As I'm sure you can imagine, I've been consumed by the drowning of the local young man. I barely slept last night, awakening constantly, praying for his family and thanking God for Hannah being found so quickly. I'm sure I'm bound to ramble here, and many of you have heard me say these things in emails and texts, and I apologize to you for having to read it again. I feel a ramble coming on, please bear with me.
The young man went missing yesterday afternoon around 2:00 and they didn't find his remains until after 11:00 this morning. I learned they had found him and I began to cry--not because I know him, but because I had some understanding of how his parents felt. In the time they were searching for Hannah, I kept thinking (even though I knew it was outside the realm of possibility) that maybe she was caught on the other side, that somehow she was safe and just couldn't get to me. As long as she wasn't actually found, there was still some hope--no matter how far fetched and impossible. I had the same thoughts with T (I'm not going to refer to him by name because I don't want his name to be searchable on my blog, not because I'm trying to protect him. I know I was always grateful when folks would say Hannah's name.) and I'm sure his parents were holding on to whatever hope they could. There is this sense of disbelief, that it can't really be happening. Finding him made me give up that tiny shred of hope, and yet, there was relief as well as I knew his parents needed him found.
I never realized how lucky we were they found Hannah so quickly. I remember Sarah saying she was so upset because she had been praying for the "wrong thing", praying they would find Hannah, not specifying find her alive. But, what she didn't realize (until she saw my face) was that she had prayed for the right thing. If Han had been swept into the James that would have been it. I wasn't left in limbo for hours as T's parents were. Because of my empathic tendencies, I was in agony over his parents. There was no sleeping last night. I'm sure.
I'm not sad so much about Hannah and this revisiting Hannah's death. So far the media have not brought her up (although Robin told me there was an article that mentioned a past drowning but no name mentioned) and I've been left alone. Thank God. Otherwise, I'm okay. My sadness and heartache are for T's parents. They were planning his graduation. I'm sure they were planning a party. Now, they'll be planning a funeral and that's not fair or right or just or anything else but awful and heartbreaking. This young man had his entire life ahead of him--including a full ride to an NC university on a golf scholarship.
I was talking with Lissie today and it came to me that while today is a perfectly "normal" (whatever the heck that means) day for us, today is the day T's parents' lives ended as they knew it. While we're busy going about the dailiness that is our living, they were dealing with the death of their beautiful child. Did one of them have to identify his remains? Oh l hope not. I can't even imagine. Hannah still looked like Hannah, still smelled like Hannah (and sunscream and river water), she was just a bit banged up. Nothing major. This boy, however, he was in the water for 21 hours. I don't want to think about it.
Through it all today, I've had the most wonderful friends checking on me and running interference if needed. Amy has forwarded emails on so folks can get invited. Jori texted to check on me and make sure I was okay. Jaydee and others emailed and let me know they were thinking of me and praying. So many of you have come out of the woodwork to request invites. I'm delighted to have you! :o)
Ultimately, this has put so much in perspective. You know, I think I'll remember all those lessons I learned from Hannah's death, and then, I forget. I get caught up in the dailiness of living and lose sight of those things. I hugged my girls just a little bit tighter today and was just a bit more patient than usual. All those "BIG" things I was dealing with are so unimportant in the grand scheme of things.
This isn't about me, though. It's about T and his family and all they will be facing. I feel this overwhelming need to do something, but I'm not sure what. I'm going to create an extra special card for them and write them a note and tell them I'm sorry for their loss. There's not much I can do beyond that, but even that is meaningful. How often have I been touched and overwhelmed by all y'all writing kind notes and thoughts for us for Hannah? Words are powerful.
1. Did I fail to mention we purchased a new fridge Sunday? I think I might have. Our appliances have been rusting out and falling apart one a year. Last year we replaced the dishwasher, the year before the microwave. Sunday, I saw Sear's had their fridges on big fat sale and the one I was lusting after was about a third off. Our fridge is rusting through the FRONT. Yes, you can see rust coming through the finish on the front of the fridge. It's crazy! Since I hate that fridge anyway (I'm not a fan of the teeny tiny freezer space in side-by-sides), I'm more than happy to see the back of it. We got a 31 cubic foot fridge. Yeah, baby, 31 cubic feet! It's french doors with freezer on the bottom. I can't wait for Friday to get here--I'm such a nerd. ;o) No, I'm not thrilled with having to lay out that cash, but a new fridge...ahhhh.....
2. Lil's first swimming lesson was today. Babysitter Alex is on the swim team and helps with the lessons. I don't think she was going to help today initially, but saw Bitty and stayed with her for the majority of her lesson. Lil came home walking on air. She had SUCH a good time! :o)
3. My burn is now in that horrible itchy stage meaning the molting should start any day now. Lil's gonna love that. Seriously. :o) I'm happy because it means I'm healing--thank goodness.
4. They found T. Not a sparkly so much as a bit of relief for his parents. I know relief sounds like the wrong word, but it's not. There was every chance they might never have had that closure if his body was washed out to the James.
5. Wonderful friends and blog readers. Thank you all so much. Thank you.
T is the first drowning since Hannah. I so desperately wish there had been no others.