Seven Years Ago

by | Sep 26, 2011 | fall, family, God's blessings, vacation

Seven years ago today, the four of us were snuggled together in our hotel room on the third floor of Disney’s Pop Century Resort in Orlando, FL.  We were riding out Hurricane Jeanne.  The resort authorities advised their visitors to not go out of our hotel rooms under any circumstances.  The night prior we stocked up on the food we could find at the resort to hopefully get us through that day…and it did. 
(I know…I’m looking fabulous here!)
Bill and I were a little on edge most of the day, being uncertain about how bad this hurricane was going to be. But we didn’t show that to Ali and Zach.  We kept watching the hurricane on the local t.v. stations.  We prayed a lot too, that day!  After all, this trip was our dream vacation.  We had saved for it.  Planned for it for months.  We had already delayed our trip two weeks because of Hurrican Ivan.  We surprised the kids with it when we arrived at the airport to depart the day before.  It was something Bill and I had looked forward to for a very long time.  And our first day of this dream vacation–September 26 of 2004–we spent locked in our hotel room!

But God used that time locked in together for good.  We slept, we snuggled, we spent time talking, sharing, and really enjoying our time together as a family.  We would look out every now and then to see the wind whipping the trees, and to watch the rain pour down.  No one could be seen throughout the resort, or from at least from our room window.  It was hard to believe we were in a hurricane! 

We had gotten a call from Tina that morning, sharing with us that her dad, Jim had passed away.  We left knowing he would probably pass while we were away.  We just didn’t expect it would be that soon.  We cried together, prayed together, and seemed to snuggle even more together.  Papa Jim was someone very special to us.  I can remember Ali and Zach took the news hard.  They loved Papa Jim very much.  I can see now that God used that time together to help each of us grieve Jim’s death and to also celebrate his life with the memories we had of him.  We also had the realization we would miss his funeral later that week as we would still be in Florida.

When we woke up the next morning, the 27th, the sun was shining and the birds were singing.  We scurried around early to board our shuttle to Magic Kingdom.  I can remember how excited the kids were!  Very few evidences could be seen throughout the entire resort and park that a hurricane ever went through the day before.  It was a beautiful day, and any damage that occured, had already been cleaned up.  Our dream vacation was now becoming a reality! 

For the next six days we did all we could do, and saw all we could see.  It turned out that it was a good thing that we were able to rest that first day in our hotel room…we were on the go the rest of the week!  It was a beautiful trip, and a very fun time together as a family.  The memories we made there are still priceless to me, even seven years later!  So, even though our trip didn’t start out so great, God blessed us with a wonderful vacation.  But I don’t think I’ll ever forget that day–September 26, 2004. 

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