So Beautiful, It Made Me Cry..

Being a mother who raised a child that lost both eyes to cancer before the age of two, leaving her blind for life, I’ve certainly seen my share of extreme lows, that I wouldn’t wish on anyone, as my husband and I helped Shantel establish herself in our sighted world.. I’ve also watched her soar to amazing heights as she accomplished each goal set for her throughout her schools years, and later, as an adult, I watched her accomplish the goals she set for herself i.e. earning two degrees at the same time in college, moving out of our home and establishing a life for herself in her own apartment, and now, the goal of landing a full-time job that will allow her to become fully financially independent, and a contributing member of society…

I didn’t have time when I was raising Shantel to feel sorry for her, or for myself, as her mother. I had to keep my mind on the goal, and commitment, I made to myself of making sure all of Shantel’s needs were met in school, and that she learned how to take care of herself since I knew I wouldn’t always be there for her to depend on… So, I kept my feeling and emotions in check as best I could, and tried always to keep our family moving in a positive, forward direction… With the help of my husband, Bill, we were able to accomplish what we set out to do…

Shantel has been living on her own for the past two years, and Bill and I are finally retired, and able to work/camp and travel around the country in our RV. I am, for the first time, realizing that as I am seeing things I’ve never seen before, I’m not trying to find ways to explain to Shantel the beauty that each new place holds like I did all throughout the years we were raising her in our sighted world… I never minded for a minute being Shantel’s sighted guide, but now that I’m no longer in that role, every time I visit a new place, or see something beautiful that I’ve never seen before…, I find myself still really taking in everything I see, and thinking to myself… how would I ever explain all this beauty to my precious Shantel…?

Yesterday, Bill and I visited the upper and lower falls of Yellowstone Park. We took the same route from Buffalo Bill State Park into the east entrance of Yellowstone, and saw many of the same things we saw when we went to visit Old Faithful last week…, but this time, we saw even more…

Like this buffalo walking right down the middle of the road..

Upper & lower falls 1

And, a little further down the road, this one was walking right along side of the road, and I got this picture through my rolled up window, as we passed it within just a couple of feet of our car… Wow, they are BIG, and AMAZING creatures to see…

Upper & lower falls 2

Then we came up upon this beautiful Elk grazing on the side of the road. Just as we got right in front of it, it raised its head as if to pose for this picture I captured.. Love it!

Upper & lower falls 3

Finally, we arrived at the upper falls of Yellowstone, shown in the next three pictures below. OMG, I was not prepared for the absolute beauty of this place…

Upper & lower falls 4

Upper & lower falls 6

Upper & lower falls 8

Next, we made our way to the lower falls area… The next two pictures are at the beginning of the lower falls. Again, so, so, beautiful.

Upper & lower falls 7

Upper & lower falls 9

This area is called the “Grand Canyon” of the Yellowstone…

Upper & lower falls 13

Bill and I hiked the 1/4 mile to the lookout point… That is Bill, just ahead of me… I know…, he always says he has to “drag” me out on the hiking trails… Well, some of us know better than that… 🙂

Upper & lower falls 14

But, every step of the way of this little hike is absolutely, amazingly, beautiful..

Upper & loweer falls 10

Upper & lower falls 11Upper & lower falls 12

We ended our trip with a picnic lunch right there in the middle of all this beauty… As I was eating, and just taking in all the beautiful scenery around me… I felt my eyes starting to sting…and I found myself fighting back tears… Like so many of us that think we always have to keep our emotions and feelings in check so as not to put a damper on a beautiful, joyful, experience…I tried hard to not let my emotions show…

 In my younger years… I would have continued to do just that… but, instead, I looked at my loving husband, Bill, and said.. ” All of this is just so beautiful, and amazing to me, and I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to even be here to experience this… But, it also is making me sad right now as I ponder that our precious Shantel will never see any of this… and, if she were here… how would I ever explain just how beautiful all of this really is…? At that moment… I gave myself permission to just give into my emotions, and just cry…

When our precious, Shantel, lost her sight, both Bill and I asked, and offered, to give up our own eyes if they could be transplanted to allow her to see.. But that was not, and still is not, an option for Shantel..

So, as we continue to move forward with our lives… And every now and then, when I see something  “so beautiful, it makes  me cry…” I allow myself that “minute” as I revert back to my sighted guide days with Shantel, and wonder just how would I explain this kind of beautiful to her… ?

It was an amazing and beautiful day. I allowed myself the rare opportunity to have a good cry…,

I’m good now…, so ..Upper & lower falls 15

Stay Tuned!

10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. theitinerary1
    Jun 04, 2016 @ 23:47:31

    Nice post 🙂


  2. Bill
    Jun 05, 2016 @ 00:49:49

    It’s hard to describe to a sited person what we saw, let lone trying to tell Shantel the beauty we saw on this visit to the park.
    You cry all you want, remember I got your back.
    Love You your Bill


  3. Karen
    Jun 05, 2016 @ 03:06:55

    You are such a beautiful soul. How was I lucky enough to cross paths with you and to call you my friend? Keep enjoying the beauty and capturing your thoughts in this blog. I’m loving every post!


  4. Ellen Kaufman
    Jun 05, 2016 @ 04:45:45

    What a beautiful story. Go ahead and cry because it feel so much better to leave it all out. Now you’re at the time of your life where you and Bill can enjoy your life now. Shantel is enjoying her life now since God has given her all the blessings to be able to manage her life from all the things you’ve taught her. Love you and keep having fun. Love that picture of you💜💫✝


    • beyondcinderella
      Jun 05, 2016 @ 12:18:44

      Thank-you Aunt Ellen. Shantel is happy and enjoys her life she is creating on her own. I know God has and will continue to bless her life in ways I can’t even imagine for her. Love and hugs to all. XoXo


  5. gotham girl
    Jun 05, 2016 @ 19:50:34

    Oh how I love that you two experienced this total awesomeness!!!! This is what traveling is all about…so much out there for our eyes. Can’t agree more with what Aunt Ellen shared…she so summed it up! Love you two! MORE!!! P.S. Now imagine this in total white snow…I know you don’t like cold…but seeing this in the winter time…riding on a snow mobile and so close to the buffalo you could reach out and touch them… is just beyond your imagination!!! Love!


    • beyondcinderella
      Jun 05, 2016 @ 20:47:25

      Oh, GG, if anyone knows what traveling is REALLY all about… it is YOU for sure…I know I don’t even have the beginning of getting a clue of what “real” travel is really like. Like world traveling… But, I am so enjoying what Bro and I are able to do in seeing, and spending some quality time, in a different state every summer… I so admire your adventurous spirit and I don’t know if I ever told you this… but you inspired me to spread my wings (within my limits) to do whatever it took to get out here and at least see our beautiful United States, and hopefully, one day, we will get up into Canada as well… Love and hugs always. XoXo


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