Sara Cooper, Communications and Development Coordinator for National Committee of Grandparents for Children’s Rights. www.grandparentsforchildren.org
Right before my grandfather was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, we were spending some time at his summer house on the beautiful Lake St. Catherine in Vermont. This was the last day we ever spent making and flying foam airplanes (one of our favorite things to do when we were together).
After breakfast, my grandfather and I made our planes. Then we began planning the best routes for our planes to fly. Were the planes going to go up high or down low? How far would they fly?
When we were done making our planes, the sky had gotten extremely dark and there was thunder booming in the distance. At the time, I was petrified of thunderstorms and I had no interest in going outside and flying planes when a thunderstorm was approaching. When I told my grandfather I didn’t want to go fly, he sat me down and told me, “Sara, thunderstorms have never stopped the best pilots from flying. Now, do you want to be the best pilot today, or do you want to let your passengers down?” As soon as my grandfather said this, I knew what I had to do.
We went outside, onto the deck, and watched as our final flights took off. We were getting ready to fly the final foam plane just as it was starting to rain and the thunder was getting closer. As the final plane took off from the deck, my grandfather and I were holding hands and I was not afraid to be outside in a thunderstorm.
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