Dear Wigleaf:

Well, here I am at the shore for the first time since last summer. It's a perfect beach day, warm and breezy, and the sky is an early-September steel-blue. I'm watching all the young people here parading along the shore, roughhousing, charging headfirst into the waves, doing all the things I used to do.

I didn't want to go, but Jackie, Ali, and Bob worked on me till I gave in. They stayed close, supporting me as I struggled out of the car and lurched along with my cane. Partway to the water's edge, they opened a folding chair so I could rest while they went on to set up the beach umbrella, put down the chairs and blankets, and then come back for me.

I didn't go in right away. I was afraid of falling on the sharp rocks and shells before I was deep enough to float, and then being unable to get up. But again Jackie and the kids steadied me. I'm sure people all around were watching, holding their breath.

Time was when I could swim the length of the beach and back at a pretty good pace. Now I'm winded after a few strokes. But no matter. I'll never forget this day.



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Read AM's story.

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