TMSM’s Adventures in Florida Living ~ Ohana Means Family

This week, I had my blog all planned out in my head. I wanted to tell you about what we’ve been up to like usual, but then something unexpected happened and that all changed. Please bear with me, as you know when I speak from the heart I’m all over the board, but I really need to talk this out.

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Before I moved to Florida almost two years ago, I received encouragement from friends I already had that were living here. Some of those “friends” weren’t actually friends come to find out, but there were a few that were. One of those people was my Cast Member friend Chuck. Chuck gave me lots of advice on making the move, and once we got here and actually had our first meet up, there he was. Chuck took pictures at various locations at Disney World, so he always offered to take photos for me at our meet ups and such. Since that day in July of 2014, whenever we had a meet up, Chuck was there. We saw him before going home that first Christmas, and he reminded me that I have “family” here too, as I was having a rough go of things at the time. For my birthday Chuck and his awesome son Chris were there to help me celebrate. This past meet up in October, we had a HUGE group of people in front of the Castle waiting to take our group photo. I was a little overwhelmed with the crowd and wasn’t sure how to get this large group of Main Streeters organized, but we had Chuck. He jumped in and took right over and it was great. After all, photography was his job at Disney, and he was good at it. Chuck became a meet up staple, we always knew he’d be there with a smile on his face, ready to mingle and help. Friends like that are so hard to find these days.

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On Sunday we were at Epcot with one of our staffers/friends Corey and his family. I just happened to check my phone and it was filled with messages. Chuck was sick. We all wanted to rally together, we needed to do something, but there was that hopeless feeling too. What do we do? Can we help some way? How can this be? Sadly, yesterday I woke up to the news that our Chuck passed away. This is such a devastating loss to his family, fellow Cast Members, and to our TMSM family. Chuck was a mentor, a helper, a caring soul. He treated me like family down here because he knew I had none. Chuck was and is a gem, and we will sorely miss him. TMSM gatherings will never be the same without him, and our little Disney Ohana is truly in mourning. The passing of Chuck made me realize something that sometimes I take for granted. When things get rough or I get frustrated with work, I have to remember, if it weren’t for TMSM and pushing forward, I wouldn’t HAVE these amazing people in my life. Do you know how wonderful it is to me that people with the same love of Disney, have come together and become more that Disney fans or just TMSM readers? They’ve become family! That in itself is a blessing.

I know that TMSM differs from the rest of Disney “fan” sites out there, and I don’t care. It’s better this way. This is how it should be. Sure we love Disney, we have things in common, but we genuinely care and love the people who support us and who have become so much more than acquaintances. I’m not joking when I say that TMSM is one big Disney Ohana, because to me it is. To others who have made special friendships and bonds with fellow Main Streeters, it is. It’s hard to explain, but I promise you, it’s a beautiful thing, and when one of us suffers, we all do. Prayers and pixie dust are never denied, we are here for each other. And now, we have to be here for each other and friends and family of Chuck, more than ever. I truly hope that Chuck knew how much he meant to all of us. Every time I saw him I thanked him for being so great and gave him a hug. In a world down here in Florida that isn’t always so nice, Chuck shined. He was an important part of our group and myself, my family, and the entire TMSM Staff and circle are heartbroken. Always tell those you love and care for that they mean something to you, because tomorrow is never a guarantee. As for me….. I just have to say thank you Chuck, for being you, for being father figure, for your advice, for your concern, and for your friendship. You were a blessing, and we shall truly miss you.

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Well, that’s all for this week my dear friends. Today is my younger son, my little Bug’s birthday, and I wanted to get my thoughts out so I could make his day special even with all that’s going on. That’s what we have to do, keep moving forward… like Uncle Walt said. My heart is heavy, and I felt it was important to keep things real like usual, and share my feelings with you. Isn’t that what friends are for? I’d say so, and I thank you for that, it means a lot. Until next week, as always, I’m sending you all bunches of love, hugs, blessings, and pixie dust… take care of yourselves! See ya real soon! ~M

If you’d like to help Chuck’s family with funeral expenses, please consider a donation at https://www.gofundme.com/chuck-sfuneral. This is a hardship on the family so I know any help is appreciated. Thanks and God Bless!

Michele
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Michele

Michele Atwood is the Owner/Editor of The Main Street Mouse and it’s subsidiaries and author of the books “Moving to Main Street U.S.A.” “How Many Sleeps Till Disney?” and “How Many Sleeps Till Disneyland?” Michele also contributes Disney news to the Joe Kelley Morning Show on 96.5 WDBO in Orlando. She and her family made the move from Michigan to the Orlando area to pursue their Disney dreams. Michele is a life long Disney fan, and has two sons who have followed suit, each going on their first Disney trip before their first birthday’s. Part of the goal Michele has for The Main Street Mouse is not only to keep members informed, but to create somewhat of a Disney Family by relating to others through personal experiences and opinions. Also, Michele is making it a priority to share stories of inspiration and hope to other Disney Fans in an effort to share the Magic and hopefully make a difference in the lives of others. ~ I enjoy writing personal perspective blogs, doing TMSM Meet Ups for our readers, and keeping the constant interaction going with others, sharing the Disney Magic to people when they can’t be at their Happy Place.

Michele has 5759 posts and counting. See all posts by Michele

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One thought on “TMSM’s Adventures in Florida Living ~ Ohana Means Family

  • May 25, 2016 at 9:04 pm
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    Thank you for sharing. Hugs and love back to you, Chuck’s family, and all TMSM. There will never be words enough to express what TMSM has come to mean to me and we love and grieve as a family. Xoxoxo.

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