Anyone who his aquainted with me knows that I love the water, being in, on or around it, prferrably in, there is a populer story my family likes to tell about the first time I saw the ocean that illustrates my eternal love of water: When I was about two my family and I went to New Hapshire to visit family, so my parents took me to see the atlantic ocean, now, it was March and the Atlantic Ocean isn't even close to being warm in March when you're as far north as New Hampshire, but I insisted on attempting to get into the water, despite my parents best efforts I eventually goy myself into that water fully clothed, my dad always says I was blue by the time they got me out, so one of my biggest concerns while I sat in the ICU was whether I'd be able to swim again, most importantly, swim in Lake Michigan with my daughter. Lake Michigan is by farmy favorite body of water that I've encountered during my life, she is playful, welcoming and calming. The beaches along Lake Michigan's West coast line have been places of solace for me over the years and places where some of my most precious memories have been created, so, I was very concerned about if I'd be able to share these special places with Charlotte. I did ask Matt at one point while I was in the ICU if I'd be able to swim in Lake Michigan with her some day and he responded with a confident "yes". Last Sunday my Sister-Law, Nikki was visiting so we got together with Mat's Aunt an d Uncle who live close to the beach and I prepared for this momentous occasion. We got to the beach and we started walking towards the water, the weather was perfect, not too hot, not too cool, the water was lightly lapping on the beach as it always does, almost welcoming me back and I watched my daughter as she stared out at this large expanse of water. The beach presented some expected challenges, like walking in th sand, never the easiest taks, but a little more difficult with one weak leg, I must say, I think my backyard walks really helped me a lot once I started walking in the sand. I also needed a little help gettin down to the water as thesand went in a shard decline on the way down to the waterside, luckily we've had some really hot weather lately, otherwise the water would have been freezing this time of year, something I was afraid of as the left side of my body is very sensitive to extreme cold, it hurts! So I stood in the water far enough so th waves lapped onto my toes so I could get used to the temperature, then Nikki asked me if I was ready to go in, yes I was, the water was calling to me, all I could think about was how great it would feel if I could run and dive straight in as I normally would and bob and dive, playing in the waves. So we started headin into the deeper water towards my Brother-In-Law, John who had Charlotte Nikki had to hold onto me though because I did not have my leg brace on my left leg my leg was not firmly on th ground so every wave would knock me off balance, an unexpected event, but I didn't let it stop me, I wante to get out as far as I could and float. I have been swimming since I've been old enough to take classes I was also on the swim team in high school, so swimming comes very naturally, my deepest hope was that I would get into the water and Larry would say, "Oh, yeah, I remrmber what to do!"But, alas, the connection between that part of my brain and Larry is completely severed. Once I felt resdy I pudhed myself off of the bottom of the lake and let my body slide sideways in the water, I was not nearly as gracefuk as I normally ammi, but the feeling of floating in that water was divine. at one point I took charlotte in my arm and held her for our first "swim" in the lake together, a dream realized, she sure did think it was funny when I would dunk under the water and pop up, proclaiming, "peek-a-boo!"So while my swimming days mat be a little different than they were, I now know that Charlotte and have many trips to Lake Michigan in our future and I no longer have to worry that I will not be able to shre this special place with her.