I never dreamed of the concept of an annual vacation until I got married. We camped at the shore; borrowing tents and camping equipment from my parents. One of our favorite places was Indian River Inlet in Delaware; where you could fish right from and camp right on the beach, and it wasn’t a far drive. Because of that place, we ended up buying our own tent, and that was a big deal!
Those were great vacations, but I know I took them for granted at the time. However, not everyone thinks sleeping in a tent is an ideal vacation. But if you are a beach lover, this is a dream come true, it was for me.
One of the people we support in Connecticut had a big dream. He uses a wheelchair and needs a Hoyer Lift to transfer out of his wheelchair. He doesn’t want to do much outside the home on a daily basis, but he did want to go to Jamaica. Staff wanted to make his dream come true but traveling so far made them anxious. Flying somewhere might not be the best first step, they thought; maybe a closer beach would work. They began thinking about the logistics: they would need an accessible hotel room and to rent a Hoyer Lift.
They asked to see if he would be willing to try something more local as a first step toward his dream, and they suggested a trip from his home to Cape Cod, MA, a four hour drive. He agreed.
He went shopping for beach clothes, and staff booked the trip. Usually he fell asleep on car rides. This time he stayed fully awake and asked, “are we there yet?”, regularly.
If I put myself in the staffs’ shoes, I imagine the worries they would have making this journey. Is the hotel really going to be OK? Will the lift be delivered? Will he think this beach is something special? It was kindness that fueled their planning, and it was courage that sent them on that four hour drive, not knowing if their hard work would pay off.
When they arrived in Cape Cod, they decided to go to the beach first, instead of stopping first at the hotel. Seeing the ocean, he asked, “Is this paradise?”