If you saw this photo of Jordan Alexander last year, her arms crossed angrily as she rode Splash Mountain by herself, you aren’t alone. In March 2016, Jordan Alexander became a viral sensation after her husband, Steven Alexander, wouldn’t go on the ride with her.
Now, a year later, Steven Alexander is sharing the backstory behind the “Angry Splash Mountain Lady” meme, and it’s a story people with chronic illnesses and those who love them can relate to.
When Steven and Jordan Alexander first met, Steven was about to return to kidney dialysis following his first, and failing, kidney transplant. “Starting a new relationship under these circumstances was hard, but she stuck by me — and a few years later we were married,” Alexander told Love What Matters.
The two planned to make it to Disney World, but for years Alexander was too sick to travel. Finally, after a second kidney transplant, the Alexanders made it to Disney, only to find Jordan’s favorite ride, Splash Mountain, was closed.
The Alexanders returned to Disney World after the birth of their son. “We spent a nice day in the Magic Kingdom, but towards the end of the day, I ran out of steam, and told her she’d be better off riding alone,” Alexander explained. After Alexander told his wife he wasn’t going to be able to ride with her, she marched off alone, returning with a photograph of herself sitting angrily on the ride. It was a moment of humor, that would go on to internet fame.
“We both broke into laughter, hugged, and made our way out of the park,” Alexander wrote, describing the first time he saw his wife’s iconic photo. “The ability to make each other laugh, even in the difficult times, has been the glue of our relationship — I don’t think I would have survived without her in my life.”
Fortunately, Steven and Jordan Alexander got another chance to ride Splash Mountain after Visit Orlando, Orlando’s tourism board, flew them out to Disney.
You can read Steven Alexander’s full post on Love What Matters below:
This post previously appeared on The Mighty.