93 year old swims in ocean for the first time


20 years ago Howard Fischer decided to retire to Florida. He was 73 and had visions of spending his golden years hanging out on a beach and swimming in the gulf. He loved the ocean but had never swam in it! He had served in the Navy. He had taken his family on beach vacations but didn't go in. He was always busy doing something which stopped him from swimming. He retired to Ellenton which is south of Tampa and lived only 10 minutes from the ocean. He drove by it a lot but was always doing something else so he never stopped. He was amazed to realize that his life had passed by while he was always doing something else. He was recently on the phone with his daughter who lives in Alabama; “Sandra isn’t it ironic? I have lived here for 20 years and never once went to the ocean. Now, I think it's too late.” Sandra said, “Yes, you can, Dad. I will make sure of it.”

She arranged to borrow a special beach wheelchair at Anna Maria Island Beach Café then drove to her dad's house. She was coming anyways to celebrate his 93rd birthday but this would be his most memorable party ever. She loaded him into her car and drove the half hour out to the cafe. Then pushed him down to the ocean for his first time smelling and touching salt water. Out in the water he was amazed at how light his body became in saltwater compared to the pool at his YMCA. “Look, I float just like a cork," he said. “Isn’t this great? Look at that sky and those clouds".

It was a beautiful day that both will remember the rest of their lives. It's also a reminder to the rest of us to not let life get in the way of living. Time passes faster than we realize. If you want to do something you have to make it a priority and go do it, or you might end up realizing you can't do it anymore.


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