Ahhh, I love summer…..
I just returned home from visiting my family for a few days. I made the 3.5 hour trip on Tuesday and returned home to the city today. It was a great visit. The weather was fantastic and we went to the beach and swimming at the pond a few times.
Yesterday evening we did something that we haven’t done in well over 20 years. My sister and I took the entire family to the pond- myself and my 2 kids, Melissa and her son, and our Mom and Dad.
My dad is somewhat disabled. He can no longer walk without assistance due to a back condition and during flare ups he has to use a wheelchair. This is just the beginning of his medical issues, however, it is the issue which prevents him from doing a lot of things- like going to the beach and getting in the water. His quality of life has decreased dramatically over the past decade or so. He spends hours a day sitting in a recliner and doesn’t get out very often. So, we decided we were going to take him to the beach. At his age and with his medical conditions we are painfully aware that we may not get many more opportunities to do this.
So we piled into 2 cars- Dad, Kaleb, Meika (my fur baby) and I in my car and Melissa, Mom, Keenan and Hayden (my nephew) in the other- and headed to the beach. It was 6 in the evening when we got there, the perfect time of day since the beach was nearly empty and this made it much enjoyable for my dad. He couldn’t swim of course, but he waded out into the water using his walker while my mom and I stood next to him just in case he stumbled. The water was just right- cool but not cold- and he loved it.
After a couple of hours at the beach we headed home, stopping for ice cream on the way. Dads expressed how much he had enjoyed himself as best he can. Because of paralyzed vocal cords he is unable to talk very well and can only speak in short intervals, with a break amidst sentences. Currently he awaiting a procedure to have the problem corrected, however, this will be the second procedure and, as with the first one which didn’t work, there are no guarantees.
As I was sitting on the beach, my sister beside me, as we both watched our parents walk up the beach side by side, I was hit with an overwhelming urge to cry. Part of me was sad as I thought about how Dad was becoming more frail and how his quality of life is now so limited. Something we do so often- wading in the water at the pond- was such a treat for him, and while a part of me was feeling sad, and I actually fight back the tears as I write this, I also felt a small fraction of happiness because we had gotten to do this for him. It was an event that that might seem so small and insignificant to some, but to our family it was a memory that will last a lifetime and while every trip home to visit my parents is important, this trip is one that left a mark on my heart.
Until next time…