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Welcome Home

Welcome home. Those were the first words uttered to my family and me as we walked into the Boardwalk Resort at Walt Disney world. What struck me as odd was that we had never stayed there before.  But that was the beginning of the Disney magic. Disney is the one place where a kid can be a kid and an adult can act like a kid. One of the best parts of visiting Disney World is seeing it through the eyes of your children.
When a child is born there is certain purity in them. They are born without prejudice, fear, discrimination, etc. those behaviors and feelings are learned through what we see and hear as we grow up. The Disney magic is there to make everyone feel special and to make all your dreams come true. The smile on my daughter’s face every time she met a Princess was priceless. This time her biggest smile and excitement came when she met Princess Jasmine. Not because it is her favorite Princess but because it is mine. And embarrassingly Katy let Jasmine know that by telling her “my daddy loves you the most.” My wife said it was one of the few times she has seen me blush. But I got a great picture out of it and once again Disney showed it can make all our dreams come true!
What made this trip special was that we had not planned to go. This trip happened because of the generosity of others. A dear friend who is a Disney vacation club owner offered us a five night stay if we could go before March. As fate would have it, Susan had a work conference she had to attend in February. I also had two frequent flyer tickets available, and my mother-in-law was able to join us to help out. In the end, it became the most cost effective Disney vacation I could have ever imagined and would not have happened otherwise. That is why it made this vacation even more special.
A trip to Disney can also be a very humbling experience. It doesn’t take very long to realize how blessed most of us are when you see so many children with disabilities or in wheelchairs with the biggest smiles in the world. It really put my life in perspective where despite my own health issue; I have four beautiful healthy children.
My first trip to Disney World was when I was about 10 years old. My next trip was about 30 years later as a part of my mom and dad’s dream to take their six kids and grandchildren on a family trip. That was my favorite Disney vacation because even though my father was in a wheelchair he always had a smile on his face watching his family have such a wonderful time. You could say Disney was making his dream come true. Since that trip every time I go to Disney World I think of my father especially at Epcot. The pinnacle of that vacation was the dinner in Italy followed by the Illuminations fireworks display. This vacation ended with that same fireworks display and as usual it brought a tear to my eye. Like my father I will be visiting Disney World again at some point in a wheelchair. But I promise I will have the same smile he had as I watch my family enjoying the best family vacation spot in the world. And that great Disney greeting of “welcome home,” I hope to hear that many more times while visiting Disney World before I hear it for the last time when I am greeted in heaven by my father and many others.

3 responses to “Welcome Home

  1. ljpw93

    Disney and Dad will always be synonymous in my heart. You reminded me once again of what an amazing man dad was, with his patience and smiles and objective advice. I miss him every day. Now, I have that same pride in having you as my brother. Your optimism and strength, sense of humor and humility make me a better person just knowing you. I love you Jim….

  2. Jim Growt ⋅

    Wow, Jimbo. Hard to read that blog with a dry eye. I know that awesome feeling of being “welcomed home” at Disney. Sheila and I have been DVC members for 10 years now. You described the experience beautifully. So very glad your most recent trip was such a good one. We’re going again next month and I will think of you and your dad as I watch Illuminations and as I am “welcomed home!” Your De Pere friends have you in our prayers and thoughts. Hope to see you soon.

    Jim Growt

    • jim eutizzi ⋅

      Jim so nice to hear from you and thanks for your thoughts and prayers. Enjoy the “magic” next month with your family. Hopefully you get a round of golf in too. All the best!

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