Monday, June 4, 2012

A Main Street Kiss


There are many elements that make Disneyland what it is. It’s the sound of the train whistle.  It’s the intoxicating smell of caramel on Main Street.  It’s the low hum of Jungle Cruise boats leaving the dock or it’s the way the sunlight hits the freshly planted flowers that encompass the statue of Walt and Mickey-- it’s the small things that matter. I discovered the true meaning of this when I met James and Betty.

It was a bright summer morning when I first met James.  As usual I was cleaning and attending to the lobby, when I saw him from across the room.  I could tell that something was troubling him, so I asked what I could do to assist him. James proceeded to introduced himself and tell me all about his life. We talked for a good bit, but then he left.  The next day, I saw him again waiting in the lobby. So I approached him and greeted him. We chatted again and then he asked me, “Do you know where I could get a ticket to go to Disneyland for a few hours”? I had to inform him that they only sell full day tickets and there aren’t any half day admission tickets.  We talked again, but then his phone rang and he left.  Again, I saw him the next day. When he approached me, he asked if I could help him buy two tickets. I went over to the desk to log on to the system and I asked him who he was going to the park with. He gave me this grin; turned around and pointed at a frail lady in a wheelchair, and said “I am going with that angel right over there”.  At that moment, I stopped what I was doing and looked. She had a Mickey Mouse scarf wrapped around her head, a decorated oxygen tank, and was wearing a powder blue shirt. James leaned over the counter and said, “That’s my Betty. Today is our 50th anniversary. For our first date, we went to Disneyland. The best part of that date was when we sat on Main Street and she kissed me on the cheek”. He continued to tell me that the doctors let Betty out today, because they knew it might be her last. Betty had been diagnosed with liver cancer and was fading quickly. After hearing all of that my heart dropped, I knew I had to do something. As he pulled out his wallet to pay for the tickets and I told him to put his money away, because this was on me.  I walked them to the main gate of Disneyland and they told me their love story. I was deeply moved by the whole thing. When we finally arrived, Betty gave me hug and thanked me for giving them a moment to remember, even if it was going to be short.  James shook my hand and told me, “There needs to be more people like you in this world”.  I watched them as they walked away and smiled at that kind of love.  Just before they reached the end of the tunnel, James leaned over and kissed Betty on the cheek.  It was a beautiful moment.

The weeks went by and I was on to the next project of “Making Magic”, when my manager handed me a letter. The letter was from James. Betty had passed away the day after her visit to the parks. He told me about the funeral and how he was holding up. Then at the end of the letter he told me, “Thank you for giving Betty the best last day anyone could have. Thank you for letting us walk down memory lane and for letting us remember how sweet our life together has been”…

Never forget it’s the small things in life that count, like a kiss on the cheek while sitting on Main Street.

23 comments:

  1. Ok...that's just not fair. Here I am at work, sneakily reading this when I should be working on this motion capture file and I end up sitting here sobbing my eyes out, obviously not working!

    This story is so sweet, sad and heart warming. I am so happy that you were able to give James and Betty a wonderful wonderful day that would help both of them with her passing...you are such an awe-inspiring person.

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    1. haha sorry. I would put a viewers discretion is advised haha
      Thank you for your kindness and for reading :)

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  2. This article might as well be titled, "How to Make a Grown Man Cry at Work." So happy to hear you were able to play a part in that!

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    1. I'll consider that in the book. ;)
      Thanks for reading. I really appreciate your support

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  3. I am sobbing. Beautiful story; thank you for sharing and for giving them that moment of magic.

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    1. Sara,
      Aren't moments like these the best? Thanks for reading my story and for commenting. It means a lot :)
      have a magical day!

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  4. Beautiful Danielle. Just another sweet reminder of how magical Disneyland is and how we should all strive to bring a little magic into others' lives...and yes, it did make me tear up a bit at my desk!

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  5. It's stories like this that make Disneyland so special. So many people love it -- it pulls the kindness and warmth out of those that visit and attracts awesome people to work there.

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    1. Chris,
      that is so true. I believe moments like this is what brings the magic to life. Thanks for reading :)

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  6. Such a beautiful story to share. Brought tears to my eyes! That was such a sweet thing you did for them.

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    1. awh katie:) thats what being a CM is all about. Seeing the right moment and taking the opportunity :)

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  7. I just found your site recently, but haven't commented. Your recent post about Betty and James was so sweet. Thank you for giving them one last memory together. :)

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    1. Hi Hope!
      First, Welcome. I am so glad you found Tales of a DL CM. I really hope you have enjoyed it. Thanks for reading too!
      I hope you have a magical day! :)

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  8. What a great testimony of true and dedicated love. Our first date was Disneyland too, Grad Nite 1979 and this month we will be celebrating our 29th wedding anniversary. We are so fortunate to have this great park still a part of our lives. Thank you for sharing this! - @TommyPix

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    1. Wow! Congrats!! I am so glad Disneyland is apart of your relationship. It's moments like those that are really special;) Hope you have a magical day and a happy anniversary!

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    2. Hi danielle! Its josh once again :D came to disneyland as a guest today :) sat in the grand californian to take a break on the most comfortable chairs ever and you popped into my head and I told myself "hmm maybe she's updated her blog, let me check" ... So I read it and I began to tear up such a touching and inspiring story to know how you made her last day the most special with her husband... I could never ever forget a story that made me cry and appreciate life now that I'm alive at the moment. You truly inspire me and I hope to hear from you published book soon :)

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  9. I couldn't help but shed a tear. This place creates the most beautiful memories!

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  10. That was the most beautiful thing I read today. Thank you.

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  11. you just made my mom and i cry after reading this! you have the best job ever to grant wishes like that!

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  12. It is stories like this that truly encompass the magic of Disney. I'm so happy that there are people like you out there :) Thanks for making me cry at work! ;)

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  13. I'm going to cry that is such a beautiful story, thank you for sharing!!

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  14. Rereading this just made me feel all the emotions all over again. Oh my heart hurts and is happy at the same time.

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  15. I just stumbled across this site as I was reading up on Disneyland. I love everything that has to do with Disney and how the magic happens. Your stories are truly inspiring. You are a very inspiring person. I cannot hold the tears as I read your heartfelt stories. :)

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