I am referring to the newest Disney princess movie about Rapunzel and her golden hair. Being a mother of three little girls, one of whom truly believes she is a princess who will marry a prince and live happily ever after, it was inevitable that this movie would enter our house. What I didn't expect, was how this movie would affect my heart.
Here goes . . . Once upon a time, Rapunzel is stolen from her parents shortly after her birth after a joyous celebration during which her parents, the king and queen, released a single paper lantern in honor of their daughter. Many many years pass. Rapunzel's eighteenth birthday arrives. Her parents release a paper lantern as they did on her first birthday, this time joined by lanterns from all over the kingdom. The lanterns are released each year on her birthday in the hopes that Rapunzel will see them and return home. As the king and queen prepare to release the lantern, Rapunzel's mother looks lovingly at her husband and wipes the tear from his eye.
The sadness and longing felt so real as if it were captured from my own memory. Their lantern floats into the air and is then joined by hundreds, perhaps thousands of others to light the night sky. The depth of that moment was surely lost on my younger daughters. That those parents, seventeen years without their daughter, had not given up hope of one day being reunited. The release of their love, hope and grief into the dark sky to brilliantly light it one night each year, the night of their daughter's birth. Each lantern representing one other person remembering their daughter too.
I wish that each year on Wyatt and Eli's birthdays I could look into the sky and see evidence of love for my sons, be surrounded by the warmth and love of others and lifted into the sky to be closer to where they are. I wish that for all parents and brothers and sisters of little ones who have left us.