What makes Disney vacations so memorable? That’s easy…..it’s the feelings just being there brings out in all of us. It’s the joy of spending time with family…where the pressures of the outside world are left beyond the gates.
Our vacation in 2005 became one we wondered would ever come. You see, we were supposed to vacation in Disney late in 2004. We were under the 100 day point when my husband went to the doctor with a lump on the side of his neck. No one, even the doctors, thought it would be anything. Were we ever wrong! Two days after my dreaded 40th birthday, we received news that would change our lives. My husband had cancer. Vacation was placed far on the back burner while we faced the battle of a lifetime. Being optimistic, we did not cancel this trip, we postponed it!
Weeks became months…the battle continued. We would talk of all the things we planned to do on the next trip when life seemed so hard. Dreams of this trip seemed to take some of the weight off our shoulders. On what would have been the day we were to of pulled out of our driveway, camper in tow, was the day of the last chemo treatment. On New Year’s Eve, the surgeon removed what was left of the tumor….we didn’t care what it took, we were ending 2004 cancer free!
One year after we were to go, our long awaited vacation began. Even though we had been to Disney World many times, this would be a year of firsts. We had stayed on property before, always at Fort Wilderness in a campsite. This year, even though we were still staying at our beloved Fort Wilderness, we stayed in their cabins. What a way to be pampered, yet still be “home”. This year would also be our longest stay to date – two whole weeks!
We were determined to take things slow, take the times to smell the roses….enjoy all the little things that can go unnoticed in the hustle of daily life. Taking a “break” in the afternoon was something I could never have imagined. I always did Disney “commando-style”….we would run from the earliest opening until the last closing. I have to say, “breaks” are now always penciled in to my vacation plans!
We bought those giant turkey legs on this trip…first time ever! Not only are they absolutely delicious, they are such fun to watch being eaten. I swear, my youngest daughter got in touch with her “inner caveman” as she managed to eat a leg that was just about as big as her face.
We took the time to meet up with friends. We went out to eat with them, shared the fun of watching the fireworks from the beach at Fort Wilderness then waiting for the Electrical Boat parade. We shared stories…just relaxed and enjoyed each others company. We met up with another dear friend in MGM Studios….and much to the horror of both her son and my children, she and my husband danced to disco music in front of the Sorcerer’s Hat! It’s too bad I didn’t have my video camera out….would of made for some great footage! Our children laughed and caught “snowflakes” on their tongues after we walked through the Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights. It was as if the park had closed to everyone but us! The world just didn’t seem to exist!
During my husband’s treatment, we would listen to the soundtrack to Illuminations during the daily treks to the hospital. One song always struck a chord in my heart. “We Go On” is such a touching song – no matter what happens in life, no matter how hard it gets, we go on. I used to tell my husband that soon, very soon, we would be hearing that same song again, only this time, the nightmare would be behind us. We would be standing at the water’s edge, watching Illuminations…hearing the same words. We would be past the hard times. The night came just as I spoke of, fireworks light the night sky and the words filled the air……”We go on……….”