My seventy-six year old grandmother has decided to learn how to swim. She has never been afraid of water, and will don a swimsuit and jump right in. She just didn't have the technique that my sister and I possess. And as much as we tried to show her the proper way, it was to no avail.
So, I was not surprised when she shared with me her news of taking swimming lessons. Listening to her speak of her Beginner's class, I can hear her excitement burst through the phone. "People in my class can't believe it when I tell them my age," she says. She continues to tell me how her instructor had the class go down the slide.
"And I did it!" she exclaims, with even more enthusiasm. "If I could just get that kicking thing down.....it's so hard, Pooh!"
"Grandma, keep in mind that we took lessons when we were very young, so it is easier then as opposed to now. You just gotta keep practicing. It will come. You'll get it," I reassure her.
I am just glad that my grandmother takes the time to do what she likes to do. See, my grandmother has been caring for my grandfather who has Alzheimer's disease. She has put a lot of her desires on hold to make sure that he is taken care of, but we stressed to her that she not put her desires on the back burner. She has had some rough days, and being a nurse myself, I knew what this could do to her health, if she didn't continue with her life. I don't think it's a selfish thing at all. Caregivers have to be strong mentally and physically to do what we do. If our health and well-being is challenged, then we will be doing no justice to those we care for in the long run.
Grandma has taken hand-dance lessons, continues to participate in her church group activities and NAACP meetings, exercises daily, swims, and still cooks and cleans.
I missed getting over to the pool to see grandma swim, but I still plan to do that. I would love to swim a lap with my grandmother, and even come down the waterslide with her. I know she would enjoy it as much as I would!