Sunday, January 18, 2009

Make-A-Wish trip Day 3

Possibly the best day of our trip? Certainly the day that made me cry with the incredible awe of what we were experiencing, and how this was something we would never experience again.

Before I start this post, let me tell you my regret of the whole trip. I know that we had a trip of a lifetime, and we handled it well. I know in my heart that we did everything we could possibly do in the time alloted to us, and that there will never be a "wish I would have done this" moment. That said, I do have a regret on day 3. What turned out to be the experience of a lifetime was photographed by the pros at Sea World, and we did not go to the photobooth to view or purchase the pics. I have since contacted Sea World, and they are looking for our pics, and there is a possibility that they haven't been deleted, so keep your fingers crossed for us. In the mean-time, I took my own pics that day, and of course I will share them with you.

Day 3

We had decided that because Sea World was Andrew's main wish, we would set our alarm for this day, get up early, and be there when the doors opened. So some pics of the Gingerbread house, empty. Every other time we went in here, this place was packed.

This place, as you can see, is absolutely incredible. You can barely see it, but in the left-hand corner here is a white player-piano. It plays itself for lovely ambiance while you are eating. lol.

So you can't really see it in this pic, but in these tables are thousands of peppermints, yes, they are real. Also, I don't know if I have mentioned it, but all tables and chairs at GKTW are child-sized. Not baby sized, where they would be uncomfortable to sit in, but child-sized, so that adults look quite funny sitting in them.

After breakfast, we excitedly headed out to Sea World.

Just as we planned, we were there waiting when the gates opened. First up, the Stingray Lagoon, where the kids got to pet the Stingrays.

Now, onto what I consider the highlight of the whole trip. What I am hoping Sea World will find pictures of. Bare with me as I post these pictures that you may or may not find as amazing as we do. I took a lot of pics, and I am so glad that I did.

Our Dolphin Encounter!!! Thank-you Sea World. Thank-you Give Kids The World. Thank-you Make-A-Wish Foundation!

This is where I cry. I hid my face in Rick's shirt and just bawled. I had to hide myself from the crowd that had gathered to watch our experience. Throughout the whole trip I saw it. The question marks in people's faces, the anger, the disgust as we cut in line for rides, to meet characters, and got the VIP treatment everywhere we went. What the people just didn't understand, what they couldn't comprehend, is how difficult it has been for these kids. ALL of them. How so many nights we have held eachother and cried not knowing whether or not we would have a son, a brother tomorrow. How Rick's girls had to leave the only home they had ever known and move in with me when Rick and Andrew went to the hospital. Their young lives turned upside down, scared, lonely, sad. They lost their brother, their Dad. As it was, they had already lost their Mom. How my kids had to suddenly accept this whole new family, share their rooms, their Mom, and adjust to me not being able to give them what I always had.

Our kids have spent so much of their lives without us, and not just physically while we are at Drs. appointments, or living in hospitals, but emotionally, when we are so scared and confused ourselves that we simply cannot provide the attention, the love, the peace that so many take for granted.

And poor Andrew. If only the people who looked at us with anger when we jumped in front of them while meeting Spiderman knew how many nights he had spent in ICU, fighting for his life. How he had to learn how to walk, at eight years old. How the Drs. wouldn't give him a CT scan for two years because he didn't have insurance, and so he was simply slowly dying. There is just no other way to put it. He was just so sick, withering away to nothing, and in so much pain. His body fought so hard for him, as the cancer took over and slowly tried to kill him while we went to Dr. after Dr. and no one would help him.

If they knew that he has been picked and prodded more at 11 years old than most adults are in their whole lives. And how it still hurts so badly every single time. How the statistics say that he has a 50% chance to be alive at 18. What the hell does that mean? Or how because of his vision disability he will never drive a car.

So many nights we have prayed together, been brought to our knees in fear and pain, asking God for one more miracle. And on this day, he gave it to us. One more miracle. And it was one that we never asked for. One that I never would have known to pray for. So on day three, and every day, thank-you God, not just for answering our prayers so many times, but for giving us amazing blessings that we don't ask for.

So yes, people with the dirty looks, I am sorry that you had to wait in such long lines, that you didn't understand why we didn't, why we got VIP treatment. We DID all look healthy after all. And you didn't get to see my tears. I hid them in Rick's shirt. But they came, and they came down hard, because of the joy my kid's got to experience on this day. And I can guaratee that as you look at these close-ups of their faces, you will not see in a single one of them fear, loneliness or pain. On this day, they got to experience pure JOY.

And the picture that makes me cry every time I look at it:

So I will need to write the rest of day 3 later. I am emotional, and it takes a long time to upload photos. Stay tuned.


Mama to a diva said...

What a beautiful post. You said everything so eloquently. Of course now I am crying uncontrollably. I am so glad your family got to experience the trip, and especially day 3!!!!

doodlebelle said...

Thanks Hon. Me too, with the crying, and the being so glad we got this experience. Me too.