sadness and anxiety all in one weekend

Posted On July 4, 2010

Filed under sad

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Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. ~ 1 Peter 5:7

I can’t shake the feelings all around me.

Yesterday we headed to Kentucky to go boating with our bestest friends (Jamie & Steve and their daughters Emily & Maddy) and their longtime friend, Timmy.

We left at 8:30 and pulled out on our boat for the day at 10AM. The weather was beautiful! The sky was blue, the sun was warm, the scenery and cliffs that surrounded us were breathtaking and we had our coolers loaded with Coke, Water, Gatorade and LOTS to eat for the day!

We pulled over deep in a no-wake zone in a remote area for a lunch with Steve’s mom and dad and the kids swam around in the cool water! It was only a little after 2 and we still had the whole day! When we arrived that morning we bought a HUGE tube that we could pull behind our pontoon for the kids. Grace and Emily were anxiously awaiting their turn with a daddy in the tube with them!

We pulled out of the no-wake zone and got the girls and Daddy Steve  situated into the tube. In a matter of minutes that were yelling and laughing! They were having a blast feeling the tube skip on the water beneath them! =)

I took this time to lay in the front of the boat. Nicholas and Jamie were sitting in the back with Trey, Nate and Maddy B watching the girls and Steve and taking pictures of the silly tubers! Timmy was driving.

And then things went down hill. I’m not sure of what the details are myself. Only from what I heard and felt. I heard screaming. Lots of screaming. The boat lurched to the side and then we came to a quick stop. I jumped up and was at the back of the boat in a heartbeat. Nick was gone. Timmy was jumping off the boat. I looked at our tube screaming at Jamie about the girls. She pointed at the girls (who were alone in the tube, Steve also jumped off) and said “It’s not us. We’re fine. We hit someone.”

I saw a girl in the water with Nick, Steve and Timmy. They were yelling at the girl’s family to throw them something they could float the girl on to get her to the boat.  I jumped into the water myself a second later to get our girls who were floating all alone in a tube in the middle of the lake.

Grace was very upset throughout the whole thing. Emily was much better about the whole thing, but Grace wanted “to go home now and color, watch a movie and play her DS”. She knew that the situation was ‘wrong’ and wanted to just leave. I can’t say I blame her. I was shaking so bad and I just wanted to go home too.

Once we got the kids in the boat all we could do was watch the scene in front of us. Nick and Steve pulling the girl out, Timmy (who looked horrible and seemed to be in shock) floating behind them, unsure of what to do.

Jamie and I couldn’t get the boat started to get closer to their boat to see if we could help. At the beginning of the day no one thought to inform either of us how to drive the darn boat! So we sat with the kids, feeling quite helpless.

In the next few moments another boat arrived that was faster than the boat they got the girl on. They transferred her to another boat and Steve (being an EMT) went with her. Nick and Timmy got back to our boat. They had it started in seconds and we proceeded to follow the boat that had Steve on it back to the dock.

We drove in silence. All of us in shock over what just happened. Grace was still upset and it touches my heart to say that Grace curled up in my lap and we prayed. We prayed for Timmy, we prayed for Steve, we prayed for the girl (who was 14…Nick told us this when he got on the boat), we prayed for the medical responders that we heard coming and we prayed for Grace. My thoughtful,  compassionate little girl who was scared and very worried about the situation. After our prayers were sent up we set the kids up at the table with crayons and coloring books while Nick drove the boat back to the ramp.

Timmy was honest with the officer that he had 2 beers earlier in the morning. He told him that he heard yelling, turned his head to check on his tubers (our children) and when he turned around he saw one person in front of the boat. He turned the boat to avoid the swimmer and then heard more yelling as he hit the other girl.

None of us saw what happened. We’re not sure if they were tubeing themselves or if they were swimming in the middle of the open lake waters. Jamie and I both saw floating chairs, indicating, to us, that they were floating in the middle of the lake.

The officer pulled Timmy onto his boat to speak with him. I spied Steve on the boat ramp mixed in with medical personal. They had 2 ambulances there working on the girl (still in the boat). Jamie said, “It’s not bad. If it was bad there would be a chopper here life flighting her to Huntington.” That calmed our anxiety for a minute…until we heard the chopper overhead.

We watched them pull her up the ramp and onto the medical helicopter as the Police boat brought Timmy back and putted over to bring Steve back to our boat. Tim told us that they gave him a Breathalyzer test with an outcome of 0.00 (clearly the 2 drinks he had with lunch 3 hours before had been out of his system before the accident).

The officer dropped Steve onto our boat and told us to wait. Steve mentioned that the girl had non-life-threatening injuries and that he and an RN asked the officer to put a chopper on stand-by. The officer just called it in regardless. Apparently, once in the air they will life-flight you out regardless of the situation.

We felt better. The girl had a few abrasions around her ribs, but she would be okay. The officer took statements from all of us and told us, that even though he had not yet finished his investigation, he felt it was just an accident that was unavoidable.

Still shaken up by the whole thing we putted around the lake for another hour and then dropped our boat off and headed home.  I can’t see The Taflan Family getting onto an0ther tube…let alone a boat…for a long time.

We don’t know what happened to the girl ~ HIPAA makes sure of that. All we can do is continue to pray that she is okay. There are so many things now, looking back on yesterday, that we question. We first assumed the girls were tubbing also and had fallen off their tube in the middle of the lake. Now that our heads are clear we are wondering if the girl and her companion were actually swimming in the middle of the open water. Why would they do that? We saw boats going faster than our pontoon boat all day long. =(

This morning I was also taken back by some very sad news. The brother of my brother’s best buddy was killed last night in a car accident. I’ve heard that he was not drinking, but the driver was. He was pronounced dead at the scene by the responding officer. My family and I are very upset over the loss of such a promising young man. He was 17 and would have been a senior in high school this year.

On such a Celebratory holiday it’s such a shame that this much tragedy has to surround us. And not just us, but everyone. I was searching on Google for articles from both accidents and I was inundated with so many stories of sadness, death and trauma.

My family is officially home in our apartment. Our weekend away is over and we feel so very blessed to be safe and sound in our little apartment.

Time is so precious. Don’t waste a single minute!

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