It’s a fact of life. Every single person has a story: where they came from, where they’ve been and where they’re going. What people have endured over time is their biggest story. We have all been dealt a bad hand; it has not been any different for me. My own personal mantra, “Just Keep Swimming,” has gotten me through some really tough, sad times in my life. This is the exact quote from Disney’s Finding Nemo:
Dory: Hey there, Mr. Grumpy Gills. When life gets you down do you wanna know what you’ve gotta do?
Marlin: No I don’t wanna know.
Dory: [singing] Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. What do we do? We swim, swim.
My mother’s illness is the most excruciating thing I’ve endured. Over the years, Mom dealt with so many infirmities. All life threatening, but she endured and was the epitome of someone who “Just kept swimming.” 2009 was the worst year of my life. Mom, who had just turned 80, was put on dialysis. I had to tell the woman who I called “the light of my life” the news that she had lived in fear of. “Just keep swimming, Marisol” was all I could think. It calmed me. Three times a week of this treatment, several hours a day, would wipe her out. She was living with me, and I did everything I could for her. Keeping her clean was an uphill battle. I dressed and undressed her, cooked for her, tried to tempt her with snacks because she was getting too skinny, woke up several times during the night because her sugar levels were too low and she couldn’t get out of bed…there’s so much more, but it’s just too much to get into. I adored my mother, but there were many angry days that I had to “swim” through.
Unbelievably, this one line from a kid’s movie (and copious amounts of praying) reminded me to be firm and have resolve. Keep on living and be happy! Should you wallow in self pity when things seem insurmountable? Yes, for a little while, grieving is a good thing, but then you have to realize that people depend on you, and healing and happiness is obtainable. I am blessed with a wonderful, funny family and friends I’d never trade.
Mr. Walt Disney seems to agree with me (or me with him). He said, “All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me…You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”
“Just Keep Swimming!”
Contributed by: Marisol L. Marisol is a Guest DDL Parenting Blogger and proud member of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel. Visit the Walt Disney World Moms Panel for help planning your Magical Trip. She is not a Disney employee. The postings on this site are her own and do not necessarily represent Disney’s positions or opinions.