In the summer of 2005, my family had made plans for the ultimate vacation. Not only were we going to spend a week at Seagrove Beach, Florida, but we were also going to be staying a week at Disney World! My two younger sisters and I could not have been more excited. Never before had we spent so much time away from home.
June could not have come fast enough. A week before we were ready to leave, however, fate threw us a curve ball. My youngest sister Emily was playing on the swings in our backyard. All of a sudden, a giant bug was flying around her head. Emily is terrified of all insects and when this one refused to leave her alone she screamed and tried to swat it away, letting go of the chains of the swing. She was up pretty high and going quite fast, so when she lost her grip she fell.
With a loud CRACK and another scream from Emily, her wrist snapped. Little Emily was very brave. As my parents got ready to take her to the emergency room, all she could say was, ‘I don’t want a cast for vacation. Please don’t let me have a cast for vacation.’
Unfortunately, her pleas were no good. She had fractured her wrist in two places and needed to wear a cast for six weeks, at the very least. The doctor told our family that it probably was not a good idea to go the beach, since sand and seawater could get into Emily’s cast and cause irritation.So we would not be taking a trip to the beach.
We were all disappointed, but no one felt it as much as Emily. She blamed herself for what had happened. We all tried to cheer her up, telling her that at least we could still go to Disney World.
And we did. It was hard for Emily to ride in the car for twelve hours with a huge cast on her wrist, but she tried not to complain. Once at Disney, Emily had to face other difficulties with her broken wrist. She could not ride the water rides for fear that her cast would get wet and damaged. She could not swim at the resort pool for the same reason. Her cast was heavy and difficult for a small ten-year-old girl to carry around the theme park.
When she rode other rides she could only hold on with one hand, which scared her with thoughts of falling out, but Emily only cried once during the entire trip. Her strength showed through when she held her chin up and carried that heavily encased arm all day. Emily’s courage and determination were rewarded on our last day at Disney World. Our family was leaving the Magic Kingdom for the last time that trip, when at the front gates who should we see but Mickey Mouse himself! He was about to go back inside, but stayed so that we could have a picture with him. Emily could not have been more excited. She had had a tough vacation, but now she got to meet Mickey!
It is not often that an older sister can learn a lesson from a younger sibling. However, I can learn a lot from Emily’s behavior on that vacation. I now understand that life has a way of changing one’s plans. The trick, though, is to adapt to those changes with a positive attitude. Emily did just that. I am proud of her and hope that I have a little bit of her strength inside me somewhere. Our family had a great vacation thanks to Emily’s determination to have a good time. Oh, and meeting Mickey Mouse helped too.
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