Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Why DO I love this book.....

Let me count the ways.

I first spotted Why Do I Love These People by Po Bronson here. And then one day, totally by chance, I walk in the library and there it is. In. And waiting on me (I just know it was!). What are the chances? It had been checked out for months.

The first chapter was life changing for me. This book will be on my shelf for many years. I will smile at it. I will thank it. I will read it again and again.

Now the life changing part is not for everyone. Two years ago my little Rowdy One fell in a pool, fully clothed, while playing knights in shining armor with his brother. His sword fell in and he tried to reach it. He drowned. He had no pulse. He had blue lips. His life was saved by CPR. It was and has been a nightmare for me. I was there along with five other adults. The kids treat this house like there second home. They have swam in the pool and played in the yard, many times. They are familiar, as am I, to the surroundings. It was the day everyone had returned from evacuating for Hurricane Rita. We were all stressed out and this was supposed to be a relaxing evening. Grilling, the kids playing on the fort. It all changed rather quickly. The boys, my two and another that is Wise One's age, were in and out battling the villains that were attacking their fort. They were equipped with swords and a healthy imagination. They were all under foot or out on the fort. We were helping unpack boxes from the evacuation and telling stories about our trip. I went to the bathroom and then was frozen at what I was hearing. The other little boy came into tell his dad that Rowdy One was at the bottom of the pool. I was in a totally different part of the house and it was like he was whispering this information in my ear. I run to find my friend diving to the bottom of his pool to pull my child out. I will never forget what I saw and what went through my head. The nightmare began with those imagines.

At the hospital I had to face my parents and my husband, none of which were at the house. I had to face Wise One, who discovered his brother missing, and help him deal with what he saw and the guilt he felt. I had to answer questions from the drs. Look at the faces of the nurses. Deal with ALL the questions with the tone of how stupid a mother are you.!?

The whole while I had a vision in my head. A vision of Rowdy One struggling to reach the side. Calling for me. Wondering where his mother was. Why she was not there to help him. Save him. Why this water was taking him and his mommy was not helping him. I had a vision of him knowing he was drowning and struggling with it.

I have lived with this vision. At times it has consumed me. At times it has beaten me down. At times it makes it hard for me to breathe.

The next day he spoke of a bright light and reaching out for it, that is a whole nuther post. He spoke of falling in and not remembering after that. We got back in the water a week later. It was fall but we got in the very same swimming pool and swam. He didn't want to go under until the following summer. Now he swims like a fish and talks of getting to ride in an ambulance when he "drownded". That is all he remembers.

I on the other hand still struggle. I have a very hard time watching movies where someone is drowning. I have a very hard time reading about people drowning.

And then I opened this book.......and the first story is about a mother who almost drown. On the second page of the book this is what I read:

..... Some would say her soul was saying good-bye to her bag of bones. Some would say she experienced a hallucination caused either by lack of oxygen or by calming endorphins that numb the brain to alleviate the suffering of death. ......

Calming endorphins!!! What the hell are those and why has no one told me about them? A wave of emotion hit me. It was some relief to know that it very well may have been what happened to Rowdy One. He was taken care of by his amazing body. His fear was subdued.

There are loads of other explanations. Believe me, people feel free to share their opinions on this with me. There is still enough guilt to last me a lifetime. It didn't really alter that. But is was comforting to know that maybe, just maybe, Rowdy One didn't struggle like I imagined. Maybe.

He is a happy, healthy, rowdy one. He shows no ill effects.

I am a grateful, thankful mother. I grew a tremendous amount during this time. I still battle my demons. I am still overprotected. But this book gave me another look. Another side. Some comfort. It helped me grow more.

Thank you Mrs. Mmv for showing me this book. Thank you Mr. Bronson for writing this book. For helping these stories reach other people. It is an Honest and Amazing book of Real People.



© 2003-2007 M-mv said...

Wow. What an amazing thing story. The intersection of life and books -- they say we read to know that we are not alone. Is that how you felt?

Best regards, and many thanks for the link.


© 2003-2007 M-mv said...

Oh, dear. I should really stay out of this commenting business, eh? I never manage to make one without making a gaffe or a typo. That should be, "What an amazing story." Sorry.


Kate said...

Wow. I really don't know what to say. How scary, how hard for you. Us mothers never let go of guilt. That's just a given (I know!). But I am so relieved for you that he was ok and doesn't really remember it. I find that some books can be so healing too.

Islandsparrow said...

Kate is right - I think we mothers must be wired for guilt. We all have so many close calls with our children. But the great thing is that he survived and doesn't have fears around the water.

My brother (age almost 3) did drown - and my mom lived with guilt all her life. But she didn't let it consume her - she turned it into something good. She taught us all to swim and became a swimming teacher herself.