People dream about all sorts of things. Whether it’s visiting a new place or reaching a professional goal, we all have something to strive for.
For 85-year-old Berenice Benson, it was visiting New York City. She did some traveling in her younger years but never got to see the city that never sleeps.
Even the trivial moments of visiting New York captivated Benson.
“Just the idea of strolling through the streets of New York and asking a policeman for directions to the nearest coffee shop,” she would tell the staff at her nursing home.
Now that Benson is a bit too old for major traveling, one NYPD detective brought the city to her. He showed-up wearing his official uniform to surprise Benson where she lives.
“I don’t know about coffee, but I can show you where all the best doughnuts are,” Detective Howard Shank joked.
Benson, who has dementia, said she felt like she was 20 years old again when she put on the detective’s cap.
“I never married and I never had children but this excitement, this has been the best day of my life,” Benson said.
Shank and the coordinator, Jo Sumner, even decorated the elevator with iconic photographs of New York City.
Sumner had been working to make Benson’s dream a reality for nearly two years. Finally, she reached out to the Australian Federal Police Force to see if they could contact the NYPD.
Sure enough, they responded and told Sumner that one of their detectives happened to be in Sydney. Detective Shank drove down to meet Benson only days later.
Berenice has always wanted to meet a “real life New York policeman”. This is the moment an NYPD detective surprised her at her nursing home in Canberra. pic.twitter.com/Bl60BYGiOK
— Sherryn Groch (@Sherryn_G) January 18, 2018
“I lost my father to Alzheimer’s, so being here, [it’s] a bit emotional,” Shank said. “But I’ve seen a lot and done a lot and this is one of the better moments in my career.”
“I always ask people ‘what’s something you’ve always wanted to do?'” Sumner told The Canberra Times.
“We’ve had someone go hot air ballooning and on a police ride-along with the siren, but this for me was the most emotional.
“Just the look on her face when she turned around and saw him behind her,” she continued.
Shank left Ms. Benson with a scarf and a promise to treat her to a steak dinner if she ever made it to New York City.
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