Prior to leaving for vacation, I had my daughter ask the real estate agent about these contraptions I'd seen in the past, with large yellow rubber tires and a mesh seat, constructed with PVC pipe. The Municipal Hall supplies them free, even dropping them off to your location. As with many other things, it's not called a wheelchair nor are there handicapped signs on them. Comes with a cheerful umbrella.

The youngest grandson was first to try it as my husband watched. I said, "That's the free Beach Chair I told you about so you can go to the ocean." He said, "Looks like a wheelchair," but agreeably sat down as I strapped him in. The day before, he and I started to walk, just the two of us, and he suddenly got very short of breath, to the point I had to have him sit on the sand. Hadn't brought my cell phone, so I calmed him with slow breathing exercises until he could stand, then very slowly returned to the house.

He headed straight to bed, exhausted and I told the family what happened. When he woke later, it was like getting back on the horse after you've fallen. Wanting to replace the bad memory with a good one, everyone helped push him up and down the pathway through the dunes to the ocean. He enjoyed watching the guys jump in the rough surf then dig in the sand. The sky was beautifully blue; full of sunstreaming, Jesus-is-coming clouds. Sea birds dipped, skimming for food. All was well, or so I thought.


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