This isn’t good writing. Hell, it’s probably bad writing (I haven’t read it, just wrote it five minutes after the bottle of water). I’m posting it on blogger because I need to get this crap into the universe. Maybe then the world will start to make sense again. I feel like I’m in some alternate reality and I’ll wake up and my mom won’t really be here, like I’ve made a better reality in my own mind – one where she lived.
She screamed my name, I turn to see the surf beating her down. She surfaces and I’ve never seen such terror. My heart stops beating. My terror rises to match mom’s. She’s going to die. I can’t watch my momma die. Momma. She tries to reach my outstretched hand. I needed her to reach my fingers. If I could just touch her fingers I knew it would be okay. Every time she got close another wave slammed into her, ripping her further away from me.
I can’t get any closer to her, the stone is soaked and the moss will steal my footing and I know, know despite my desperate need to reach her, that if I move closer, I’ll be gone as well. And then there will be no one to help. As I kneel the waves sweep over my legs and lower abdomen. It’s supposed to be cold but I can’t feel anything.
I scream. For her. For help. For anything that will make it better.
Running steps. Voices.
Other partygoers have come to help. P steps into the surf, his hands close around my mothers. Another wave comes to sweep him out. D, his son, jumps in the water to help his father. A crowd is behind me, someone brings a lifesaver.
My baby sister comes running, ignores her self-preservation and goes to leap after my mom. She’s grabbed as she slips, and is pulled backward. Uncle S throws the lifesaver out. It doesn’t reach.
P and D get my mom to stand. Her dress is around her waist. Pull down your dress before you embarrass yourself – god, what am I thinking. My mom could die and this is what I think? A wave smashes them down. P and D move with the tide and push her forward. Sister grabs her hand and mom is dragged out. J, P’s wife and D’s mother runs in to save her family. I feel her pain.
My mom stands behind me, surrounded by others. Crying, chanting over and over “Look what I’ve done.”
I’m glad she’s safe but I’m too petrified to turn to her. To see her. Because I thought she was going to be gone and I don’t know how to deal.
I watch the other three get pulled out.
My cousin M turns towards me. I start shaking. Tears pour down my face. He wraps an arm around me and tells me its okay. I get myself under control. I walk back to my Uncle’s house, get a drink of water – my hands won’t stop shaking.
July twenty fourth my heart stopped beating. For one, horrifying, moment I thought I was going to lose my mother. I wasn’t ready.
The water mesmerizes you as it crashes against the beach, the waves sparkle and entice. You’re seduced by the sheer magnificence stretched along the horizon. You want to join, to feel just for a moment, what the ocean does. You dip your toes in. Relish in the freedom.
Peace settles over you, nature’s beauty spread beneath you. Maybe you feel powerful.
And then with a mischievous grin, the water tries to steal you, to assert it’s dominance. To prove that no matter how strong man feels, he will never have the upper hand.