I’m holding my baby tight tonight as the realization is sinking in how close I got to losing her. Life is precious and at any moment it can be taken away from you. It sounds so cliche, even as I am typing this, but my heart hasn’t stopped pounding out of my chest like a freight train roaring through a mountainside.
I usually try to fit 12 more hours in each twenty four hour period, but as much as I cram and squeeze, push and prod, it just won’t cooperate. I try to slow down, but after looking up that phrase in the dictionary and finding nothing under that term, I deemed it none existent and continued on at my breakneck speed, barely stopping to eat, breathe and sleep. Well, I got a wet, cold and scary reminder this weekend that life is fleeting and I better stop and breathe while I still can.
The story, if you hadn’t read on Facebook already, is that a large group of us set out on the Laughlin River Regatta. You basically float down the river for 3-4 hours and well, just float. We had about 8 floats all tied together and a jet ski pulled us out onto the river but had not pulled us out far enough. We were caught in a current and we were pulled toward a large docked pontoon owned by one of the hotels that gave tours every hour. As we rapidly approached it, the men on board started shouting for us to jump off, but it was too late, our rafts were already being sucked under one by one. I watched in horror as the single person raft with my 5-year-old slammed into the boat. As I grabbed her and pushed her up as hard as I could (I learned later that another guy in our party was pushing her as well), I got sucked under. I remember opening my eyes and seeing the rafts and ropes above me and fighting my way up to get air before getting pulled down again. You never really think about those little things you take for granted, like air, until the option to have it is being taken away from you. My husband shoved me up and told me to grab hold of the boat hook the rescuers were trying to get us with. Thankfully, with Tim pushing and with the men on board pulling, I was pulled out along with most of the group. Then was the harrowing ordeal of not being able to locate 8 others in our party. They sent divers to search under the boat and teams to check the docks. We eventually did find everyone, some had started swimming and made it to shore and then caught up with some people that managed to find some of our floats (even if most of them were popped) and floated to the Regatta finish line.
As I sat in my hotel room, a little scratched up, bruised and completely drained physically and emotionally, I thought about my life and how many times I feel like I am being sucked under with no way out on a daily basis. I feel as if I’m being dragged by the weight of responsibilities, commitments, projects, emails, etc. And I reminded myself that I do (to some extent) have the option to NOT be sucked under and to stop taking time for granted. I’m working on simplifying before I end up traveling to Italy and making a bazillion dollars by publishing my memoirs…wait, someone already did that…
Tonight, I’m holding my baby tighter, re-evaluating my priorities, stopping to BREATHE and enjoying the ability to do so.