The First Cinderella
I don't remember Lyn loving Cinderella so much when we were kids. Sure, Mom had taken us to see the movie in the theaters. She took us to all of the Disney movie (re)releases over the years. We had Barbies, Weebles, Polly Pockets, Match Box cars and even some Sesame Street themed toys. However, I don't remember any Disney related toys from our childhood. Then again, we were young in a time before there was a Disney Store anywhere near us and before the princess culture really exploded. So, where did Lyn pick up this love of Cinderella?
About 9 years ago, some cousins visited from a rural town in Kansas. They didn't have a mall anywhere near them and asked to spend time at a mall as part of their visit. Mom is happy to accommodate the interests of her guests and Lyn's always open to going shopping. So, they went. The Disney Store was a relatively new addition to the mall and Lyn wanted to go in as soon as she spotted it.
As they entered the store, a young woman greeted them and asked them to wait for her for a moment. She was the manager. They meandered through the store as they waited to find out why the manager wanted to speak with them. Mom was doing her "We're just looking; not buying" song as Lyn considered one object after another. Thinking that nothing was going to happen after several minutes, Mom suggested they leave.
"No! She told us to wait." Lyn objected just as the manager returned to the floor from the back room with an item in her hands.
She came straight to Lyn and showed her a framed hologram of Cinderella. "Here's something I thought you would like to have." She said as she offered it to Lyn. She smiled and explained that it was a promotional piece and she had discretion as the store manager to do whatever she wanted with it. She saw Lyn walk in and decided in that moment to give it to her as a gift. Lyn was thrilled! About that time, she noticed the manager's badge and got even more excited because they shared first names.
The manager accepted Lyn's thanks and stepped back, still smiling. Mom asked "Why?" motioning to the little girls around them who were clearly interested. The manager just shrugged and said "it just seemed right." With that, the interaction was done as she was called to the counter to help a paying customer.
The picture has hung on Lyn's wall ever since and it was the first of several Cinderella items she's acquired. She loves it.
When I asked Mom about Lyn's love of Cinderella, this was the earliest connection that Mom could recall. So, I asked her to take a picture of Lyn with the hologram. I know the picture doesn't really convey her emotions, but Mom assures me that Lyn was really quite happy to have the picture taken for me. That's one of the things about Alzheimer's. The exterior expressions and body language don't always match the interior emotions.