When I was 12 years old my family moved to Deltona, FL. from Brazil. Where I lived for the next 11 years. While growing up, I remember all the sacrifices my parents made to put food on the table. To make ends meet. My father did everything from singing at weddings to selling and transporting baby chicks to farmers in Brazil. Now you may say that he went through all this because he does not have a college degree? Actually my father is the best Jeweler out there. I am not just saying this cause he is my father. But his engraving skills amaze anyone who sees it. He has been making jewelry since he was 11 years old. And is just amazing at what he does. But due to some horrible circumstances, and events and the fact that Brazilians can't afford jewelry in Brazil. He could not work in this field, forcing him to do everything else in the book. AND I MEAN EVERYTHING.
Anyways... The Lord brought us to the US when I was 12 years old, and my dad was able to work with what he was gifted with. Coming here with NOTHING but 3 suitcases, we had an entire life to start from scratch.
Living so close to Disney World, it was their dream to take us there. They spent the first year of their US lives saving for this ridiculously expensive dream come true. And on Dec, 24th 1997 we went to Disney. Hoping that our first Christmas away from all of our loved ones, and dollar store gifts would be a little better if we spent it there. Along with the enormous lines at the rides, and people speaking every language under the sun. That is a day I will never forget, We were the first ones in the park that day, and the last ones out. My dad wanted to document every memory, so he bought a video camera at a yard sale.
I am pretty sure this is the exact model.
He carried this beast, everywhere. Video taped every parade, and smile on his girls face that day.
We also could not afford to eat or buy anything else in the park, so my mother dragged this cooler around.
Also from a yard sale, notice there are no wheels on that baby. We solved that...
Strap it on to this little baby and your set. This cooler had water, sandwiches, juice, snacks. Bottles of milk for my sister, candy, now that I think of it. It was almost like the bread and fish that fed a thousand. We never ran out of food.
We watched the fireworks, and from the corner of my eyes I watched my parents cry. At that time I though it was because of Disney World. NOW I know better, they were crying because at the ages of 30 and 33 they left everything behinde to give their children a chance to a better life, they cried because they missed their parents, and siblings back in Brazil, they cried because through honest hard work they made the dreams of 3 little girls come true, they cried because of the unknown scary future of wondering if moving here was the right thing to do. (excuse me while I go ball my eyes out)
***** 5 MIN LATER*****
Last year when we received our tax returns, in an envelope I put aside a small fortune to make the dreams of 2 little kids come true, once again.
And 14 years almost to the day, we took Spencer and Stephanie, my own kids to Disney world. My mom went with us. And while watching the parade and fire works. I cried once again, and watched my mother cry. I cried of gratitude, because if it were not for that great sacrifice that my 2 loving parents made 15 years ago. I would not be the person I am, I would not have the husband and life that I have. And most of all, I would not have seen the sparkle in my daughters eyes, as she looked in pure amazement at the princesses. I would not have carried my tiny little princess passed out of pure exhaustion in my arms. My mother cried... because she remembered that day, and all that she was feeling, and now she knew it was all worth it. To be able to see her grand kids dream come true. She was able to see how far they have come, how much they have endured. And it was all worth it.
Mother... Words will never be enough to say how thankful I am for your unselfish decision many years ago, that has changed my life forever. I love you, and wish I could be half the mother you are, some day.
In this moment we were getting ready to leave, when Stephanie started balling. And with every fiber of her little soul said... "Mommy, I wanna do that agaaaaiiinnnn, puizzzz. Mommy!!! I wanna see that again. Puizzz mommy. Just one mooor tsime. PUIZZZ!!!"
Soooo, guess what we are doing with this year's tax return?
Knowing all the sacrifices that were made, and how far we've come, how hard it was. Allowing my children to still believe in a fairy tale world, to witness their eyes sparkle, and their little hearts skip a beat, because of some make believe character. I will do my best for it to last as long as possible... And that is one of the best things in Life....