As many of you already know, my Grandmother has recently been diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer. Receiving such information is obviously devastating for anyone! After learning the news, the family rallied around my Grandma (as we call her) and asked her what would she like to do while she is still here on Earth with us. Her answer was simple, “I would like to see the ocean and feel the breeze hit my face.”
With that, we rapidly put together a trip to San Francisco, about two hours from her home in Sacramento. About eight of us spent this entire past weekend with our Grandma showing her all of the City, which she had not seen in over 20 years. From Pier 39 to the Wharf to the Golden Gate Bridge to the ocean, that she so badly wanted to see. In her wheelchair, we wheeled her all the way down to the sand so that she could simply feel the sand underneath her feet while she could take in the beautiful Pacific Ocean.
While all of the other family members were checking the water or grabbing a quick bathroom break, I found myself alone with my Grandma just staring across the water and feeling the breeze on our faces. There were no words exchanged for about three full minutes as we both connected for a moment in time that can only be shared by us. We both could feel the gravity of her situation and yet we were able to steal away a moment for both of our memory banks one that is forever etched in my mind.
As we were leaving the ocean, we all realized that we ALL need to do things like this more often together. To live every day like it’s your last and to stop and appreciate something as simple as the sand underneath your feet.
Thanks for the lesson Grandma!