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UNCW 1981

Keep it Real Wednesday
September 25, 2019
UNCW 1981

Today’s blog is a 38-year overdue thank you to some remarkable people that I didn’t realize I owed a thank you.

Backtrack to 1981…

My grandmother lived with us the entire time I was growing up.  In 1978, I graduated high school and went to college 4 hours away at University of North Carolina at Wilmington.   My grandmother was experiencing the effects of aging into her late 80’s including severe bouts of dementia, which was difficult on my family, but I didn’t realize how difficult until now.

In the middle of mid-term exams in 1981, my father called me.  He said, “Your Mom needs a break from Grandma for a bit, she is headed to see you just for the day but please make sure she spends the night and has a real break before she heads back”.   My dilemma… could I possibly convince my stubborn mother into the staying the night at our beach house with my college friends, and what would I possibly do with her in the middle of midterms when we were all supposed to be studying?

I enlisted the help of my roommates and the boys down the street and we devised a plan.   Wrightsville Beach was a quiet little beach town back then.  Our beach house rental was just a few houses down from the beautiful sandy beaches of Wrightsville beach and a 3-minute walk to Johnny Mercers Pier.    Our plan was to park a beach chair on the beach and make sure my mother had a few drinks so there was no way she could make the 4-hour drive (back then) to Greensboro.

The plan worked, Rosemary was quickly inebriated.  But, how could we entertain her and still study?   The boys down the street solved the problem.  They all came over with a deck of card and a few more drinks and played poker with Rosemary until the wee hours of the morning, while us girls attempted to still study, and sleep!

Although Rosemary awoke the next day with a bit of a throbbing head and queasy stomach, her heart was full, and her soul was rested.  She left back to Greensboro to fulltime caregiving – and my Grandmother passed away soon afterward.  That evening at the beach with my friends gave her the strength to carry on and face the ultimate death of her Mom.

I didn’t realize in 1981 the gift my friends gave my Mom.  They gave her a break – laughter, fun and respite…

Thank you Todd (Smith) Yaeger, Larissa (Younts) Desko, Rob Yaeger, Charlie Farrar, Larry Rutherford and Cory Sanchez.

Now that I am in the thick of it….I understand what you did.  That was love …..  Sorry about disrupting your study time!

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