Living + Loving
Yesterday evening, I had an experience that reminded me to seize the day/moment every time you can. Chad, Kira, and I were invited for a dinner boating outing on our neighbor's boat, along with their family and children. The boat launched, and we all got on board. We passed through the first set of guiding buoys and entered further into the lake. A few waves crashed over the boat. We giggled with delight.
But delight quickly turned to terror. Within seconds, the water overtook the boat, and it began to sink. Yes, I said sink. All of us (six adults, three children) began to panic. The kids had life jackets on but none of the adults had done so yet. I kept screaming, "Where are the life jackets?" as the boat sunk more and more. The answer: they were in a compartment in the part of the boat that was already submerged. I looked down and saw the water rising up my legs. I heard my daughter screaming. We all stumbled to the back left corner of the boat, the only part which was still above water. Eight people on top of each other screaming in terror as the driver tried to save the boat and us. I remember my friend Mary screaming, "We have to jump." In response, I looked at the choppy, raging water and thought, "I cannot swim in this. I will not stay afloat." I looked at my husband (he and I were clinging to Kira's arms with all of our might), and demanded, "Please save Kira."
I watched item after item, once safe in the boat, carried away into the lake by the waves. I had ridiculous thoughts about my cell phone and my wallet. I scanned the large lake, realizing there were no other boaters around, no one to witness what was happening or to save us. All the while during my panic, the driver was making calm, clearheaded decisions. Somehow steering a boat, with the motor and steering wheel submerged, in the direction of the shore. The boat stopped running. We were not close enough to shore. I watched the waves, willing them to lead the boat to shore rather than out any further. Before I knew it, we were close enough that the lake bottom was visible. The driver's brother jumped out and began pulling the nearly capsized boat towards the beach. Mary jumped out and carried the children one by one to the sand. Soon enough we were all on the sand. Wide eyed. Stunned. Silenced.
I do not want to talk about all of my feelings after stepping onto land. But, I do want to express the takeaway message I have managed to conclude: it can end in a second, completely out of your control. Nothing else matters in this world but living and loving. My messy kitchen counter: who cares? The dent in my car bumper: no longer an issue to me. The tight budget I'm working with until next payday: I'm thankful to be here, money or no money.
BY: ANDREA OFIARA