Posted by: sistermom1 | June 16, 2012

Letting Go of Hershey Park

My daughter went to Hershey Park to celebrate the end of the school year.  This is the first time since 1999 that one of my children has gone to Hershey Park without me.  Managing an amusement park has become more difficult for me as the MS has progressed.  Some days it is really too hot for me to be outside (I wear a big hat, but I have yet to purchase a cooling vest, and I do stay in the shade).  I really do miss riding roller coasters and the water rides, but the kids love it every year, and it has been a wonderful tradition for our family.

This year, my daughter’s friends went to Hershey — a week before our son ended school.  She decided to go with them rather than wait for an uncertain date with us.  We were able to purchase discount tickets (those parks are expensive!), and she went with a larger group that often goes with us to Hershey every year. 

The morning of the trip was beautiful.  Our daughter rode up with a friend and her mother, and she looked forward to the day, but before she left she asked if her father could pick her up and bring her home in the evening.  Of course he did, and she really appreciated being able to ride home without having to be social — just sleep all the way home. 

It was a difficult day for me.  I hated sending her on a trip our family has done together for the past 8 years.  I hated not being able to go and enjoy the park.  I felt badly that I couldn’t go easily.  I hated sending her with others, although they were good friends who would look out for her as if she were their own daughter.  (Thanks S,D, A, and R!)  It was difficult letting go of going to Hershey Park at the end of the year, but I had to do it.

I am still processing letting go of things and what that really means.  One of the most challenging things for me since bring diagnosed with MS (2005) has been letting go of much of what I used to do and think.  Before my illness progressed, I drove everywhere, volunteered for a variety of non-profit organizations, planned and participated in activities for my family, and did a lot of exercising, running and working out.  My social life was very full, and I did feel very much like I was in control of all things in my world.  My experience with MS has changed all of that (see any previous entry in this blog!). 

To be honest, MS has shown me many things about myself.  It has shown me ways to live my life more fully than I had been living it.  (I hate that it took this kind of experience for me to get it…)  Along with learning that the only thing I do have any control over is myself, I am learning more about the power of my own life and the deeper purpose for the challenges that I face. 

Lately I have been reading more encouragement from Daisaku Ikeda:

“Through faith in Nichiren Buddhism, we can apprehend the deeper significance of all of life’s sufferings, including illness.  This is a way of life of changing karma into mission.  It is not a matter of just stoically enduring our karma: nor is it a path of escapism or passive resignation.  Rather, we strive to build an invincible self through transforming our lives on the most fundamental level and developing inner fortitude, so that we can face illness or any other adversity without being defeated.”

Here’s to none of us being defeated by whatever illness/challenge we face…



  1. Amusement parks were never my favorite, until I couldn’t do them anymore. It’s tough letting things go, I hate that part.

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