By Vicki Scott
This past week was full of fun, laughter, blessings and the realization of how important the role of family is. A quality life depends on it.
In my position as center manager for a short time at George Wallace Senior Center in Glencoe, I was a witness to how important family and close friends are. I‘ve heard stories of good times with friends and family taking our seniors on trips and spending time with them while noticing the excitement on their faces. Try to imagine the excitement on my face as I share some of my family time with you.
Our son Joseph is married to a Greek goddess named Machi, and her parents are family oriented. Machi’s father invited us to go to Gulf Shores with them this past week, and we accepted. I‘ve not been to the beach in three years, and the heat reminded me of the reason why. But the grandchildren made it all worth it.
It amazes me how people can stand such hot temperatures. As soon as I got to the beach, I used one of the in-law’s innertubes and stayed in the ocean. It was the only way I was going to make it. The “grands” wanted to stay in the water, anyway. Our oldest grandchild, Ava Jaymes, can swim by herself, and our youngest, Addison Victoria, stayed on the tube with either me or her Yai Yai (Machi’s mother). Ava Jaymes stayed right with us while everyone else stayed under an umbrella on the beach. We had a ball while we were in the water but going in was rough because of the heat and getting out was rough because of the waves and seashells.
When we entered the ocean, the sand was smooth and the water was therapeutic, but the waves washed in seashells that layered the beach line during the four hours we were floating. On our first day, the waves were calm and relaxing. When Yai Yai tried to get out, she was tiptoeing over the layer of seashells when a wave knocked her downside-ways. The waves kept slapping her while she tried to get up. My stomach hurt from laughing so hard, but I couldn’t help it. I’m glad she did not have Addy with her.
The next day it was my turn to get slapped by the waves. I had Addy in my arms and yelled for my son to leave his place under the umbrella and grab her before the wave slapped us again. He quickly grabbed Addy and tried to help me as well, but I kept flopping around until I could finally get back in my tube.
Once I was back in my tube, Addy wanted back in the water. We cannot seem to say “no” to her, and she was determined to fit in the tube with me when I grabbed her like she did with Yai Yai. It was a tight fit, but she did it. That child was not going to stay with her parents on the beach under an umbrella if were in the water. Addy would walk to the edge of the water and throw her hands up for us to get her. Of course, we started paddling with our hands back to where she was. She is not spoiled, is she?
If it were not for my family, I’d have no desire to endure all the heat at the beach. Fond memories are being made and I do not want to miss a thing.
While floating in our inner tubes, Yai Yai and I noticed an elderly lady being led into the water by what looked like her daughter. The elderly lady looked like she was in bad shape. I praise God that her family, or whoever they were, were taking time with her.
After we returned to our condo, we discussed how blessed we are and prayed that we stay close. Family does not have to be blood. Our clan consists of people we call family who are not biologically related. My prayers are with people who do not have this blessing.
This might be why I loved working at George Wallace Senior Center. Those seniors were my family while we lived in Glencoe. Sweet memories were made there and are continuing to be made. A piece of my heart will always be at the center.
Those thoughts put a big smile on my face as I cough up ocean water. I hope to see y’all soon!