A Testimony

Taylor, aka T-4-Turtle

A number of years ago, when I was actively pursuing postal letterboxes, I created a postal letterbox themed upon a rather dramatic event that took place in our family. When my youngest son Taylor, was 18 months old, he had a drowning accident in our front yard. Unfortunately, the postal letterbox succumbed to a blackhole, never to be seen again. However, I saved the testimony I used in this postal letterbox on my computer.

I am currently in the process of meditating on attachment, and all that entails. Whenever I consider things this weighty, I have to first and foremost cast my eyes toward myself in stark honesty. My thoughts immediately go to this day and I have to ask myself the hardest questions of all: what if things had not turned out so favorably? Am I so attached to my children that I would be unable to fulfill my purpose? Would I be so distraught with grief and loss as to not be able to give...to breathe? How long would it take for me to get outside of my pain in order to function normally again? Would it be disrespectful to their memory to continue with my life? As the questions continue to flood my mind, I wonder about the roots of grief.

grief, n, a deep and poignant distress caused by or as if by bereavement, loss.

I admire my mother-in-law immensely, as some of you know. One of the reasons is due to the fact that she lost a son at a young age, I believe he was three years old. Stricken with meningitis, he died within a very short time of contracting the illness. Both my husband and his younger brother Tom, became sick at the same time; interestingly, Rob simply had a bad cold, but Tom was living his last.

my beloved mother-in-law, Josie

I marvel that Josie, Rob's mom, was able to continue living at all. To lose a child is beyond what my mind can comprehend, in all honesty. She has walked me through those horrible days, and how she dealt with her surviving son's emotions, as well as her own retching grief. Even so, I still cannot understand how she survived the blow. Somehow, with G-d's mercy, she was able to detach herself from the life of her son, and still hold dear to his memory.

Below is the testimony of the day in our front yard...Baruch HaShem, he lives today.

I wouldn’t normally consider creating a postal about one of my children. It seems too personal and , of course, everyone loves their children to a fault. However, when thinking about August, the only thing that came to mind was a day in February. A cold, but clear day in February, when I took my 18-month old son to the WalMart with me to pick up a few things.

We had a wonderful time shopping, singing and chatting through the store. Upon our return home, I was met by my husband in the driveway, as I let my toddler out of the car. My husband and I proceeded into the house with the items I had purchased. Once inside, we talked a little about the trip and some other non-important things. All of a sudden it dawned on me that I didn’t know where my little charge was. I asked my husband to go get him, and that he probably was coming after us into the house.

When he didn’t return right away, I became alarmed. I came out the front door just as my husband was rounding the front entry looking panicked. I immediately started for the only place my little explorer could be - the small pond in our front yard.

To my horror, I saw only the back of his little vest, as it was puffed up with air, and he was face down in the frigid water. (Even writing this, I cannot control the shaking or feeling of despair that is revisiting me once again.) I ran to the water’s edge, and too slipped on the leaves into the water. I managed to grab the back of his vest and pull him to me, but it was too late. He had no color and was not with me anymore.

I remember holding him close and sobbing, begging that this not be true. And then my husband taking him from me. I was screaming, the scream only a mother can utter at the loss of her child. I can still see his face - I will never forget.

I rushed to call the emergency help, and remember slipping on the kitchen floor and having to remove my shoes. While talking with the 911 operator, I watched from the balcony while my husband expertly began CPR on my curly-headed baby.

The next thing I remember was standing near the scene being held by a loving neighbor. She was praying aloud and all I could do was scream the name of my Deliverer. She maneuvered me further from the tragedy, as the paramedics arrived. She was facing them, watching them walk up to my husband on his knees, working on my lifeless son. Before they got to administer any help, my neighbor started and said, “turn around, I just saw him take a breath”.

I turned, and I, too, saw him taking sputtered breaths, spitting and coughing and trying to scream. I fell to my knees and thanked God with all that I had!

The paramedics took him away to the Children’s Hospital, and my husband and I followed. The hospital and all involved said it was a miracle. Oh, yes, there were many factors, I suppose. The very cold winter water, his age, etc. However, I know what I know, and call it such. His return to me was a miracle.

The pondering on attachment continues...


Anonymous said…
This made me cry, Liz. I don't think I could fully understand if I wasn't a mother myself.
Mole said…
I am not sure I was ready for this today, my friend. I can still hear your voice telling me the story, almost verbatum. It is a precious testimony, indeed. How merciful He is!
Anonymous said…
As a mother who has lost a child and had to move on for the sake of the rest of the family, it isn't by anything but the grace of God that helps me. It has been almost 12 years this month and although there is still pain and sadness, it is dull and passes out of mind sometimes. Attachment, I think God made us to be attached to people. He says that we should become one with our spouse and to treat eachother as ourselves. At the end of the day, although a life of riches would be nicer than nice, I would trade them all to have back my son, to have the relationships in my life.
Kaaren said…
I've thought about this testimony twice this week in my car and felt the pain and dropped a tear both times. I had something similar, but not even close, happen with my daughter last year. Everyone thought everyone else was watching, and she struggled under the water in the pool until I saw someone rush from a table. I turn, dive on the side of the pool and drag her out. She's hiccuping and saying she doesn't want to drink any more water please, and I'm hugging the wet kid to my fully-clothed body. I can't think of it without shaking my head fast - to clear the thought away. I was stupid, why wasn't I looking, what's wrong with me. Shake my head some more, so I don't remember. Sometimes it creeps in right before I slip into sleep, and I have to force my self to remember that it's ok now.

And mine was nothing compared to your experience. I don't know that my chest, my breath, my brain, could handle it.
Netanya said…
Very heart wrenching. I remember my own close call with my son.He was 4 or 5.Riding his bike on the sidewalk as his Dad and step Dad were both outside working on their cars. My sister came running in saying Bryan's Dad was taking him to the hospital.Bryan had fallen off his bike and hit his head on the sidewalk and kept passing out and getting sick.I ran out and jumped in the car with him .I held my son all the way there.It was a blur.We got him there.They did x-rays and put in an IV.He couldn't stay awake,when he did , his eyes would roll back in his head.I called my Pastor's wife,also my best friend then,and asked her to call everyone to pray for Bryan.
I stayed the night in the hospital with him.They would come get me every time he woke.He was in the neurological ICU so he'd have constant watch.I was the most relieved mother ever when he awoke the next morning saying he was hungry.I knew then he was fine and he got to go home later that day.What a relief after a tense night. I am so thankful he's alive.