The below story was shared with us by Janice Ziegman. It is a very special memory of Ocean City and her sister, Barbara Hackney Weaver. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story with us.
My sister, Barbara Kay Hackney, was born in Ocean City on August 8, 1945, the third child of William and Ruth Hackney. She was blessed with blonde curls and green eyes. If memory serves me, she was in at least one of the Baby Parades held on the boardwalk each summer. I can still picture her in a stroller, wearing a dark blue swim suit and smiling. It was the time of those big rubber rafts that we would ride in to shore. Our relatives from Williamsport would often visit and take us to the beach. We were moved to Williamsport to live with our grandparents when our parents separated. Little did we know how long it would be till we could return to our birthplace. As we grew older, we did make a few trips and each one was special, filled with memories.
Unfortunately, Barbara was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer that was already affecting her lungs. After a hysterectomy and chemotherapy, she needed oxygen 24/7. Early 2005, we heard about a Hackney Family Reunion scheduled for Labor Day weekend in Ocean City. Naturally Barb dearly wanted to go and we went back and forth about it. Having an indomitable spirit, she researched the nearest hospital’s location (she was having episodes of heart distress that required a trip to the emergency room to return the heartbeat to a normal rhythm.) After finding a nearby hospital, Barb made the decision and it was “go”!
Friends and family could not believe what we were planning and tried to talk us out of it. Because it meant so much to Barb, my husband and I were willing to go. We loaded up our van with oxygen canisters, a wheelchair, a slew of medications, lots of water, and our swim suits and off we went. We had a great motel in Vineland with a restaurant attached where Barb could have her breakfast and rest as she needed to. We made two trips to the hospital, but we all went together and they knew just what to do. When we arrived in Ocean City, Barbara reveled being there and seeing so many relatives on our father’s side of the family. The crowning glory came we were able to take Barb into the ocean with the help of a great big plastic chair. She was grinning ear to ear as she stood in the water but everyone else had tears in their eyes.
We will never regret making this trip for the joy it gave my sister. She left us that Thanksgiving with all of us around her. I will always love Ocean City and we try to visit as often as possible. All those special memories come flooding back – of aunts, uncles, cousins.
GOD BLESS OCEAN CITY, NEW JERSEY!