Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The day I almost drowned.

Bryan is heading to Maui tomorrow for a class trip.  This won't be the first time he's been away either.  I can't remember my first trip away from home, away from Mom and Dad.  

Let's see, it was probably a church camp at Camp Olomana.  I slept in a bunk bed, stayed up too late talking, was terrified of taking a shower, and (the most vivid memory),... I almost drowned.

There was a pool full of kids and inner-tubes.  It was packed, and loud and chaotic.  I remember jumping off the diving board and landing in the water, I swam toward the surface and bumped someone's butt.  I laughed underwater.  

This turned out to be a big problem.  I exhaled a lot of air laughing and lost most of my air reserve and my buoyancy.  I scootched over a bit and swam upward again, this time blocked by an inner-tube.  I started sinking and began to have that panicky feeling.  I was still in the deep end of the pool, so I couldn't push off the bottom.  It was a long way down.  

I struggled and kicked upward again and came up where 5 or 6 inner-tubes were rafted together, each with a kid sitting on them, oblivious to me below.  I tried to tip one over so I could break through and catch a gulp of air, but I had no leverage.  Every attempt to push an inner-tube merely sent me toward the bottom, but not far enough down that I could jump upward with any speed.

I knew I was in trouble then and my lungs were screaming for air.  I made one last upward attempt and this time missed all the inner-tubes and broke the surface of the water and breathed in deeply.  My lungs filled with cool air and my ears filled with the sound of laughing and splashing and "Marco?, Polo!"  No one had any idea I had almost died (or so I felt).  I got out of the pool, and honestly, quickly forgot about how close I had come to inhaling water.  The most vivid parts of the memory were the panic, and the sounds of kids laughing from underwater.

As I type this, Bryan is trying on a new pair of swim shorts.  I guess he'll be swimming on Maui.  I know it is irrational for me to be upset, but I'm saying a special prayer of protection over him for this trip.  Tomorrow I get up at 4am to drive him to the airport.  I'm sure he will have a great time there.  Just a tip, stay away from the inner-tubes Bryan!

Peace Love and Access to Air,


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