Not twenty feet away. Directly in front of me. I sat there reading a book, completely unaware that a child had struggled for his life. That a child was now dead.
The news would state he was in critical condition later that evening, but I knew the truth. It was too late. It was too late even when he was pulled out of the water.
A medic and a nurse happened to be at the pool but it was no use. He had been in the water too long.
I would later hear the nurse share to someone that she had seen how distended his stomach was when lifted out of the water. That it indicated he had been under at least 5 to 10 minutes.
The hanging question of course is how it happened.
I was earlier in the exact same spot with my sisters, youngest daughter, niece and nephew. On my knees my head still easily cleared the water. The deepest spot in the pool was 5 feet and at this spot it was only 3 to 3½ feet.
Though the pool was not packed as reported there were at least thirty some people present.
Yet we all somehow missed him.
Truth is we will never know what happened.
I don’t re-account this to make anyone feel bad. I share this to simply state the obvious. Watch the kids. Not just your kids but your neighbors kids. It doesn't matter if their your responsibility. We are in this village together and have to watch out for each other.
As a father I can tell you, children are prone to make mistakes. Often costly mistakes. The real miracle of childhood is that we survive to adulthood.
Sadly, this last Father’s day we came up one miracle short.