As she skipped through the park she took turns admiring her surroundings and her pretty, pink dress. It seemed natural that her father would take her hand. That simple gesture reminded her of his protective presence…. and her tendency to get lost! She looked up to ask him if they could get some ice cream. Suddenly, she realized that the man who had taken her hand was not a familiar face. She wasn’t afraid, though. His smile was kind and began to ask her questions. They talked about how old she was, if she had learned to read and what her dog’s name was. She found out that he had a daughter just about her age. She could see her parents walking closely behind them, they had the same look on their faces that she had when she tried on her new, pink dress. That was strange.
After their little walk through the park, the nice man said goodbye and walked down the path lined with flowers. Her mother knelt by her side and asked, “Susan, do you know who that man was?” Susan shook her head. She had never seen him before. How could she know him? “Honey, that man created this beautiful playground. His name is Mr. Walt Disney.”
It has been decades since that day, but Sue’s face lit up as she told me this story. She and her husband, Bob, were on their way back to their home in California after meeting their grandkids at Disney World in Florida. (She told me that Disneyland is MUCH better than Disney World. I am sure part of the reason that is true for her involves cherished, childhood memories.) As we sat together on the plane, she talked about their plans for the future. They’ve been married 41 years and they are planning their own “Happily Ever After” which will involve selling their big house and most of their possessions so that they can live a simple life working at Disneyland. She has aspirations of becoming the Fairy Godmother and Bob will use his machinist skills to work on the trains.
We all want that happily-ever-after story, don’t we? My friend, Todd reminded me of that yesterday. It is amazing how we are all drawn to one basic story. The names, settings and details are adapted to infuse new life into the tale of the beautiful princess who is held captive by evil. Eventually the brave, true, honorable knight-in-shining-armor comes to save the day. Each one of us can relate to the princess and imagine ourselves rescued or lose hope when we feel like the rescuer just doesn’t exist in reality.
Will Sue and Bob find their fairytale ending? Is it possible? What is your fairytale ending?
Watch what Todd told me right here.