In the past week, Orlando has experienced so much tragedy. Too much for one city. When the tragic events continued with the horrific accident that occurred at Walt Disney World, as fans and frequent visitors of Disney, it hit uncomfortably close to home.

When tragic events happen, it is human nature to look for something or someone to blame. How could something so tragic happen at the happiest place on earth? The ‘what ifs’ set in, choices are questioned, actions replayed over and over again. We all have a tendency to ‘Monday morning quarterback’, point out what we would have done differently, question the actions of those involved, and with the increase in social media outlets, the finger pointing and negativity has become even more rampant. Now is not the time to place blame or point fingers. Now is a time to come together as a community, a Disney community, the Ohana we are, and offer love, support, and prayers to all of those involved.

Soon, although it may be hard right now, we will realize that some good did come out of this event. There is now more awareness of the dangers in the waterways on property, but more importantly, we became united and more connected, even with our differences. Over the last two days, nothing else in the Disney community mattered. We joined together in hopes of a miracle. We followed the story obsessively, praying for good news. We turned to our social media communities for support. We shared our thoughts, experiences, stories, and pictures. We understood, because we may have done something similar. We sympathized, knowing that family will never be the same. Most of all, we shared our genuine concern and compassion for a stranger, and that is what brings me happiness.

Most of us are still thinking about the Graves family and holding them in our hearts. Many are wondering what we can do, how we can bring some happiness back to our Disney family. There are many ways you can help. If you are able, make a donation in honor of Lane Graves and the Graves family. You can volunteer your time or donate blood. Take a trip to Disney to honor his life. No matter what you do, always remember to be grateful for what you have. Don’t spend time and energy trying to figure out why or place blame. Focus on what really matters, and that is Ohana.

It’s hard to imagine a day where things will be ‘normal’ again because so many lives have been affected and changed forever. Happiness will come again. Disney is strong. Orlando is strong. The events that occurred have changed us and will never be forgotten, but in the face of tragedy, the strength of the community was tested, and we passed with flying colors. Love to all!

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