Riptide

blog-margaretThe other day, we went to the beach. I was having an awesome time with my sister. We dug 3 foot deep holes and sat in them until the water filled them. Then we made sand castles.  When we got hot, we went into the water. I was pretending I was being pulled into the water and was asking my sister to “save me”. What I didn’t realize was that the current was getting stronger and stronger. At one point my sister fell over from the riptide and I had to pull her out. The strength escalated. A huge wave crashed over me and I went under. I yelled for my sister to help me for real this time, and bring my towel. No answer. I yelled louder. Silence. My mom was on her phone. My head pounded. I opened my eyes even with the salt water. Funny thing was, it didn’t hurt. I looked around. My sister wasn’t there. I looked out into the water and began screaming. I remember letting out bloodcurdling screams of fear. I also remember digging my nails into myself as I panicked. My mom looked up, dropped her phone and started yelling my sister’s name. Then just like that, my sister came over the hill. She told us later that she just went to get a towel for her eye. The rest of the day I was shaking and sweating like never before. I almost threw up too. My sister had to stay by my side for the rest of the evening. As I am writing this, and reliving everything that happened, I’m crying. It was that scary that I know now, this will always be a memory that makes me cry.

I will just tell you this now. I thought my sister had been pulled into the ocean and drowned. I thought that I would never see her again, that all the things we had planned to do in the future didn’t matter. I was thinking all the things a crazy person would. When my sister came running over the hill, it was the 2nd greatest moment of my life. What was the first? Holding her right after she was born.


2 thoughts on “Riptide

  1. I can relate. Even though my experience was in a different location, at a big department store in the Northridge Mall, my younger daughter (about age 7) disappeared when my older daughter, Mindy, about age 10, and I stepped onto an escalator. When I looked back and didn’t see Tammy, I began screaming for her. By that time, a lot of other people had gotten onto the escalator behind us, so we couldn’t go back down. We continued to the next floor and immediately rode the other side down. She was no where to be seen, and Mindy and I were yelling for her over and over. I ran around that section of the store, again yelling for her, to no avail, thinking she had been kidnapped. Finally Tammy jumped out from inside one of those circular clothes racks and yelled “Boo!” To her it was a game, but I couldn’t calm down for quite a while. So I know how frantic you must have felt. Don’t beat yourself up too much more for telling Margaret she was responsible. It was an error that caused her some trauma, but we all mistakes as parents that we have to forgive ourselves for. We are human, not perfect, but as long as you didn’t knowingly do or say something wrong without caring the harm it could cause, we have to use the mistake as a learning experience. I am just glad that all turned out okay in the final analysis, because Mena was okay.

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