About Me

My photo
Indiana, United States
I'm a mother of five of my own children, very blessed adoptive mommy to one, step mother to three! Married to a wonderful man who forgives ALOT! Grammy to 6!I also have the best "kids in law" that I could have! I am blessed to be able to baby sit for our grandchildren a few days a week. I am blessed to be able to NOW stay home full time to take care of our home, children, and grandchildren!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Indiana State Fair Tragedy

The events of Saturday night at our Indiana State Fair were tragic. Watching the videos left me in tears and thanking the Lord that my family was safe. One of my daughters, had she been at the concert, is just tenacious enough to have made her way down front. I remember years ago when she was only about 11, I received tickets to a concert and decided to take her. When we went to the concert, all of the sudden, she was no longer at my side, she was front and center of the stage. (Not the same stage.)
I've been to the State Fair many times and to that same concert area several times. (Mercy Me was just there last week, I believe.) It is a BIG attraction to the people of Indiana and surrounding areas. I've been there when there was rain, but never when it was like we had it on Saturday night.
My family and I had just gotten home from an 11 mile canoe trip and were exhausted Saturday night. Roger and I decided to "take a nap" which ended up being an "all night" nap. (11 miles in a canoe is longer than it sounds....) Suddenly, the wind picked up and it stormed heavily. The dog, who was outside, started yelping in fear until she was let in.
This was no ordinary rainstorm/wind gust. IT was incredible. It was terrifying.

We didn't hear of the tragedy until the next morning when I was listening to WGNR Moody Radio. There was just a few sentence news report concerning the accident.

What a terrible, unpredictable, heartbreaking thing!

Just that day, while we were canoeing, we had an incident that reminded me that life is very uncertain and that it can be taken away in a blink of an eye.

14 year old Becca had invited two neighbor girls to go on this church canoeing outing with us. We were canoeing down White River on the eastern edge of Indiana a few hours from our home. Most of the time it was a nice current...a few low spots...but pretty easy. In fact, there were a lot of little boy scouts in the canoes around us. Becca was in a canoe with the two neighbors, the youngest was 9.
We had stopped for lunch and the little girl didn't want to put her life jacket back on. I happened to glance over and saw that she hadn't put it on and asked Roger to very firmly tell her she had to wear it.
About an hour later, the three girls got caught in a "rapid" area and were thrown with their canoe into a downed tree. The little girl decided to jump out of the canoe into the water. She started struggling and screaming. Not realizing how deep it was, I calmly said, "Just stand up...put your feet down."
There seemed to be no bottom to the river.
She started swallowing water, even with the life jacket on her little body.
I realized that there was a significant undertow and that she couldn't swim or even dog paddle out of the situation so I jumped in after her.
My feet couldn't touch the bottom....and of course, I had been wayyyyy too cool to wear MY life jacket! I finally reached her and she clung to me and I started trying to swim...all the time we were being swept downstream. I was finally able to reach the bottom of the river and could ALMOST stand up but was having a hard time trying to get BOTH of us to safety.
There was a man who was one of the leaders of the Boy Scouts and I shouted to him. He was already standing in the river and I thrust the little girl to him and he carried her to shore.

I realize that most likely she would have been safe. There weren't THAT many deep places in the river because of the lack of rain lately. But it was absolutely terrifying to us both.
But what if God hadn't caused me to look behind us and realize that she wasn't wearing her life jacket? What if the undertow had trapped her under the tree?
I know that there are freak accidents that occur...such as the tragedy at the Indiana State Fair...and I am so grateful that God protected the little girl and myself during our canoe trip.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those lost and those still clinging to life.

It reminds me to realize that at any moment, our lives could be required of us. It is ONLY through the blood of Christ and His Salvation that we can make it safely to the "Other Shore."

A little sadder, meeker, and yet very grateful, Beth