Earlier in the year my 3 year old son almost died. My husband and I wrote several posts on it at the time so I’m sure some of you know what I’m talking about. For those of you who don’t; my son fell into our pool during a pool party unnoticed by me or the other parent watching. The timing is unknown but not long after he fell in I got a huge prompting to look for my son. Geoff heard my calls for Quinn and ran out to the pool where he saw him floating face down. He pulled him out, we did CPR on him and he was then flown in a helicopter to the Pediatric NICU at a local hospital. He made a full recovery in a very short time, was released to come home, and has since lived a very normal 3 year old boy kind of life (except now he is an awesome swimmer).
It’s been an interesting few months, I think about his accident several times a day, sometimes reliving it and sometimes just as just a passing thought. So, what’s the big deal you might ask, your son is healthy and happy, be grateful and move on. It’s not that I’m ungrateful; I thank my Heavenly Father daily for sparing my son. I think that when you stare death in the face you come out a changed person, I hope you would come out a changed person.
I think the biggest change for me is losing that sense of invincibility that most humans seem to have. In the past when I’ve heard about children drowning, being left in cars, or other accidents I’ve often thought, what is wrong with the parents of the child, they must be complete idiots. Now I know that tragic things happen to good parents or I’m a complete idiot myself. For my own sake I choose to think the former.
Now when I watch a movie, or tv, or some other medium that trivializes violence and death I pause and think. I think that the thug that was mercilessly blown off his feet and into kingdom come has a mother, or a father, or someone who loved him that is going to go through terrible grief and sorrow. I never have been thrilled with violence in the media but now it’s just a little more painful for me to watch.
I also think I have developed more compassion and empathy for people who are going through trials in their lives. Bob Marley has a song called “Johnny Was”. It’s about a man who was shot and killed and in part of the song he talks about the man’s mother and the sorrow she is going through. One particular line says, She still wants the child she bare. I have always found that line to be so touching but now when I think about how close I came to losing my own child that line touches me even more.
I have come to learn a lot about myself since this tragedy but I don’t know how I would have handled it if he had died. I’m not sure that I could have picked myself up and carried on like my family would have needed me too. I think I would always have blamed myself for killing my son because of my neglect and I know that I would always long to go back to February 23, 2005 the day before the accident. I would forever want the child I bore.
I still cry about it sometimes. When I’m stopped in traffic or waiting at a stop light occasionally a tear will trickle down my face. Tragedy didn’t embrace me that day but it brushed it’s fingers lightly across my cheek and that was more than enough.