What a week of breakthroughs we've had! It's as if everything started to change for the better. The highlight was our boatride on Wednesday. When my mother was younger, she was thrown into the deep end of a pool and did not know how to swim. This is where her fear of water began. She will not go past knee deep water at the beach. Imagine she lived on an island for most of her life and did not learn how to swim nor enjoy the waves. At a pool she might sit on the steps, but will not go in.
On Wednesday we took a boatride out to the reef where the water level drops significantly during the low tide. My heart went out to her, that she might be on the boat for 3 hours and not enjoy the sea. I asked her if she would consider joining us with a life jacket on and the promise that she can hold on to us. She agreed. As she climbed down the ladder and stepped into the sea, I could see the panic and the attempt of trying to be brave and relax. We were very gentle with her and let her rest and experience the benefit of wearing a life jacket. I was pleasantly surprised that she wanted to venture out further to where most of the people were, a bit further away from the boat. Her hands held on to us tensely and firmly and we made it to where there were lots of fish in a sandy area.
Our photographer asked her to take her life jacket off for a picture. It alarmed her, but she took off and made sure her hands were on one of us. We had a great time together that day!
I overcame my fear of jumping off a boat without a life jacket. I was standing on the edge of the platform with thoughts of all of the reasons why I should not entering my mind. Then a particular memory came back to me like a lifeline. I remembered, if I wanted to learn how to do this, I must allow my two feet to land in the water. That's the first step. With that thought in my mind, it's exactly what I did. I am not a strong swimmer, but I was amazed at the buoyancy! I played in the water for a little while then made my way up the ladder and hugged my mom.