It Started at a Disney Movie

Hello Friend!

I hope the summer finds you enjoying the warm weather and making family memories.

It has been beautiful here in the Seattle area and I savor each day. As a matter of fact, I write this from my back-yard deck surrounded by hundred-foot cedar trees as the sunlight dances through their branches. It’s a little slice of heaven!

I’ve been praying about how to share what’s been happening in my world.

There is so much to tell of my journey to healing. It is hard to decide where to begin.

I’ll start with a story of what happened last fall, when I saw the movie Saving Mr. Banks starring Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks.

It is a delightful story about the making of the Disney movie, Mary Poppins. Here is the movie trailer:

I enjoyed the movie. But when I couldn’t stop crying as the credits rolled, I knew I was in trouble.

I’m not talking quiet tears. I mean shoulder-shaking, heaving sobs.

The kind of crying that makes you wait until the theater clears so you can sneak into the bathroom to get your act together.

The kind of tears that made my son, Gabe, and husband, Steve, look at each other and ask “What do we do now?”

You see, Saving Mr. Banks is all about Mrs. P.L. Travers letting go of the story of her childhood.

It’s about grieving loss and wishing things were vastly different.

It is about finding someone who knows your pain and challenges you to tell the story.

I found myself right in the middle of P.L Travers’ struggle to deal with the loss of her father.

Her birth name is Helen Lyndon Goff. My birth name is also Helen. This tiny fact was eerily coincidental.

Helen Goff arrived too late to her beloved dad’s death bed. That’s when my tears began.

At that moment, I saw me as a curly-headed little girl staring at the fish tank in the lobby of the Veteran’s hospital, wondering what was taking my mom and older siblings so long. They were upstairs visiting my sick dad. I wanted to see my hero, but the hospital had a minimum age of thirteen for allowing visitors. I was only seven.

Early the next morning, the phone rang. My aunt Jo answered and told the caller, “The angels took him home.” I wondered it if was my dad she referred to, but I quickly dismissed the thought.

That afternoon, my mom sent us to the Saturday matinee. The movie showing was none other than, Mary Poppins.

Mary Poppins

I came home that afternoon and mom told me dad was dead. The angels took him home. I never got to say goodbye.

I don’t remember crying when my dad died. I learned at a young age to hold my tears. My Nana warned us not to cry so we wouldn’t upset Mom. She had enough to deal with as it is. Ten crying children would only make things worse.

So I learned to stuff my pain behind a smile. I learned to wear a mask.

Then P. L. Travers and Walt Disney taught me that hiding pain is never a good idea.

In the weeks that followed, my counselor helped me make sense of what happened to me at Saving Mr. Banks. She encouraged me to trust that God was showing me the path to healing.

It was time to get help for my pain.

Over the next several months, I came to grips with many things I had stuffed all these years.

It was then I realized I needed professional help. I just couldn’t stop the tears.

Shortly thereafter, I sought help at The Center – A Place of Hope where I worked through years of pain and loss. I cried buckets of tears.

Isn’t it strange how things become clear when we least expect it? How a scene in a movie can trigger years of stuffed emotion?

And so, my healing began at a Disney movie. And I’m so glad I got the help I needed. I feel so much better now.

How about you? Has there been a movie that led you to a healing place? Or a place of revelation about something you hadn’t thought about in years? I hope you’ll share your story.

I continue to pray for whatever is on your heart. May God guide you to a healing place for what’s going on in your world.

Blessings on your day.

Gigi

PS: If you haven’t seen the movie, I hope you take time to rent it this summer.