We took Oliver to Disney World last week. As I checked packing lists and prepared the van for a long road trip, I secured a little pouch to the back of Oliver's wheelchair to hold drinks and toys. Inside I found Waverly's Belle doll. It is basically a tub toy, but it was well loved. I tucked it back in and away we went. Our first day was spent at Magic Kingdom. Unlike trips in the past, Oliver was thrilled to be on rides and was okay with being in the dark. It totally changed the way we expected the trip to go and we were thrilled to be able to do more with our little adventurer.
Waverly was always our thrill seeker. She rode every ride in the parks and would laugh maniacally with every twist and turn. Oliver was our safety conscious boy, always choosing to remain in the light with both feet planted firmly on the ground. But this time was different.
As we waited in line for the many rides in Fantasy Land, I pulled out Waverly's Belle. I snapped this picture because I was so taken with the idea of having her present with us, even if that presence was in the form of a plastic toy. Oliver would hold it and manipulate it with his hands during waits and then we would tuck it away for the rides.
We got into the line at Winnie the Pooh and between entering the queue and boarding the ride, Belle was gone. We went back and scoured the area, asking every cast member if someone turned it in. I was a mess. All of my emotions were focused on this cheap toy. It was a form of grieving all over again. I rushed to Guest Services and we continued to pop back to the ride hoping it had been turned in. I called Lost & Found the next day and we even stopped in a few days later, but it was gone.
I am sure someone picked it up or discarded it when they saw the chew marks and faded paint. It was old and ratty, but so incredibly precious to us. I have lots of Wavey's old toys, but in that moment on that day I was devastated.
We were able to find a brand new set of princess toys and Oliver carried them around throughout the rest of our trip. It soothed my heart. It was a reminder that Waverly is with us. I was reminded of loss and what really matters. I also realized that I get way too attached to material goods.