a bit of heaven
(This blog tells my family's story. To see more, click "blog" at the top of this webpage.)
On a free day, Beth suggested the Mohegan Sun casino to see the immense works of art. Wheeling through massive spaces, she realized at one point that we had accidentally entered a restricted area for adults eighteen and over. With slot machines nearby, Beth, seventeen, asked to try the poker slots. I put quarters in the machine and let her tell me which cards to keep. She never touched the slots and helped me lose $30.
I took photographs at every destination while Beth collected menus and flyers and other small things for a scrapbook she planned to make. She found one she liked at a shop in the historic bridge district in Mystic, Connecticut. Equally exciting, we found the fifth Harry Potter book, The Order of the Phoenix, to add to her collection, one of the five million copies bought in the first 24 hours.
Beth’s happiness was contagious.
We ate lunch at Mystic Pizza, famous for the 1988 movie with the same name. I helped her scoot out of her chair to a seat in a booth. Memorabilia decorated every nook and cranny at the restaurant and Beth rated it the best pizza, ever. I bought her “A Slice of Heaven” T-shirt.
We sat on the waterfront of Mystic’s picturesque harbor on a flawless afternoon. An easy travel buddy, Beth appreciated everything under the sun. She tilted her face upward, closed her eyes, and smiled. I wrapped her in a big bear hug. She patted my back with her right hand, a habit from her toddler days. Knowing how suddenly bad things could happen, I would never take joy for granted. I embraced the singular moment while a new realization dawned.
My guilt for causing her injury was self-imposed and no one, least of all Beth, blamed me.
Junior Nationals ended with a dinner and dance in a large packed ballroom. When loud music started, hundreds of kids with every kind of physical disability danced standing up, sitting in a wheelchair, or break dancing on the floor. With no one different and no one the same, they all shined in that snapshot of time.
Beth danced carefree in the middle of it all.
Next destination of a non-stop summer: Cambridge, Massachusetts!
6/14/2017 08:12:01 am
This is a perfect example of Beth's attitude, both toward her paralysis and toward you. Positive, let's do this, let's explore.
6/14/2017 07:34:43 pm
Yes, you're right. The day in this post is typical Beth! And thank you, George, for understanding my struggle as a parent after her injury. Life is good now for me. I hope it is for you, too. :-)
6/14/2017 08:21:29 am
Makes me smile when I read this! So glad you are writing all of this down. It is so inspirational to read about Beth's wonderful attitude and spirit. Should make the rest of us realize to be thankful for each day and not "sweat" the small things!
6/14/2017 08:24:58 pm
Hi, Marsha! This is a story I had to tell. It's so nice to hear that it means something to you! And I agree, perspective is a powerful thing.
6/14/2017 09:53:15 am
Even though I don't always comment, I am loving these reads! Beth is a wonderful person and I wish her all the best in her new, wedded life. I was very happy to see the post announcing that step of her life.
6/14/2017 09:46:27 pm
Thanks, Jill! It must be the good genes we share. ;-) We're happy about her engagement, too!
6/14/2017 05:34:26 pm
6/14/2017 09:48:55 pm
It was the kind of day we never forget. Thanks, Mary!
7/14/2017 12:47:53 pm
Your writing is a blessing to me. I am so proud of Beth. Congratulations on the new chapter. Cindy, your heart is truly one that touches others in your writing - thank you for sharing.
7/14/2017 07:26:52 pm
Hello, Denise! You are too kind. Thank you so much for letting me know how my writing resonates with you! This a story I need to tell. Beth's injury changed everything about our world. I feel so fortunate that my family's lives are better for it. And I hope that sharing our story might help others in some way, too. <3
8/14/2022 04:38:11 am
Great blog post
Leave a Reply.
Sign up for my Just Keep Swimming Newsletter by typing your email address in the box. Thanks!