are filled with your brightness, your shining being that illuminated your whole entire life and mine. I see you at Disney World. May you be existing with as much happiness and excitement as I always saw you there at Disney World.