On landscaping, swimming, cemeteries, physical distancing, and whatever else comes to mind (part 1 of 3)

Well so far it’s been a relatively eventful summer. With July being the hottest July on record in 80 years, you’d think that would be all we would be talking about. But COVID seems to have even eclipsed that this year.

A good thing?


We’ve driven north a couple of times to visit Cate for a day. She got a student summer grant to work at the camp that we have been going to for years. It is closed but six of them have been hired to do a few touchups for the coming years. She’s been there for six weeks now. Two more to go until she comes home and then starts her first year of university. Time has a way of ticking on by no matter what is going on in the world.

The first time we went to see her, she had it all set up so that I could possibly go swimming that day. I was incredibly excited and a little scared as I haven’t been in a lake or a pool since I’ve been in this wheelchair, which has been 2 1/2 years. The guys that are working there were willing to put me on the lifeguard board and haul me down the hill to the lake. I’ve done this many times before when I was using the mobility scooter but it’s been a few years since doing that and my body is not quite the same as it was then.

And to make things even more complicated, it was raining cats and dogs. Actually, even though every day in July was sunny and hot, this one day that we decided we would drive up there was raining from start to finish. From the time we left the house until we got back home it was raining hard. My narcissistic self felt as though God might actually hate me.

But I mostly let that go:)

But, after all was said and done, we did make it to camp. We took Cate out for lunch in Parry Sound and got caught up a little, and then we went back to camp for the big moment of trying to get me in the lake.

They lifted me out of my chair onto the lifeguard board. Then six or seven of them proceeded to carry me down to the water. Interestingly enough, I felt calm through it all.

Then they got me through the dock and rolled me into the water. Two emotions hit me hard at that exact moment. The first was how wonderful it was to be in the water. The second was a sad reality for me. I couldn’t move my legs the way I thought I was going to be able to. In fact, I couldn't move them at all. So I floated up to the top face down and couldn’t do anything about it. The lifeguard (a guy from my church) had to help me get my head out of the water.

Again I felt calm all the way through this but the fact that I couldn’t move my legs to help me swim was a tough pill for me to swallow. I’m sure there are aids to have helped me keep my head above water but at the time I didn’t have one. So I didn’t stay in the water too long because the experience wasn’t exactly what I had been hoping for. But at the end of the day the beauty was that I was able to get in the lake. I think not being able to swim in the summer may be one of the things I miss most of all. Lake water makes me happy.

So it was yet again another bitter-sweet experience for me.

I was also so very moved that the young people working at the camp were so willing and eager to help me get in that lake in anyway that was within their abilities. I wrote about this a few years ago so I won’t get into it here, but it was still very powerful this time around. What made it different was that my now older daughter was involved and some teen guys that go to my church that I have known from the time they were born (and have raided our fridge many a time) were also in the mix. It felt a bit like a family affair.

So even though I have had to learn the hard way that my body is getting sicker, I was also reminded of how much I am loved and cared for.

And that means the world to me.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *