My brother, Johnny, was something of an artist - & the thing that we all wanted him to draw for us was his "Mickey Mouse" - just Mickey's head. He'd sign the bottom of the picture with a flourish... we had tons of them.
Maybe it was because Disneyland is/was such a happy memory for all of us - one of our favorite places on earth to go together & spend time & build shared memories. Perhaps it was the Mickey Mouse pancakes that we ate at the River Belle Terrace... (which, by the way, my dad could make better & more of, for cheaper... :)
When Johnny got sick, drawing Mickey was a miniature vacation, I think, for him & for us. Throughout the illness & treatment, Mickey (along with baseball cards,) remained a way to escape the reality of what was going on, if just for a few minutes.
Here I am 18 years after his death, missing him. I regret that my 3 kids never got to know my brother personally... I am intentionally & purposefully trying to help them get to know Johnny & what he was like through stories, pictures, & the little things he liked & disliked.
And one of the things he liked, was Mickey. And when Mickey Mouse is around, it doesn't seem like my brother is so far away, & it gives me hope for the time when we'll be reunited.
Last Saturday, I got a Mickey tattoo on my left shoulder blade - because it reminds me of my brother, John Leavy Locke.