June 14, 2010:
June 14, 2011:
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."