Katy O

I have always found Disney fascinating. From the first few times going and being amazed at all the magic to the more recent trips trying to figure out how they engineered everything. The past few times that I visited Disney I have gotten to spend time studying how things work and when I went home and I would research these things. Disney is a huge fascination to my entire family. My family and I have been to Disney World eight times though our seventh visit was cut short. This is a story of two trips that I will never forget.

In November 2014 we headed down to Disney for the amazing Christmas spectacular. We love to go at this time of year because Disney is decorated for Christmas including the dancing lights at Hollywood Studios and the holiday firework show. Another piece of Disney at Christmas is Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, a holiday event full of shows and food. We arrived in Orlando midmorning and headed to our hotel. After checking in we planned to head to Magic Kingdom for some fun. We got on a bus and headed out. About halfway through the bus ride my mom received a phone call from her dad that changed our vacation.

My grandma had been in the hospital for a couple weeks before we left. She seemed to be getting better after her reaction to chemotherapy drugs. This lead us to decide that we would be able to take our trip. The phone call my mom received was my grandpa saying that my grandma had taken a turn for the worst and was admitted to the ICU.

We headed back to the resort where we planned our return trip to Minnesota. My parents headed to talk to customer services about getting the trip refunded while my brother and I looked for cheap flights home. My parents returned having gotten the resort refunded and the park tickets saved for future use. My parents then began to call the airlines to cancel the flight we had planned to take home and try to book a flight that evening or the next morning. Unlike Disney, the airlines were a nightmare to work with. After a lot of disappointment and money we had a flight back.

Not long after we had a flight figured out Disney called and gave us free park passes for the evening. This was amazing since it meant that we could go and see the lights in the park, watch the holiday fireworks, and ride a few rides. This trip showed me how amazing Walt Disney World truly is.

When we got back my grandmother was in the ICU hooked up to life support with a bleak outlook. After several days without any improvement the family met and decided that this was no way for her to live. The next day, on her birthday, they removed her from life support. About an hour later she passed away. I sat in the comfort room working on a puzzle, something we would do with her a lot. The puzzle was one of a garden which would have been a favorite of hers because she had a huge green thumb. She found time with her family, especially at meal time, a very important thing.

My cousin’s family came up from New Orleans for the funeral. While they were in Minnesota we got into talking about Disney. We all longed to go back but did not spend much time on the subject. We spent a lot of time together and ate meals together in her memory.

It was not until a few months later that the family decided to take a trip in memory of her. With the death pension and some of the money she had saved for vacations the family headed down to Disney. We decided to spend the extra money on the dining plan because this was something she would have wanted as it would allow for time to sit down as a family and enjoy a meal. This trip is one I will never forget. To have the entire family together, get to spend time with one another and eat meals together was an amazing opportunity that my grandma provided us with.

We continue to miss my grandmother. Every Sunday we still get together for dinner in her memory. The money provided to us by her insurance allows us to continue her traditions of family and food. We will never forget her.

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