With Love and Remembrance…

On Monday, May 28, 2012 (Memorial Day), a student of mine died.  I couldn’t believe it when I heard the news on Tuesday.  Emily was only 6 years old and one of the sweetest and most darling little girls that I had the pleasure to teach.  I don’t know the exact details leading up to her death, all I know is that she drowned in her swimming pool while an annual block party was taking place in her front yard and on the street.  Apparently there was a fence or gate that enclosed the pool area, so I don’t know if it was open or broken but she managed to wander to the pool anyway.  An emergency call was made in the 7 o’clock hour and she was pronounced dead in the 10 o’clock hour at the hospital, allegedly.  Emily always had a smile on her face and she loved to come to art class.  She would light up when I called her name when it was her turn to come.  She was very imaginative, full of whimsy, so pure and just lovely.  I’m so saddened by this tragic loss and my heart hurts for her grieving family.  I can’t imagine, and I hope I will never come to know, the pain and suffering that they are experiencing and must survive.  My deepest condolences go out to them along with prayers and love.

Before I went to sleep Tuesday night, I just knew that this would happen.   I couldn’t stop thinking about Emily all day long and I knew that I would have a bad dream that night, as she was in my last thoughts before falling asleep.  I dreamt  that I was standing over a large tub or basin of water, maybe 3 feet deep.  I was holding my naked, wiggling baby in my arms when she slipped out from my grasp and into the water, sinking straight to the bottom.  I reached in after her, but she was so heavy, like a sponge that had absorbed all the water.  My husband was standing by and I screamed for him to help me save her.  Then, I woke up.  I still can’t get those terrifying images out of my head.

We have a swimming pool at our house and I won’t walk anywhere near it while I’m holding Mia.  What if I trip, or what if she jerks her body suddenly and I drop her in the pool.  Just the thought of it gives me anxiety and makes my heart sink.  You just can’t be too careful when it comes to pool safety and your kids’ safety.  It only takes minutes, maybe less, for your whole life to come to a crushing halt.  Now that summer is approaching and warm weather is here, it’s so crucial that all of us parents take the necessary precautions in creating a safe swimming environment for everyone.  Also, introduce and continually repeat the swimming safety rules to your kids every day and all year long.  And never leave the little rascals unattended when a pool is near, not even for a minute.  I won’t have to worry about my little one wandering off for about another year, but we do have friends over who have small kids that play in our pool.  It’s my duty to keep them safe, too.  Life is short enough as it is to end up being cut shorter by something that could have been prevented.

Give your children plenty of hugs and kisses and make it absolutely clear that you love them.  Keep them safe and hold them dear.  Appreciate and savor each precious moment and day you have with them.

Here’s a link to a site that has some great resources for parents and kids on learning about pool safety:

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