Motion changes emotion. That’s what I’ve heard. As summer approaches kids are anxious about end-of-year school events and excited for summer. The transition creates a anxiety. Saturday my kids were poking and fighting with one another over stupid stuff. One wasn’t folding laundry correctly. One toppled the other’s already folded clothes and a fight was on. I’d already made pumpkin bread as a special breakfast treat, hoping for sweeter dispositions.
The girls had been out to play and neighborhood friends were sleeping in or unavailable.
It was clear no good would come from staying in this place. We thought we’d go to the pool to get the wiggles out, but it was closed for repair.
A change of scenery was essential, so we headed for the beach.
If you aren’t familiar with our Akers family story prompt you don’t know that we use this prompt to tell stories to each other for entertainment value.
So there I was… freshly settled in to enjoy a little time with the sun kissing my face, enjoying a warm full-body hug while the girls played just offshore.
Picnic food, checkered tablecloths, sun umbrellas, beach buckets and pails littered the beach as well as inner tubes and floatation devices of all kinds. Everyone appeared to have full bellies and smiling faces.
Not ten minutes later an officer walks along the beach waving everyone out of the water. A boy unaware of the seriousness of the situation asked: “why”?
The officer, red-faced and controlled, stated loudly and plainly, “Because someone might still be in the water, that’s why”. The gravity of the situation hit like crashing waves and widened eyes bugged out of heads as everyone moved quickly without saying a word.
The Texas Game Warden arrived on the scene and began canvassing the area by boat with someone who either knew the person or saw him go under.
Back and forth, back and forth, looking for signs of life. None were found.
After more than an hour had passed Lewisville Dive and Rescue team arrived. It became clear this was now a recovery effort.
Children buried themselves or each other in the sand and sand castles sprang up like weeds. After awhile restless kids began dipping their toes in at the water’s edge and first responders didn’t seem to care. Taking the beg forgiveness rather than ask permission approach, they resumed playing very close to the shore. No one stopped them.
The reality is that people were terrified that their son, daughter, father, or mother would not return from the water alive. That family went to the beach just as we did, hoping for a fun-filled day, and something horrifying happened instead.
Reality bites when life changes in an instant. Hold close the ones you love because you never know when it might change.
How will you love someone you care about today? Share your story in the comments.