Sometimes Life’s A Beach
By Megan Wirts
We spent this past holiday weekend with our best friends and their extended family staying in an adorable little cabin in the woods right near Lake Michigan with easy access to the beach.
We didn’t have any cell service, data or Wi-Fi for miles. It was picturesque, peaceful and serene. Every morning I awoke a few hours before everyone else and...
... drank my coffee outside while listening to the chorus of birds that inhabited the trees that surrounded us. It was my chance to relax and be still before the chaos of breakfast and the rest of the day erupted, and chaos it could definitely be.
After my coffee and chill time, I would start pulling out items to be devoured by the seven hungry people still slumbering away. I also knew that if I did most of the work now, I wouldn’t have to clean up. There were ulterior motives. I mean, it was only fair.
One by one the grownups would stumble into the kitchen with sleep still in their eyes, searching for that much needed cup of caffeine. Then the fun would begin with one of us manning the egg frying, one making the waffles, the other two getting the small people drinks and plates ready as they were drawn out of bed by the smells of breakfast that wafted through the cabin. We had the system down. After our fill of sustenance, we were ready for a day at the beach.
Getting me to the beach can be a difficult job. I have a neurological disorder called Dystonia as well as damage to my Vestibular system that has caused me to live with vertigo and balance problems. Walking is not the easiest task for me on a flat smooth surface; add sand and it increases the difficulty level tenfold. I usually use a wheelchair if I need to go longer distances, but pushing a wheelchair through sand is next to impossible. There are special sand wheelchairs, but unless you have a few thousand dollars lying around, most people do not have access to those either. A beach with a boardwalk out to the water is a great idea although unfortunately a virtually non-existent one.
So, if I want to dip my toes in the big lake, I need to work for it and work for it I did.
While my husband and friends carried the coolers, chairs, umbrellas, blankets, toys and towels; I would shuffle along behind everyone focusing on each step I took to make sure I didn’t do a nose dive into the sand, which fortunately only happened once, by the way.
It may have taken me 15 minutes to get to our destination while it took everyone else five, I still got there. I may have had to take a couple of breaks and sit in the sand while other beach goers stepped over me or went around, but I got back up and kept going. To say that I am stubborn and persistent may be an understatement. I was determined to get to that water.
When I was younger I would run as fast as I could to the water and dive in without caring that it was colder than a deep freezer. I can’t do that anymore. Instead, when I finally made it to the water’s edge, I gingerly dipped a big toe in first and my body recoiled from the cold. But after walking all this way and struggling through that hot sand, there was no way I was not getting in that water.
I grabbed the hand of my best friend and we decided we would do this together. We counted to three and then we dunked our heads under. As we came up for air, I looked at my friends and family and smiled.
I did it. We did it. I made it to the lake and I got in the water. I may have been shivering and my lips might have turned a lovely shade of blue, but I was happy. We were happy.
As our vacation wound down and came to an end I left that place with a full and happy heart. I know that the people I love will always wait for me. They allow me to do things for myself, but also give me the help and support that I need in order to be independent. This life I have may not be perfect and there are many struggles that I have had to overcome and have yet to experience, but two things I know for sure.
I will always get back up and there will always be a hand there to hold when I need it.
Features and Fun
Concerts, Plays, Happenings, Local Recipes, Gardening, Entertainment, Charities, Fundraisers, upcoming events, Theater, Activities, Tech, and much more.
“We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it.”
- Eric Qualman