Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Her Last Swim...

Where to begin, I don't know.  Tears feel like falling, they have all day.  Sometimes I'm really strong though and it feels like just another day. But today was really different. Somewhere near the end of a 2.4 mile swim I did that thing I do- flip over, look up to the sky, think about how blessed my life is, then let go of anything that is causing me too much thinking.  Too much thinking was taking over my morning, it felt like I was 17 again questioning if God can hear me, maybe I should try yelling?

Okay, I;ll try to get this out, only because one of the firemen told me not to hold it in, to talk about it.  Near the end of the pier, where the big school of fish always hang out, I saw a woman that looked like a snorkler.  It was odd to me that she was dressed in clothes, a red t-shirt and long shorts. Maybe nobody else would think anything of it, but that much clothes on in the ocean had me curious.  I swam over to her and grabbed her foot.  Then I shook her and asked if she was okay, I flipped her over and she looked at me.  That was the really alarming part, her look right into my eyes.  I thought for sure she was alive, just really tired because her face was a look of relief, like finally somebody came for her.  So I grabbed her and kept saying, "I got you, I'll help you, you'll be okay, don't worry, I got you, I got you, hang on."  I held her under my right arm and it felt like she was holding on to me too.  I just swam as hard as I could towards all the people on the pier, then I saw a boat coming out.

I kept swimming towards the boat, telling the woman we are almost there and not to worry.  When the boat gets closer I start waving and screaming for them to help us.  They come to us and girl dives off the boat and grabs the woman from me, they get her on the boat and begin CPR right away.  I'm just holding onto the boat praying and crying.  Then a man pulls me on the boat.  I'm trying not to throw up because it was really gross seeing all the water coming out of the woman's mouth.  I touch the woman just trying to let her know that I'm still there.  Then everything just happened so fast I don't even remember.  3 firemen come on the boat, I know all 3 of them and really wanted to hug them and scream.  But they were working and it was about saving a life.  Until this moment I always admired firemen, they get to save lives.  I don't even remember them taking her off the boat, I just remember looking up and they were gone.  My body went through the motions, rinse off, grab my towel, go to the car.  It did all that, like a regular day.  Except it wasn't.  Everyone was asking what happened and a police and a couple firemen had to talk to me. 

One police told me that it was a sad moment but she has a family and they will be thankful to have her found.  (2 men recently lost their lives here on the island and the bodies were never found).  Her husband was out running, he said she wasn't a strong swimmer but liked to swim.  I'm not sure how she got out that far, or how long she was there, or if anything would be different if I swam faster.  I'm just so sad thinking about her husband.  It's crushing me to even imagine what it would be like to be waiting at the waters edge (or anywhere) for someone you love only to have them not return...

My friends took me to sunset tonight, we watched it for the woman who had her last ocean swim today. I do feel like raising my voice even louder to God now.  But I'm going to just try and listen...

I'm fairly certain that I'll always have Nga's eyes looking towards me when I swim in the ocean, I'll probably shake the feet the snorklers even more just to make sure they are not floating without breath, and without a doubt, I will give even bigger hugs and more kisses to those I love when we come and go...

Bree

19 comments:

ltlindian said...

omg bree. I am sitting here almost in tears, with pins and needles all over my body reading your story. I'm so sad for you and that poor woman and her family. You can't think about what would have happened if this or that. You were there at that time to find her. To bring her home to her family. That is all. Be comforted in that. How lucky that you were there then and now the family knows. Hugs to you and yes, let's love those who are special to us RIGHT NOW. You just never know.

Ordinarylife said...

You should be proud of yourself, proud that you realised something was wrong, proud that you helped, proud that you were able to give her to her family. That is all that they and anybody could ask. My sister went through something very similar 2 weeks ago and I said the same thing to her.

I am sending all my hugs and thoughts to you and will hold my family a little closer tonight because you do never know.

r2a0m0p7 said...

Bree.

I am so sorry for your tragic experience. You did everything you could under the circumstances. You used your experience and intuition and it took courage to do what you did. God has a plan for everyone, and it was His plan to take Nga home that day. You are doing the right thing by just listening to Him right now. He will reveal things to you through this situation.
God bless you.

Beth said...

Oh Bree, what a tough experience. Praying for the woman's family and also for you!

Bruce Stewart (施樸樂) (ブルース・スチュワート) said...

I had a similar experience 5 years ago. I had arranged to meet a group of 5 foreigners for triathlon training near the southern tip of Taiwan. After brief introductions and handshakes, the leader took us into a pretty rough ocean. We spread out, I ended up alone. I mustered all my Kona skills and after about 30 minutes managed to get out without being pounded by all the pebbles. As I walked along the beach one of the group had not been so fortunate. Desperate attempts to revive him by surfers using CPR were being made, but to no avail, he was gone. I often thought afterwards I should have paid more attention to him before in case he might need help. One of the others had been with him, but he had a heart attack and she and others still had to get him back to the beach. That was a sad day indeed. He left a wife and three small children.

Jen Small said...

*deep breath*
Oh Bree. no words
(hugs)

Sherry said...

Oh my goodness! I have no words. Love and hugs to you, my friend. Will keep everyone involved in my thoughts and prayers.

Bruno Giovanoli said...

Hi Bree

I apologize but I find no words to express my thoughts!

Stay safe and take care

Bruno

Lucy Francis said...

What a shock! Bree you did all you could. God bless you!
Don't beat yourself about it. They say that when you try to rescue someone and they die it can hit you very hard.

Kathy said...

Oh Bree, I'm so sorry for you and her family. We pulled a tourist out of the water one day and my BIL (a fireman) tried and tried but to no avail. It is shocking and it can throw you. My husband has never set food on that beach since. Take care of yourself and know we're with you.

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marian said...

bree, i am so so sorry.
you knew, and you did the very best you could.
sending all my love to you and the woman's family.

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