Damn Ren Strange! Back at it again with the Daily Inklings! I would apologize for using that outdated meme, but I don’t really care. In fact, let’s bring back stale memes in 2019!
Describe the closest you’ve ever come to getting into a deadly accident, but nothing bad ultimately ended up happening.
When I was growing up, there was a lake town we used to take trips to a lot. It had hiking trails, children’s activities, a playground, golf, cabins, a lodge, and more. But the biggest draw was the lake.
It wasn’t a big lake nor was it natural. It was a manmade lake barely larger than a pond. The beach was at the bottom of a gigantic staircase made of rocks. At the top of those stairs was the bath house where the restrooms were (this is relevant, I promise).
One year, we took one of our many trips to this lake town. I was about four or five. My mom, my grandma, and my baby sister headed to the beach. I had this new bathing suit I was really excited about. It was blue and had Winnie the Pooh on it.
As we settled in for a day at the beach, I was ready to play. I headed down to the water and saw something shocking! There was another girl my age who had the same bathing suit! Per the bylaws of being a kid, that meant we were best friends that day.
We were playing in the shallow part of the lake, when I dropped my toy. It was just a cheap figurine, probably from a fast food kid’s meals. When we couldn’t find it, we decided to stage a rescue. We went back up to our families to gather supplies. My mom, at the time, was up at the bath house changing my sister’s diaper. I grabbed my trusty fun noodle.
We raced back down to the water and splashed our way in. We began our search, giggles abounding. I guess at some point we must’ve gone out further than we’d been before. I fell off my fun noodle and suddenly found myself underwater.
I remember my eyes popped open and bubbles flew from my nose and mouth. I tried desperately to grab onto my friend. The image of her floating next to me in that Winnie the Pooh bathing suit will be forever seared into my brain.
I must’ve passed out because the next thing I knew I was floating on my back. My head was still underwater, but it was too heavy to hold up. I don’t know that I knew what death was yet, but I remember thinking there was some permanent about what was happening to me.
And then, a miracle! A man leapt into the water and swarm furiously toward me. He pulled me onto the beach, where a group of people were gathered (including the useless lifeguards). My grandma was among them. Then my mother came running, having just returned with my sister.
Fortunately, I didn’t need mouth-to-mouth or CPR. But I was left with a trauma so profound that I’m still afraid of deep water to this day. I refused to learn to swim for years because I was too scared. I’m still affected by this event twenty years later.
I don’t remember what we did afterwards. I just remember that I never saw that other girl again. We didn’t stop taking vacations at that lake town nor did I want to. But I do remember that the next time we went, there was a new rule: no fun noodles.
What’s your near miss story? Tell me about it in the comments!
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