Some memories are so influential that they spark dreams. Joyce, a Nebraska girl, vividly recalls the day she first met the ocean. She was riding cross country with her parents and grandmother when her father pulled off at the Gulf of Mexico to take in the sights. Though Joyce was told to just dip in her toes, she couldn’t resist the allure of the ocean and waded in up to her waist. The uncomfortable long car ride in her wet clothes that followed was worth it—because she had fallen in love with the ocean and she knew that somehow, someday she would revisit the ocean with someone who would love it as much as she did.
Joyce and Clyde have been married for 47 years. While they say that opposites attract, their endless compassion for others is why they are a perfect match. Always putting others before themselves, the couple never took a honeymoon because they were needed at work, they were on call with the Oakland Volunteer Fire Department, or they were busy caring for the 70 foster kids they helped raise in their home over the years.
Their life slowed down a bit when they retired in Blair and Joyce’s daydreams of visiting the ocean again resurfaced. Daily dips at the Blair Pool were good for her body and spirit, reminding her of the joy she felt that day long ago. Unfortunately, Joyce’s daydreams were overshadowed by her cancer diagnosis. Months of chemo and treatments took a toll on her body, and she found that it was too hard to get in and out of the pool that she loved so much. Joyce was forced to quit swimming and focus her energy on fighting cancer. Just as she started to gain ground on the disease, the couple was rocked by Clyde’s lung cancer diagnosis. Learning of Clyde’s diagnosis helped Joyce remember that her dream to see the ocean again included sharing it with someone who would love it too—-she dreamed of sharing the ocean with Clyde. Joyce’s search for help to realize this dream is what led her to Dreamweaver Foundation.
We received Clyde’s nomination to receive a Dream in February of 2021, when the world was still shut down and travel was not possible. As soon as we were able to finally meet with them in person to start planning Clyde’s dream, the couple was shaken by more bad news: Joyce’s cancer was back. Joyce and Clyde’s compassion for others showed through in their interview, as they told us about their lives as dedicated foster parents: the babies they cared for; the children and teenagers they nurtured with kindness, respect, and good food in their loving home. Joyce and Clyde shaped the children they helped raise by encouraging them to dream big. And we couldn’t resist wanting to do something BIG for them as they had spent their whole lives doing BIG things for others.
Our friends at Corporate Travel Management helped us find the perfect resort for this couple to relax and enjoy a beach vacation. Bungalows Key Largo, a luxurious all-inclusive resort in the Florida Keys, was the perfect match for this deserving couple, and the management and staff treated Joyce and Clyde like royalty. During their stay, Joyce and Clyde enjoyed a private tour of the resort, al fresco dining, lots of swimming, and of course—the ocean! Joyce and Clyde said that their trip to Florida was a Dream come true! We knew that it would be hard for this sweet couple to return to Nebraska after such a special trip, so we helped coordinate a warm welcome home from their church family. A large group of their friends from Passageway Church was there to greet them with welcome home signs, balloons, and hugs as their limo delivered them to their apartment. Joyce and Clyde were thrilled and overwhelmed that the group had gathered “just for us”.
This BIG dream would not have been possible without the help and generosity of our friends and partners. Dreamweaver Foundation would like to extend a special thank you to Corporate Travel Management (CTM), VIP Limo, Bungalows Key Largo, __ Photography, and Frost Media for helping us to fulfill Clyde and Joyce’s wildest dream!