My trip to DisneyWorld was exhausting. My girlfriends and I were on the go all day, every day..even on our “day of rest”.
So on this “day of rest”, we shopped. As we entered the World of Disney store, I had my little heart set on buying a huge, blinged-out snow globe. Surrounded by all of the Disney characters. Playing music. Huge moving parts. HUGE I say. You get the picture.
Boom. Found it.
…Welp, changed my mind (typical?)
I settle for a classic snow globe. No Disney characters. Doesn’t move. Just the castle. It does play “A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes” though! It’s a classy lil thing.
Before you get bored with this post and hit the big “X” on your screen.. wait. I have a point.
So I walk over to the check out counter where a nice cast member is working. I’m patiently waiting as a man in a wheelchair pulls up to the counter and says, “next!”
He was a man, maybe in his late 50s, whose voice was low and words were slightly slurred. He sat contently in his wheelchair with two nearly immobile arms, an amputated leg, and a crippled leg.
He took my snow globe (along with some other souvenirs) and slowly began to ring up my findings with his one working hand. I stood quietly, not because I was uncomfortable, but because I wanted to know his story…but didn’t know the right words to say.
I’m an extremely curious person who loves to learn about everything and everyone, if you didn’t know. So, probably 15 minutes into ringing up my souvenirs and wrapping them up for me, I saw on his name tag that he was from New York. Wondering how he had worked his way down to Orlando, I asked.
The story I received what unexpected and heart wrenching.
He had been a retired veteran for several years. Over 7 years before coming to Orlando, he had needed a heart transplant. He waited anxiously for a new heart, when a donor finally became available. As he was on the table getting a new heart inserted into his body, he had a double heart attack. After he had woken up from surgery, he had a massive brain aneurysm that had caused the crippling and slowed speech.
He had been in physical therapy for years, trying to regain his life when he contacted Disney, hoping for an opportunity. They said if he finished college, he could work for them. He received a Disney scholarship, finished college, got a job with Disney, and is thriving.
After telling me his story, a tear in my eye and a heavy heart, he looked at me and said, “Life is good. Life is so so good.”
This man made me look at life completely differently. Maybe that’s why this post is so late from when I actually met him. I’m still digesting the information he gave me and translating that into my own terms for my own life.
I take advantage of life. In a positive and negative way.
Ever since I had my little scare in 2012, I have said “Yes” to opportunities that I otherwise would not have. I am taking risks and chances that most people never will. I have realized that I only have this one life. And it’s getting shorter by the minute, as scary as that is.
Everyone has a story. A past. A future.
I wanted to share this one in hopes of opening your eyes to people who God puts right in front of you, for good reason. You just have to figure out exactly what that reason is. Maybe it’s to learn. Maybe it’s to befriend someone you otherwise wouldn’t be friends with. Maybe its to grow as a human being.
The point is, life IS good.
Like this quote says, “It may be a bad day, but it’s not a bad life.”