In the wake of so many tragedies, from drownings to school shootings to airline crashes, I am reminded to love hard. Because sometimes, love is all we have.
The forecast was 100 degrees. My fifteen-year-old son made plans with friends to go to the river. I hesitated. The river worried me. What about the dangerous current? There are always several fatal drownings every Summer around here. In local swimming holes, lakes, rivers, and the ocean.
That morning, my husband expressed his concern about our son going to the river. A premonition maybe?
I let him go. Promised me you won’t go in too deep. Promise me you won’t dive off rocks or bridges. Promise me you’ll be safe.
Mom, I’ll be fine.
I worried about him all day. Late that afternoon, when I stopped to get groceries, I overheard the check-out clerk and a customer talking about the two drownings that day. Did you hear? Yeah, I know, horrible tragedy.
I broke into a sweat. And dropped the carton of blueberries. They rolled in every direction. Two drownings?? No! It couldn’t be!
With hands shaking, I texted my son. No answer. Panic. I tried calling. No answer. More panic. I Googled.
Turns out, the drownings occurred at different rivers. Different people. Not my son. But. The two that died were someone’s sons. Those families got devastating news that day.
I finally got a hold of my son’s friend’s mother. She reassured that the boys were fine and made it back from the river safely.
As a parent, I can’t always protect my children. But I can love them hard. So hard in fact, that when I finally picked up my son, I may have hugged him so tight that I cracked his rib.