Dreams come in all shapes and sizes.
Did you ever have a dream of doing something amazing? Maybe it was just something small, something you wanted. Most of us have dreams and desires that can be easy to obtain, while others may take years or even a lifetime to acquire. This short story, as told by our Colleague Carol, is about one Guest’s dream and how we, here at American Training, used WOW! Magic to assist her in accomplishing that dream, something she had wanted her whole life.
Ten years ago I was fortunate to meet a delightful woman; Beatrice, or Bea as she preferred to be called. Bea suffered from Polio, which is a virus that can cause paralysis. Her life story was amazing, as so many of our Guests’ lives are. During our encounters, we would talk of anything and everything. She would often speak of the beach and its beauty. But it wasn’t until a later conversation that Bea told me that she had never gone before; she had only ever seen pictures.
To some, visiting a beach in New England may seem like a simple dream; but for someone who had wanted to go for sixty plus years and STILL hadn’t… it was a dream worth dreaming.
A trip was planned, as a surprise, during a gorgeous day in the middle of summer. We picked up a tube of sun screen…$3.50; one beach towel…$5; but the look on Bea’s face when she saw the ocean…it was PRICELESS!
The window was down and a strong breeze picked up the sand and the smell of the salty air. Bea could not believe how big the ocean looked and how beautiful it was. She was content and happy sitting in the van, smelling the salty air and looking at the vast expansion of the ocean. But we couldn’t stop there…where would the WOW! Magic be in that? So I asked Bea…
“Would you like to feel the water on your feet? Experience the tide pulling the sand from under your toes? Really feel how cold the ocean is?”
Bea just looked at me and started to cry, she never thought that she would ever get to see the ocean, never mind touch it.
There were three of us that ventured to the ocean that day; Bea required the assistance of two to walk. Once we arrived at the shoreline, we ditched our shoes, rolled up our pants, and, all together, walked into the freezing cold water, right up to our ankles. We all just stood there, soaking in the moment, letting the water and tide tug and pull at our feet for several minutes.
Then we made our way back to the dry soft sand and made a seat in the sand for Bea. We just sat and enjoyed the ocean together, as if we were all just experiencing its beauty and serenity for the first time. Bea had an ear-to-ear smile as tears of disbelief and joy rolled down her face. Her happiness in that moment was absolutely contagious.
She kept thanking us over and over again, saying…
“Thank you, I never thought I would ever get to do this! Thank you, thank you…!”
We were just happy to be a part of that special moment with her.
Some dreams may feel out of reach, but Bea taught us to never give up! Sometimes all it takes to make the things we hope for and dream about in life happen, is to share them with friends and those who care about us. Sometimes we just need a little help to make those things a reality. And sometimes sharing those moments and achievements with them will make them all the more special to us!
In Loving Memory of our dear friend Bea