Tag Archives: inspirational

Essence of Reminiscence – Week 1 – That Unforgettable Journey: “A Dream Come True”

As we sat down to supper the night that my husband, Michael, gave us the news, I could tell he had a special announcement for us. There was a twinkle in his eyes as we said grace, and he was rushing us through the prayer so fast that we could barely keep up. We had hardly spoken the word “Amen” when he began to speak.

“Okay, everyone, listen. I’ve got some really exciting news to tell you!” Then he paused, deciding he would keep us in suspense.

“What is it, Dad?” inquired twelve-year-old Sarah.

“Well. . . we’re going on vacation. . .  to a very special place.” cabins-on-a-lake

“Ooh, Daddy,” gushed ten-year-old Stephanie, “are we going to the cabin again — the one where your boat got blown away?”

“Nope,” laughed Mike,”that’s not it.”

????????????????????????????????????????“Are we going to see the mountain where the presidents are?” guessed Sarah.”

“Mount Rushmore? Nope. That’s not it, either.”

Everyone became silent, out of guesses as to where it might be.

“Okay, dear,” I said, “we give up. Why don’t you tell us, for goodness’ sake?”

“Alright. We’re going to some place that you’ve always wanted to go, some place that they call the happiest place on earth.”

“Where, Daddy? Where?” Stephanie was pulling at her father’s arm.

I gasped, looking at my husband with wonder. “Are you kidding? Disneyworld? We’re going to disney world image 5Disneyworld?”

“Yep, Disneyworld.” He grinned at me, nodding his head.

By now both the girls were out of their chairs, jumping up and down with excitement. My husband told us the story. His sister Diane had won four tickets for a trip to Disneyworld with all the accommodations which she had no use for. She offered them to Mike. He offered to buy them at half-price (which is a steal, to say the least). He couldn’t say no to such a fortuitous deal that practically fell into his lap.

Disneyworld! It was the place where I had dreamed of going to as a young girl and I had always longed to bring our children there, but we could never afford it. Now fate was handing us the chance to make my dreams come true at last. It was July and our vacation was scheduled for November. As a matter of fact, we would be in Florida on Thanksgiving Day. But we were comforted by the fact that the hurricane season would be over by then. Our son Joe, was in college, so he didn’t want to take the time off to come with us.

airplaneThe months flew by, and before long we were on the airplane, landing in Orlando, Florida. We had been fortunate with our plane tickets, also. We actually were supposed to land in Texas and then take another flight to Florida, but the airline made a mistake with our seating assignments by not giving us four seats together. When I telephoned to confirm our flight, I discovered the error and complained about the mix-up, at which time they ended up giving us a direct flight to Orlando, and not only that, we were given first-class tickets and landed twelve hours sooner than we would have originally. So Providence was on our side from the beginning.

After we rented a car and checked into our hotel room, we decided we would spend the rest of the day just relaxing by the pool at the hotel. The next day we decided to go to see the Magic Kingdom first.

“Look, girls,” I pointed out, as we came closer to the amusement park. “We’ll have to take the big paddlemonorail boat across the lake to the Magic Kingdom, or we can take the monorail that goes over the tracks high above the trees. Which one should we take?”

“The paddle boat,” shouted Stephanie.

“The train,” shouted Sarah.

“Well, Mom, I guess it’s up to you,” said my husband, as we were pulling into the parking lot.

I knew which one I wanted to take. The big paddle boat was painted white, and it looked just like the river boat right out of the movie Showboat.

“Let’s take the paddle boat.”

“Mom wants to take the paddle boat, girls, so that’s what we’ll do.”

We parked the car and walked over to where we had to pay for the park tickets. We had already bought four-day passes for a discount price at the hotel, so we showed our passes there and were each given bracelets to wear. Then we went to the dock and waited with all the other tourists for the paddle boat to come and pick us up.

When it finally arrived, the girls were so excited they could barely contain themselves.

“It’s a double-decker, Mom. Can we go on the top deck, please?” begged Sarah, pulling at my arm.

paddle boat 10“Sure, Honey, I think we could manage that. What do you think, dear?” I looked at my husband, expecting a positive answer.

“Yep, let’s go.

I grabbed Stephanie’s hand, not wanting her to get lost in the crowd, and began to climb the steps to the top deck. magic kingdom 500We had no sooner arrived on the second deck when the whistle blew and the paddle boat began to move through the water toward the other side of the lake where the Magic Kingdom was located.

After five minutes of traveling on the water, the Magic Kingdom came into view and it was so beautiful. It was even more beautiful than I had ever imagined it would be. Then some music began to play from some hidden speakers located all around us. After a few bars, I recognized the tune immediately and a lump formed in my throat, while tears threatened to spill from my eyes. The music was “When You Wish Upon A Star.”

In that moment, I thought, “I finally made it here. My childhood dream has come true at last, and I’m able to share it with my daughters, and I know they’ll remember it forever.”

I was so happy. All I wanted to do was relish the experience because I knew that this particular moment in time would never return again and I would never feel exactly the same way again. For very seldom is one able to experience their dream vacation of a lifetime —  even though it happens forty years later than it was wished for — and sometimes dreams really do come true.

wish star


When you wish upon a star

Makes no difference who you are

Anything your heart desires

Will come to you

 

If your heart is in your dream

No request is too extreme

When you wish upon a star

As dreamers do

 

Fate is kind

She brings to those to love

The sweet fulfillment of

Their secret longing

 

Like a bolt out of the blue

Fate steps in and sees you through

When you wish upon a star

Your dreams come true

 

(Lyrics by Ned Washington)

QUOTE OF THE DAY:  “You have to dream before your dreams can come true.”  ~ A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

 

essence of reminisence 10

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That Unforgettable Journey

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

If I could have personally witnessed one event from history, I know exactly what it would be, for I have often thought about this very thing. You see, I am a history buff. I adore history, and my favorite era to study is the American Revolutionary War from 1775-1783. Just the fact that the thirteen American colonies, struggling for their independence from Great Britain, were able to hold their own and eventually triumph over the greatest army in the world (that being the King’s British Army) has always amazed me and filled me with a sense of American pride. I have always felt that the Americans were fighting for the right ideals— that are all men are created equal and have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. They felt the need for independence, with the right to be free from the tyranny of King George II and and in turn govern themselves.

Therefore, the event from the American Revolutionary War that I wish I could have personally sighing of declaration of independence 2witnessed would be the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. I wish I could have been at Independence Hall as each one of fifty-six delegates strode up to the table, was presented with a quill pen, and affixed their signature to the document. I can just imagine John Hancock signing his name with a flourish, his signature the most prominent of all. How exciting and memorable it would have been to hear the comments being made as the document was signed:

 “There! His Majesty can now read my name without glasses. And he can double the reward on my head!” John Hancock

 “We must be unanimous; there must be no pulling different ways; we must hang together.” John Hancock

 “Yes, we must indeed all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.” Benjamin Franklin

 “My hand trembles, but my heart does not.” Stephen Hopkins

 One of the best-known sentences in the English language comes from the Declaration of Independence, written by one of our founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson:

declaration-of-independence

 

 We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

 

Thomas Jefferson summed up the Declaration of Independence in a letter to Samuel Adams Wells on May 12, 1821, by stating: “The Declaration of Independence . . . [is the] declaratory charter of our rights, and the rights of man.”

 Truly an exciting time in the history of the United States of America, the American Revolutionary War marked the birth of our nation, and the signing of the Declaration of Independence was akin to its birth announcement. How courageous all of our founding fathers were. And I think that all of their wives and children were just as courageous to have supported them during this perilous time.

To have been present during the signing of the Declaration of the Independence would have truly been an honor for me.

QUOTE OF THE DAY:  “The Declaration of Independence is a sacred part of American history.” ~ Paul Gillmor

I Am Your God

I know sometimes the world seems really scary,
I know sometimes that it seems so dark to you
Sometimes your woes seem more than you can carry —
I am Your God. I’m the One you should run to.

I know sometimes you are feeling so much pain,
I know sometimes you are feeling very weak.
Sometimes you feel you will break under the strain —
I am Your God. I am the One you should seek.

I know sometimes the world can make you weary,
I know sometimes you feel like you’re going to cry.
Sometimes you feel as though your life is dreary —
I am Your God. I will help you to get by.

I know sometimes you think I cause all the stress,
I know sometimes you think that I do not see.
Sometimes you think I really couldn’t care less —
I am Your God. Don’t stop believing in Me.

The Road of Life

The roads we must travel are far and many.
There are several curves and forks along the road,
With endless storms to be weathered through,
Along with many dangers which are unforetold.

When we start out we are quite optimistic,
For we’re certain we’ll easily find the way.
We’re confident that life will go just as we plan it,
With nothing but sunshine and roses each day.

But then we discover life is not as we thought,
And we must strive harder to achieve every goal.
As we do, we may find a new facet to life—
Something we needed to make our life whole.

The real lesson to be learned is the one that is here,
Even though there’s a mountain you wish to ascend:
“It is good to have an end to journey towards;
But it is the journey that matters in the end.” 1

1 Quote is by Ursula K. LeGuin