In an effort to "Discover all that Omaha has to offer"...our summer started off with the best of intentions. Me & my girls were gonna "see it ALL"...the free (or close to free at least) outdoorsy stuff. I had a list of several local attractions. That is, however, before the 40 day streak of 100+ degree temps & drought kicked in. Seriously, our state (along with all the others) are currently suffering through the longest & most widespread drought in our nation's history.
Needless to say, if an "outdoor" play-date offer made by even the closest of friends' does not have a spray-park, sprinkler, pool, slip-n-slide, lake, or anything water related associated with it, we have been POLITELY declining. Don't take it personal...but no thanks!
We have had a few outings...and I will make an attempt to play blog catch-up, by first, sharing photos from our trip downtown several weeks ago...the camera came out when we arrived to the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge.
This bridge, erected in 2008, the longest pedestrian bridge to connect two states, is a spectacular site, offering gorgeous scenic views of the majestic Missouri River as well as our awesome little city. From this vantage point, Omaha actually has a skyline! I know, I know...it's Omaha...small in comparison to all other major skyline's...certainly nothing to brag about...But I love our town! Omaha is beautiful. And I am proud of how far our city has come. :-)
I was in Chicago last week...was recently reminded just HOW TINY our town is...which is perhaps, why I appreciate it all the more.
|arriving at the bridge...and Macy, doing what Macy does best...WAVING TO AND MAKING EVERYONE AROUND HER SMILE. Love this girl!!|
|leading Grandpa into the direction SHE wants to go. It's ALWAYS good to have Grandpa tag-along. :-)|
|eating our picnic "Little King sub" lunch. oh yeah! Little King's my FAVORITE! so refreshing on a hot day.|
|Macy giving those boys a piece of her mind.|
|then being a flirt and running away...|
|turns back to make sure those cute boys are still "noticing" her.|
|showing me how "BIG" the water fountain is|
|starting our walk over the bridge...from NE to IA.|
|a quick stop to enjoy the views...as you can imagine our walk was more "leisure" than anything else. many frequent stops & back-tracks. "One step forward and TWO steps back" is how we roll sometimes! love it or leave it. :-)|
|I love just sitting back...watching him watch her.|
Okay, so, everything was going asanticipated.
Our lovely stroll on the bridge had, so far, up to this point, been without incident and uneventful.
That is before we caught up to a group of individuals who also set out to enjoy an afternoon on the bridge. We, my dad and I, were intrigued by this group (of about 12+), so we (without any words) intentionally followed closely. Making quiet observations. It brought happiness to my heart to see them here. These adults who happened to have disabilities, some more significant than others.
A few of whom also happened to have Down Syndrome.
To be honest, sometimes, (and by sometimes I mean like 3% pf the time) when I peer outside the comforts of our safe "Little.Miss.I'm.JUST.2.Macy" box. And truly take time to think about and visualize the future and what that might look and feel like for her. I get Worried. A little sad. The "fear" of the unknown is a difficult reality to swallow. But it is what it is. And we have NO control over how things will be 30 years from now. Or do we? That's the million dollar question right there. But, luckily, most of the time, when thinking of the future, I am mostly filled with hope, dreams and endless possibilities for my daughter and ALL HER FRIENDS! There is an overwhleming amount of organizations, resources, programs and networks of compassionate people. If you just open your eyes and choose to SEE, ACCEPT & EMBRACE it.
We have, already in this short time, had the PLEASURE of knowing and benefiting from a handful of local organizations...the DSA...Special Olympics NE...UNMC's Munroe Meyer Institute...Angel Guardians...our respective local school districts...As well as our church community...just to name a few!
So with that...I choose to "not let those fears of tomorrow rob me from these JOYS of today".
back to the pedestrian bridge...
We learned they were here as part of a "workshop" put on by Mosaic. (please check out their website)
Mosaic is a faith-based organization that "believes every individual is a person of worth." "Embracing God's call to serve in the world, Mosaic advocates for people with intellectual disabilities and provides opportunities for them to enjoy a full life."
They were certainly living out their mission this day, by simply BEING here.
My dad had no idea, that in just moments, he'd be playing "good Samaritan" hero to a gentleman who began having a severe asthma attack. Smack dab in the MIDDLE of this 3,000 foot long bridge. He had forgotten his inhaler at home.
It was, for me at least, a surreal and scary site. Watching helplessly as this man laid on the ground, almost unresponsive and struggling to breathe.
My dad's EMT instincts, on the other hand, immediately kicked in. He dropped to the ground and was instrumental in keeping him calm and comfortable. Assisting him until the Council Bluffs paramedics arrived. All the while, the girls and I stayed out of the way and took a short walk as to not "add to the scene".
I am, and always have been, proud of this man I have had the good fortune to call DAD!
|Big sis helping? little sis. Don't be fooled. Macy is unsuspecting of the suirting fountain that is about to SHOOT form the ground directly at her feet. McKenzie, I'm afraid...not so much.|
|Again, Macy doing what Macy does best...MAKING FRIENDS!! |
I loved witnessing the smiles she brought to these ladies faces :)
|getting a closer peek...waiting for the water to come back around... BRAVE? I can think of another term.|
|oooo I think she may hear it coming. Girlfriend really does have CAT-LIKE reflexes. I'm quite impressed to tell you the truth.|
|caught her off guard...still wondering what to think...|
|clearly NOT A FAN!|
|but still very interested and intrigued none-the-less. But she learned her lesson and waits for it from a distance now. ATTA GIRL!!|
|here's a cool pic of the bridge at night.|