Saturday, September 08, 2012

Remembering Jack

Today?  It's bright and sunny.  But, only a year ago, we were experiencing a freak rainstorm, a once-in-a-century event - 9 inches of rain fell in one day, wreaking havoc on roads, trees, and homes.  My kids spent the day (once we endured a nail-biting drive home from the library through flooded intersections and past fallen trees) enjoying YouTube videos of people inner-tubing down major highways and going outside to play in the massive puddles and the usually barely-a-trickle creeks near our home.

Usually barely-a-trickle...

Something nudged me as I stood in the kitchen, preparing dinner, secure in the knowledge that my kids were having fun outside -- something brought to mind the creek that ran behind our rented home years ago, when we lived in Rhode Island, how it became a raging torrent the day after some heavy dangerous that I couldn't let the kids play in it as usual...

I grabbed my raincoat and ran outside (and believe me, I don't run easily), down to the creek, praying to catch a glimpse of those 4 bright-colored raincoats (one belonging to a complete non-swimmer).  The kids had wandered far afield, however; and I had plenty of time to play various scenarios - none of them good - in my head as I ran alongside a creek that had indeed swollen to unbelievable proportions and strength.

I almost passed out from relief when I found them, happily wandering back from their outing, shouting to me about what they had seen. 4 bright raincoats, tragedy averted...

Jack, the day before the rain
But there was a local blogger that day who wasn't so lucky.  Anna of An Inch of Gray also became concerned that afternoon and went outside to look for her 2 kids.  She missed by seconds seeing her son Jack swept away by the rushing waters of what was usually a harmless backyard creek.  She has had to live for the past year with self-recrimination and with the knowledge that, really, all we take for granted hangs by a thread.  You can hear her speak in this video of the piece she read at Listen To Your Mother DC this past May.

If you would like to let Jack's mother Anna know we are thinking of her, join in on the simple memorial idea for Jack that Momastery is hosting on its Facebook page.  Let her know that her sweet child may be gone, but he is not forgotten.


  1. How awful! My heart aches for her.

  2. thank you for always remembering us. love, anna

  3. Oh that's horrible. I need to go hug my kids now.

  4. I remember your post then -- it is what sent me to Momastery and on the Anna's blog. It was so unfair, so tragic, so awful... and it could have been any one of us in her shoes. She has walked in her grief with such grace. Rare bird sightings now make me think of Jack.

    I wish I had read this sooner in the day, instead of late at night.

  5. The worst kind of thing a mom can experience.