The scariest thing ever.

3:22 PM

Day 4 of Blogtember is here, and the prompt is:  Share a story about a time you were very afraid.

   Unlike yesterday's prompt about good advice that left my brain feeling like jello, I know exactly what I'm going to write about this time around.  There's no question really, as I have recently had the most terrifying experience of my entire life, and so it's pretty hard to top that.

    Two weekends ago, we were at our pastor's house for a pool party with the youth group.  It was one of those warm Oregon summer evenings, the water was perfect, and the sun was setting over the pond in their backyard as the smell of grilling hotdogs filled the air.

It was pretty perfect, actually.

    Brandon (assistant pastor) and his wife Cindy are also youth leaders, and it's so fun to have other kids our girls' ages at youth events.  We took turns taking them out in the paddle boat and were only a bit nervous a time or two about all those little ones being close to the water, but everyone had life jackets on so I really wasn't that worried at all.  Besides, it's just not my nature to worry.  I am one of the least "helicopter-type" moms in existence.  See this dock right beside the paddle boat?  I was letting Charlotte crawl all over it, knowing that I was just an arm's length away from grabbing her if I needed to. 

   (The kids, all looking up to Pastor Phil)

   After we were done swimming, paddle boating, and eating our hot dogs, we changed the kids out of their dripping suits and into cozy pajamas, and the men covered the pool.  We were sitting down to roast some marshmallows when it happened......Jocelyn fell in the pool.

   I can't be sure, but I THINK she knows enough to not just walk off the deep end into the water.  But I guess the cover made it seem like she should be able to walk across?  I don't know.  All I know is she was at the deep end of the pool by the diving board, Randy was a lifetime away at the opposite end, and I was about halfway between, sitting on a chair holding Charlotte and probably doing something stupid with my phone.  We both looked up to see it happen.  Jocelyn with her damp, curly ponytail and striped pink p.j.'s that say "Dad and Mom (heart) me"  took two small steps and disappeared.

   I don't think I have to go into detail to describe that sledge hammer feeling of your heart thudding down into the pit of your stomach so hard, it stops beating for a few moments.  

Because A. if you haven't experienced it before, it's impossible to explain.

And B. if you have, then you already know what it feels like. 

   Randy took two leaps and dove into the water, fully clothed and iPhone in his pocket.  I'm still not sure how, but he reached her before I did, and raised her up to me and I pulled her out and clutched her to me as she took her frantic, sobbing breaths.

   I know, I know, some kids her age are probably already used to going under and maybe you even advocate throwing them in to learn that.  But this was different.  The pool was covered, she had her pajamas on, we weren't prepared, and for those awful, short moments it felt like she was drowning.  It was the most heart-wrenching 10-15 seconds of our lives, and I pray I will never have to experience that sensation again.

    I took her to change into some dry clothes and fought back the tears of relief.  Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou Jesus for not asking me to walk that road.  She was shaken, crying for her daddy and talking on and on about how she "Took a drink of water".

   The twins were awfully sweet, both so worried about what happened and asking where Jocelyn was and how she was doing.   When she returned they gave her hugs and we all breathed deep sighs and held our children a little tighter around the campfire that night.

   The whole experience was awful.  Every parent's nightmare.  But in some small, teeny, tiny way I am thankful for it, because it made the magic of having her near wash over me anew again.  I tucked her into bed that night just brimming with gratitude.  She is a gift.  That's just what they are, gifts.  Not prizes earned, not products manufactured, not artifacts discovered.....they're just gifts.  Precious, irreplaceable gifts placed within our care for a time, and that is all.

How lucky are we?

How lucky, how blessed to be a caretaker of gifts straight from Heaven above.



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  1. How terrified you must have been! I'm so glad everything turned out alright.

  2. That is a terrible, terrible story!! I don't even know what else to say.

    But I do like that you're blogging so much! :)

  3. God Bless,
    Thankful for you all that it all turned out well!


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