Tuesday, June 14, 2011

It's Been One Year

One year, that is, since our very close call. One full year since the curtain drew back a bit to show us just how thin is the line between life and death -- or a life completely changed -- that we unknowingly walk every day.

June 14, 2010:

June 14, 2011:
                                          (She's taught herself to do underwater somersaults.)

What have we learned in a year?

That the people who share intense moments of grief and hope and comfort with us are forever connected. They shared in our story, by chance or by choice, and that cannot change. Even now, there's something about those faces that were with us around the pool, in the waiting room, beside the hospital bed, that won't fade with time.

That life is unbearably fragile ... and yet resilient. How often have I rolled my eyes and sighed at childish behavior -- only to stop myself and thank God that I still have my child?

That bad things can happen even to vigilant parents, and that even in my heightened state of vigilance, I cannot keep my child cocooned from all possible harm. I cannot arrest her growth because of my fears. We rest in His mercy.

To celebrate a year of the life we received back again, our family passed out a hundred water-safety door packets with Colin's Hope, started by a family whose story ended more tragically than ours. It felt good and right -- to all of us, despite the heat -- to take some sort of action, to perhaps ward off someone else's close call. No cajoling required.

Parents, as you head to the pool this summer, please ...
                                      ... Make sure your child takes swim lessons, starting as young as possible.
                                      ... Always have an adult who's not chatting, texting, or the like but is focused on watching (or swimming with) the kids. If it's not you, know who it is and make sure they know too!
                                      ... Keep an eye out for little ones getting caught under rafts and under inflatables.
                                      ... Check out this important safety list for more tips.

Oh ... and hug your little ones today. Don't forget to say, "I love you."


Tamara said...

This is so touching, Hannah. All of it, really, but especially the realization of the fragility of life and the shift from rolling eyes at childish behavior to the deep thankfulness and realization that your child is alive and so, so precious.

Hannah said...

Thanks, Tamara.

Raji P. said...

I have shared this on FB with everyone I know. The pictures speak a thousand words - and your printed words were exquisite.

KTG said...

" I cannot arrest her growth because of my fears. We rest in His mercy"

This sentence particularly hit home with my parenting at the moment.
So thankful for your little family, a big hug today from me!


It's been a year? WOW. I'm so grateful every day that little girl is in my class, and her brother too. KTG, I loved that sentence as well. Hannah and The Professor, you are blessed, indeed.

Eclectic Mama said...

I was just telling your story to a friend, who has a son the same age as your youngest, last week. I still shudder when I think about your close call, and it reminds me to hold my kids a little closer, tell them I love them a little more often, and never take their precious lives for granted.


Smooch said...


Saw your blog for the first time. Thanks for the reminder. I have two 4 year olds that are just learning to swim (already knew about Coling) and am a little terrified. Thanks for the reminder to be vigilant, but also that He is in control.

Bear Creek Mama said...

I cannot BELIEVE it's been a year. I LOVE how the Lord has grown you and helped you learn powerful life long lessons through the trial. He's good like that :-)

Julie said...

Thanking the Lord with you today and for all our blessings.

Anonymous said...

This post made me cry again, almost the same as I did the day I saw it happen over 3 years ago. These must be tears of joy I'm feeling now. Thankfully God heard all the cries and had mercy. You're right, a bond did form that will last forever. That must be why I love reading your posts so much!