Buried Treasure

A Favorite Photo of a Trip to Key West with My Mom

This past weekend, I felt inspired to open the large wooden trunk I’ve had for over 20 years to examine and sort through what’s in there. The chest contains a few Christmas decorations and ornaments, blankets, old journals, my high school yearbook, and a plastic shoebox filled with memorabilia. Oh, the treasures I found inside that little shoebox.

Things like newspaper clippings reviewing shows I performed in at college. Ticket stubs from memorable concerts including Madonna’s Blonde Ambition Tour in 1990. I was shocked to see the price for a ticket was under $30! I laughed at what my coworkers wrote in the farewell card I received when I left the Arena Stage Box Office. At the time, it seemed like a crazy idea to leave a full-time job with benefits for a temporary position with Bob Brown Puppet Productions for just 5 weeks. It turned out to be Divine Guidance when that experience led to a full-time job at Disney World as a puppeteer a few years later. 

Speaking of Disney, I also found my Disney name tags and a few sweet letters written by kids I met as a character performer. One little girl colored a picture of Pluto with yellow crayons letting him know he was her favorite. There was also a letter from a grateful mom whom I met at a Disneyana Convention. Apparently, I had sent her son a personal note with a photo of me as the prince from Sleeping Beauty because Prince Phillip was his hero. She thanked me for taking so much time to talk with her and for the note to her son, Garrett. Inside the envelope was a photo of Garrett dressed in his own Prince Phillip costume. It was an adorable photo, but also strange to think that little prince is now almost 30!

Another little boy wrote to Captain John Smith (from Pocahontas) asking if I’d like to play video games later in the game room at the Wilderness Lodge. It was accompanied by a second note saying he was sorry I didn’t show up, but if I still wanted to play video games, I could call him before 8:30. I had no way to contact him, nor would I have been able to join him as John Smith even if I had received his letter in time. But I do remember having a very long conversation with him at the Pocahontas character breakfast. He definitely touched my heart, because reading his note all these years later still made me smile.

Long after I left the Walt Disney Company, I had one of my best birthday celebrations there with 3 friends who also transform into big kids upon entering the theme parks. It brought back an abundance of joyful memories when I saw the mouse-eared “Happy Birthday” button I wore during our weekend visit. Any time one of the cast members or guests noticed the button and said “Happy Birthday,” the four of us screamed “HAPPY BIRTHDAY,” threw our arms high in the air, and spun around like idiots. I’m sure it will not surprise you that it happened quite frequently and, yes, we did it every single time.

I discovered many fond memories in that trunk, but the biggest treasure was a handwritten letter from my mother. She wrote it before her move to Florida during one of the brief periods where she was able to keep her alcohol addiction at bay. In the letter, my mom described how much she loved working as a hostess at the Red Lobster. I can only imagine how much the customers and servers loved her. It was the perfect job for her. My mother was truly a people person. She had a way of making everyone around her feel comfortable, and she could lighten any situation with her quick wit and that mischievous twinkle in her eyes. 

Even though she was writing about everyday things, the letter was filled with her humor, and I somehow found myself laughing out loud while tears streamed down my face. I originally received this letter shortly after I left Orlando and moved to Miami Beach. She commended my courage for starting over in a new city. I must have inherited that courage from her because just a few years later, at the age of 75, my mom left the house in Upstate New York where she raised her children and had lived for over 40 years to start a new life in Florida. To me, that’s courage!

Toward the end of the letter, she admitted she wished she could spend more time with her children and grandchildren, but she was happy. She hoped I wouldn’t mind how much she bragged about me to her co-workers because she was so proud of me. As you can imagine, the tears were flowing pretty heavily by the time I got to that part. It was a well-timed message of love and encouragement from my biggest fan on the other side. 

Even with all the struggles and chaos that accompanied her alcoholism, I feel incredibly blessed to have had the mom I had. I knew she loved me without question. It’s one of the reasons I can do the work I do now. Over time, I was able to find a way to receive the love as she gave it, not as I wanted it. It was a long journey, and I am grateful for the help of A Course in Miracles and Family Constellations

It would be my great honor to help you uncover buried treasure and come to a place of peace with a series of Spiritual Coaching Sessions or a private Family Constellations Session. Both can help you remove the obstacles to the awareness of love’s presence, no matter what appears to have happened or is currently happening in your life. 

Thanks to Zoom, Skype, and FaceTime, we can connect no matter where you are in the world. If you’re feeling a nudge to start the process or kick it up a notch, please look around my website to learn more or click here to book a session with my automated scheduler. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. I look forward to working with you!

Until next time, perhaps there are some buried treasures waiting for you to uncover that will awaken joy and remind you that you are loved. 

Light and joy and peace abide in me.

A Course in Miracles ~ Workbook Lesson 93

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