The sound of the waves crashing on the shore were deafening. Tunnel vision on the only thing that mattered in my world. Curses running through my mind a mile a minute. God don’t take her. God let me get there. God please don’t let the water take her further. God please let me make it to her in time. God don’t you dare take her away from me. Please let me get to her, what if I can’t get to her fast enough, what if the wave pulls her under, what if I can’t swim to her, what if….
An evening of warmth at the beach of playing in the sand could have turned so different. I beat myself up every night. I let her down, I didn’t protect her enough. But then I look into her eyes, into her angelic face, into her contagious smile and worry still takes my breath away.
I was always told to never turn your back on the ocean and that evening was no different. I never turned my back on the ocean, never turned my back on my daughter as she played. But one of the biggest things that I forgot was that the ocean, the beaches here aren’t to be messed with. A simple, small wave with not much water could be the worst nightmare. You always think that the big waves that crash so violently are the ones that you have to worry about, the ones that you stay away from but no the small ones can change your life just as quickly.
I will never forget how my heart stopped, how my whole body went numb with the idea of no longer holding my daughter, no longer seeing her smile… It scared me to my very core. In slow motion, a running, jumping, giggling little girl was pulled to the ground, flipped over and slowly being dragged towards waves and the ocean beyond.
I hug and kiss her more, I tell her I love her more. I’m so thankful that nothing happened. So thankful that all she was, was soaking wet and a bit sandy. You never know what you have until it’s almost taken away from you.
My husband and I have a hard time talking about it. It will always be at the back of our minds. We will always be more fearful but even more cautious around water then we were before. Thank you for not taking her away from us……