... it wasn't my time to go
Our family, all 15 of us, arrived for our annual summer vacation in Harwichport on Cape Cod last month.
We all head for the beach. As I always do, I plunge into the ocean. The surf is rough, suddenly waves are crashing over my head and knocking me to the ground.
I can't swim back onto the shore.
I can't stand up and wade in.
I'm in shock - I am actually drowning.
The family suddenly realizes they can't see me in the water. Our daughter and two sons rush to the shore line. Miraculously two good samaritans, who are also good swimmers, rescue me by pulling me onto shore. The family helps me to stagger back to my beach chair. I am stunned and unable to stand up.
Once you almost drown you are never the same person again. You have tasted death by drowning. But you have been rescued.
Every day from now on is a bonus. You hear from family and friends, "It was not your time to go." You reflect on that idea every day.
Your family has changed also in the way they think of you. To them you are forever more fragile, more at risk. They call everyday just to ask, "Are you okay?"
Although my life did not pass before my eyes as I was drowning, the next day at Mass in St. Joseph's Church I wondered, "Why am I still here on earth?"
On a daily basis I commit myself to serving my family, friends and those in need whom I can help.
I get the message.
September 5, 2008