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Joy

July 23, 2009 by Victoria Strong
Today was a terrific day. The weather was gorgeous, if a little hot -- although nothing like Texas...or Mississippi...or cut-the-humidity-with-a-knife New Orleans, so I think I will take that back. I got a little pampering in with a new and long overdue haircut. Then Bill and Gwendolyn met me at the corner, waving and smiling as I crossed the street to them, so we could go to lunch at a restaurant we've always wanted to try. (It was dee-lish!) Afterwards, Gwendolyn and I walked around town, people watching and window shopping, and I got to chat with my sister on the phone as we browsed. Then, and this is the best most heart-warming part, I took Gwendolyn on the swings at the park for the first time.

We pass by this big children's park every day. We see these swings every day. We see the children play on them every day. But due to accessibility and because of the fear of germs and sickness we have only looked from afar. And, if I am fully honest, perhaps I dreaded the what-is-wrong-with-her stares and worried that seeing other children play so freely would just be too painful. For some reason though, the swings always beckoned. And today I felt determined that taking Gwendolyn on the swings was something I needed to do. And so I did it! It was challenging getting to the swings (wood chips are not very handicap accessible), but I was determined. And, yes, people did stare -- both children and adults. But, I didn't care. I talked to Gwendolyn. I told her what we were going to do. I suctioned her and took her off BiPAP. I held her up and got her positioned correctly. And then I sat on the swings with her in my lap and...up, up, up we went...Gwendolyn beamed! She looked in my eyes with sheer joy -- pure delight -- unmitigated happiness!!! I was in heaven...we were there together!

(I don't have any pictures because I was too busy savoring every single second!)

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