Finding Hidden Inspiration While Walking to the Beach

By PATTY KELLY | Jun 26, 2019
Courtesy of: Patty Kelly Gracie Lou is ‘smiling’ because she is in her element.

As luck would have it – and I haven’t even done my summer solstice dance yet! – these last weeks of June have been very pleasant ones, though a little humid. But, what better place to be than at the beach on LBI? Here the cool ocean breeze allows for a momentary escape for those of us who do not live here all the time.

I had the opportunity to care for a relative during one particular week and worried that with all the crazy storms we had been having we would be stuck inside. However, Mother Nature must have been looking out for me; we had nothing but good weather for most of the days, thank goodness.

Taking care of loved ones can sometimes prove challenging. The nurse in me tends to come out. As any of you who are or have been in the medical profession can attest, your family thinks you know nothing! Of course we realize this is not true, but try telling them that.

My father, who had poorly controlled diabetes and cardiac disease, mostly because he wouldn’t listen to the doctor plus he was taking care of my mother, who had Alzheimer’s disease, always put his needs last. The fact that he wouldn’t listen to me didn’t help, either.

I remember he would ask me a health-related question, and when I gave him the appropriate clinical response, I was quickly put back in my place as only being his youngest daughter, who didn’t know what she was talking about. I would say to him, “Then don’t ask me if you don’t want to know the correct answer.” He would proceed to go to his doctor, who would give him the same answer. Go figure!

One day recently, when my patience was running thin with my ailing relative for no real reason, I decided to take a long walk with our new dog, Gracie Lou. Yes … we took the plunge and adopted a new rescue pup.

She is a dream, and we were certainly glad to save her from whatever terror she had been exposed to prior to her coming into our lives. Also, after losing our precious Shelbie last year, my husband needed another buddy to pal around with at the beach.

Gracie Lou gives my hubby a reason to get out of the house and sneak onto the beach in the early-morning hours before anyone else ventures down. They sit and watch the sunrise together from the beach bench, and every once in a while our new pup chases a seagull or two just to keep them on their toes – or wings!

Anyhow, on this particular day, we began our walk when suddenly Gracie Lou found a path to somewhere we had never been. As we ventured down the path to who-knows-where, we discovered a secret little haven that provided just the right amount of shade and adventure we needed.

My dog began to get excited to see where this path would lead. She found birds in a nest with little babies chirping, ready to fly the coop, the scent of a stray cat that she was sure she could follow to the actual cat, and many other fun, little items to fill her with a sense of adventure.

Finally, when we reached the end of the path it had led us right back to the beach that we both so longed for, which would provide us with the relaxation we sought to cure our own ailments.

It was then that I recognized that the word “patients” should really be “patience,” as that is what you need when caring for or working with family or friends who are ill. But you also need to make sure you take care of you.

If the person who is caring for others is not healthy, that person will begin to fail. No matter if it is mental or physical health that is the problem, we need to remember that the caregiver is just as important as the patient. On this particular day, patience was a virtue that should not have been taken advantage of or forgotten.

So, if you are a caregiver, find your Zen and make sure you take time out to find your hidden path to inspiration. Some may lead to a dead end, but others may lead you to the gorgeous view you so desire. Take care of you!

Patty Kelly lives in Blue Bell, Pa., and Beach Haven Park.


The author and her dog discovered this path to the beach that provided shade and adventure. (Courtesy of: Patty Kelly)
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