Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Defining Moments

There are moments in life that define us, in a big or small way, in a good way or negatively (hopefully for the better), we all have them. They help make us who we are, influence the decisions we make, the jobs we do, and even the people we let into our worlds. Some are small, and some are very large and harsh. I had a very large, very harsh, reality check bitch-slap this past weekend. I came so close to tragedy, that I truly believe it is something I will be traumatized by for some time to come. There is nothing I can think of in this world that would be worse than losing my little La-la, I mean she is my world. My heart. My soul. I came close this weekend though. So so close. People grossly overuse terms like "the worst day of my life" and "the scariest thing ever", I'm her to tell you, what happened Sunday was absolutely, no contest, the scariest thing that has ever happened to me, ever.

Camping was amazing. We all had a great time, La-la loved walking the trails, picking flowers the whole way. We all went swimming, she giggled when the little fish nibbled her toes, hilarious. Bonfires at night, dune-buggy rides during the day, huge meals, a seemingly never-ending supply of doughnuts, snacks, burgers, shish-kabobs, and all things camping and outdoorsie. It was so beautiful, trees, the lake, the people, the pups, I honestly can't wait to go back. Friday and Saturday were great, and went by much too fast. Sunday will live in an icy, terrified corner of my heart and mind for a very long time, maybe forever.


Sunday started out the same as the other days, other than I was starting to feel a little worn around the edges. Fybro does that, doesn't matter how great a time I am having or what I want to do I always know that I will pay for it later (not in all cases but a lot). So I was getting physically tired, and in a way glad that it was almost time to go home. After we got done with breakfast and cleanup, La-la and I walked down towards the lake and started taking turns throwing the ball for one of the pups. Her "throws" are funny, and she gets such a kick out of the pup fetching it and bringing it back for another go. It was my turn, La-la was standing on my right, and I pitched that sucker to the moon. And fell. My feet got tangled in a forgotten dog lead, and I fell hard. I got up and looked over to see if La-la was laughing at me, she usually does, and she was gone. My back was turned for a second or two max, and she had managed to disappear. I think in my heart I already knew but didn't want to accept. I quickly took stock of my surroundings, I looked up where New Beau was to see if she had wandered that way. No La-la. I looked over to the gazebo. Not there either. I turned with ice in my heart  and sprinted to the edge of the small dip that led to the water, and to my absolute horror, there she was. Totally submerged in the lake water, her legs were rolling, and in the millisecond that it took me to react I could see her fighting to reach the surface. I ran like a mad woman straight into the lake, snatched her out, and ran back out to the bank banging on her back the whole time. She coughed and sputtered, and then began to wail. There was no splash when she went in, no warning, nothing, and that is maybe one of the scarier parts. She was drowning, and had I not been right there, I wouldn't have even known. That is terrifying beyond what words can express.

Once I got her out, and held her close for over an hour, I got us both into dry clothes and held her some more. All I could think about was what a failure I was, how could I have let this happen, tears streamed steady down my cheeks at the thought of what could have been. I had almost lost the most important person in my life. I couldn't fathom it, and to be honest I am still wrestling with it. I was right there, I wasn't on my phone, or chatting with someone and not paying attention. I was right there playing with my girl and our pup, how did this happen. How could I have failed so completely while trying so hard to do right. Everyone hailed me like a conquering hero, congratulating me on saving her, and being there. I still felt like it was my fault, couldn't understand why they were congratulating me, and acting like I had done something good. To be honest I still kind of feel like a crappy parent for letting it happen but, after a few of my Dad's "not parent of the year" stories about me and my brother, I feel a little better.

The moral of this story is, and I will try not to get too sappy because I am not good at it, hold your loved ones close. Appreciate you family and friends, tell them how much you love them, because life is short. It can be ripped away at any time, without warning. Hug your babies a little tighter. I want you all to know  how much I truly appreciate you and your feedback and emails.It makes my day to find an unexpected email in my inbox, amid the crap I let collect there because I'm too lazy to clean it out. Thank you all for taking the time to take this journey with me, I appreciate you all. I do hope that your own defining moments don't come in such a hard form. Be ready for them, and remember they can only impact you negatively if you let them. Use them to learn and grow. I know I have learned, and I will use that knowledge to prevent future tragedy. I will use it as a tool to grow as a parent, and to understand that I do not and can not control everything, I can make different decisions, so the things that happen that are out of my control are not disastrous.

I am sharing this with you, after several days of debating whether to post about it, to hopefully help you avoid what I went through, and the trauma that is going with it. There are repercussions from it. I have had nightmares since it happened, the picture of her in the water will be burned into my brain for eternity, and the thought of what could have been still takes my breath away. So even though this was difficult, I needed to share.

Hoping for less haunted sleep,

1 comment:

  1. WOW! This makes my heart skip a beat. I would say this is every Mom/Dad's worst nightmare. This is a serious concern for me with my son, who has no regard for dangerous situations.

    Okay, so...I wish I could make this go away for you, this pain you're feeling. Shitty, crappy, scary, WTF moments happen in our lives for a reason. Most often times, we will never know the "reason" why. But your daughter is alive and well because, A) you have great Mom instincts and B) because of the good Lord above. So what if another person reads this and then it strikes a nerve, and they get off the cell phone and watch their kid?

    You were so brave to post, I can only imagine how hard it must have been. Well I can't even. But as you told me blogging is a release. Fear will only hold you back. Grieve this moment and the fear and doubt you're having because of it and then let it go.

    You're a great Mama, sweetie. Hold on to that. Big hugs!


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