Friday, March 1, 2013
Ocean Waters Take Me Away
we were at the ocean always. my first memory of the sea was of me and my mom. i was dressed in a one piece short halter. strawberry red. white open toe sandals and a cute little white hat with a red ribbon. my hair was long. my mom bought the hat and the sandals that day. i know i was in a bathing suit because i was sitting down right at the shore where the water just touches your toes. i remember my mom telling me to hold her hand super tight and not let go. to get ready when the water comes and not let it move me. not let it drag me in. dig your heels in. be strong. be brave. don’t let go. don’t ever let go.
i watched anticipating the scariness of the incoming wave as it crested, fell and churned towards me. the cold ocean water bubbled over and kissed my toes. my mom looked at me approvingly. the next wave came up a little higher and mom gripped my hand. i floated a little, but i held on tight. we did this enjoying every second of it. each time the water got higher my heart pitter pattered a little more, but i was brave and never moved even as it reached my chest and tried to drag me away. we laughed and tossed around a few times, but we were a rock together. strong.
suddenly a giant wave came crashing down on the shore. we thought it would be the same as the others, but i don’t think mom realized we had been both getting pulled in closer to the shore. maybe the tide was getting higher. i don’t know. i was so little. the wave came up to my mothers chest and tore me from her fierce grip. i was tossed end over end churning and dragging away from shore like the retreating wave. away from my mother. i heard her screaming. it sounded so far away…so so far away. i was lost. confused and gulping water. churning sand all around me.
the next thing i know i’m being pulled out of the water by the hair. that was all my mother could grip. my long dark brown hair. i didn’t know whether to cry from the fear of what i think was nearly drowning or the pain of nearly having my hair torn off my skull, but cry i did. my mom screamed asking me why i let go. i should never let go! i didn’t. i didn’t let go.
we didn’t get back into the water that day. i think we both realized we’d had enough. in the days to come i thought about what i did wrong and what i could have done instead. the next time i faced the water though i was ready. i didn’t back down. i dug in my heels and even when the water came up to my neck i didn’t let go. i never let the ocean take me again. i faced it. stared it down and dared it to try that again. it always backed down. and i never ever lost.
Mistimed: 9:37 AM