A few months ago, my family and I attended a party at a friend’s house. They have a nice house pool-viewwith a big swimming pool, and it was a hot, sunny day. My younger son has always been curious and adventurous, so we were watching him closely so he wouldn’t jump into the water. Our older one is a little bit more cautious, and I knew that he wouldn’t venture into the water on his own. He was just staying at the pool side,  enjoying picking up toys from the water and throwing them back into the water again.

After we enjoyed good food and socializing for a while, we’ve decided to leave the party. I remember looking at my older son, telling him that it’s time to go. When he heard us, he put down the toys he had in his hands and was about to come to us, then he stepped on something at the pool side and fell into the water. For a second, I didn’t know what has happened but I remember screaming at the same time. Strangely, I also remember looking at my son, just floating in the pool, with his face down on the water, without moving at all. It must have been just a few seconds – the next thing I knew, my husband jumped into the water and pulled him up from the water, and he started crying as if he just woke up. Both my husband and my son were soaking wet, someone got us two big towels and we started drying my son, and trying to calm him down. My husband had his keys, wallet and cell phone on him when he jumped into the water. In retrospect, he said that it would have been nice if he had taken them off from his pocket before jumping into the water – but at least his iPod was safe in the car, and needless to say, we were so glad that my son didn’t drown.

This kind of event helps us realize what is most important to us in our lives. Sure, it would have been nice if we could have saved his cell phone as well, but it’s just a thing and it is replaceable. My husband just jumped into the water instinctively to save him. I am almost certain that every family experiences their share of events of this nature, where their children get hurt or fall sick, with varying degree of seriousness. When that happens, we are thankful that nothing seriously bad happened and then go on about our lives, sometimes forgetting that it ever happened as the time goes by. These days, he is a full blown 3 year old boy who is full of energy and appears to be getting into everything he can lay his hands on, and we sometimes let him get under our skins or push our buttons. But when I think that he could have seriously injured himself or worse, died, had we not been watching him falling into the water – the thought still gives me the chills, and this memory put things into perspective. No matter how things seem to get tough, frustrating or exhausting, there will always be tomorrow to create new memories, as long as we are still alive.

3 comments on “Perspective

  1. Etsuko – You are absolutely correct. Perspective is everything! I have been tremendously aware during the past year that as horrific as my circumstances are, there are others with circumstances (or at least parts of their circumstance) which are worse.

    Keeping sight of the big things – like staying alive! – is what it’s all about.

    Wishing you great moments of perspective-


  2. Carol,

    Thank you for reading & leaving a comment! Before clicking “publish”, I thought of you. I am so amazed by your strengths and depth of your love. I’ll be in the bay area at the end of February and this time I would love to see you & your kids. Till then, please know that you and your family are in my thoughts!

  3. Ya it’s sure ‘an eye opener’ and ‘a wake up call’ when ‘close calls’ like that happen.

    And a lot of times, ironically, the tragic events of life are the freaky weird odd things that never should have been a real concern.

    A 21 year old quarterback for the university here just died a few days ago drowned in a pool. Like what the hell!? How the hell does that happen? (they think he might’ve had a cardiac arrest and went unconscious) Such a bizarre and unexpected event.

    Not to be a downer but, things I remember because I reflect on them sometimes; a couple other stories of the last couple years here.

    A 14 year old girl allergic to peanuts and has to ask every time she buys something to confirm it doesn’t have peanut traces, well I guess there was a trace in a fruit drink and died a few hours later. Like what the hell? How the hell does that happen?

    A 12 year old boy a couple years ago here, fell off his skateboard and bumped his head, seemed fine, when home later for dinner, 12 hours later just died. What the hell? How the hell does that happen?

    I’ve had a couple dances with death where afterwards I said, What the hell? What am I still doing alive? I shouldn’t have made it through that!

    Ya so I realize that the kiss of death randomly performs it’s dirty work without much of a thought for logic or expectedness.

    Another thing to put into perspective, which sounds kind of bizarre and sad, is that the population of Canada dies every six months. That’s how frequently the human race is being replenished. Every century there is a new set of humans on the earth, so 6 billion people have to die within the next 36K days.

    Sorry, maybe too much perspective here. LOL.
    Let’s just live it the best we can and do the best we can!