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Parenting advice from beachgoer with Alzheimer's leaves mom of 4 stunned

The best advice comes in the most unexpected places.
Courtesy Erin Connor
/ Source: TODAY

Katie Wood has been bringing her four children to Cornfield Point in Old Saybrook, Connecticut, to spend the summer for nearly a decade. She never expected a single trip to the ocean this year would change her entire perspective on parenting.

The Boston-based mom of four told TODAY Parents she has watched the same woman walk up and down the beach ever year.

"Her name is Donna and she has Alzheimer's," Wood, 40, told TODAY Parents. "I have met her before, but she doesn’t remember any of us. The community keeps an eye on her. She’s a total sweetheart."

Wood was watching her children play by the water earlier this month when Donna approached.

"She came up to me and said, 'Will you take me into the water?'" Wood said, adding that her initial reaction was that she didn't want to get wet. "But everything in me was like — get in the water."

The pair waded into the ocean and Donna shared details about her childhood and why she's drawn to the water.

"(Donna) comes to the beach for her peace," Wood told TODAY.

When Wood asked Donna for her "best Mom advice," Donna's response left a lasting impression.

"She looked around at the kids and said, 'The best thing we can do as moms is to simply create memories'," Wood shared. "It was so simple, but so powerful."

Wood, who was at the beach with her sister, Erin Connor, also a mom of four, said the sentiment came at the perfect time.

“My sister and I get so overwhelmed sometimes, so when you hear someone comment who has been through life, to take the pressure off and just make felt so right,” Wood said, adding that she often feels like she gets caught up in “too much” as a mom.

Connor captured the interaction and Wood shared it to her social media.

"When this adorable woman comes up to me at the beach and asks if I’d swim with her…⁣," she captioned the photo. "You ignore the fact that the water is cold.⁣ You ignore that ‘I don’t want to get wet’ feeling.⁣ You ignore the jellyfish. ⁣And you go in."

"The timing of her saying it is so awesome," Wood told TODAY of her talk with Donna. "It’s what I needed to hear.”