We all say things like “Life is precious” and “Life is fleeting”.

We try to be healthy and put safety first. We try to prevent our end coming to soon and if it does, we prepare ahead. Like arranging for our loved ones to be cared for by signing up with Term Life Insurance Rate Company. We try to manage life. Time. As we should.

Today was a beautiful, sunny summer day. We went downtown to watch the boats race and treat ourselves to the best ice cream on the island. We were standing at the wharf, Little J, Big M and I admiring hundreds of sailboats passing by. The town had an extra happy and festive feel to it, full of tourists. My son noticed a group of children around his age fishing on the pier, right underneath us. By our favorite spot, the pile of colorful canoes that you have seen me photograph over and over again. There must have been a dozen of them, adorable with their little fishing poles and marshmallows as bait. It looked like such a great idea for the carers to bring the group of summer campers out. I even snapped a quick photo on my phone.

Little J wanted to go and visit them and get some tips on fishing. I tied Big M up to the fence because the pier was crowded and narrow and my son and I walked down. We walked down there just yesterday. And countless times before. As we reached the pier I bend down to secure my phone in my bag. Little J was asking me why fish like marshmallows and Big M started barking like mad.

The next thing I know a lady is running down the bridge saying ‘there is one in the water’. She ran past me and jumped in the water, fully dressed with her camera still around her neck and her straw hat on her head. She pulled the boy up to the surface and we helped them back up onto the pier.

Just like that. In less then a minute a decision on that boy’s life was made. A complete stranger, who happened to look in the right direction at the right time and was kind and brave changed that boy’s life forever. We have all heard that children drown silently but until today trust me I had no idea just how silent it truly is. We stood a canoe length away, so did his teachers and all his friends. There were hundreds of tourists there close by. And none of us knew that boy swung his fishing pole too far and tipped over. NONE OF US!!

She walked away even before anyone could say thank you. Before we even managed to fully understand what had happened. Just like that.

It is easy to try to ration what, who and why. To find someone to blame and to use this as an example as to what not to do. But let’s face it, this could have been my son or yours. This could have had a different ending. Luckily this was a happy day, with a happy ending.

But until today I never really understood how precious and fleeting life really is.

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  1. Posted July 19, 2012 at 21:33 by rachel | Permalink

    oh my gosh! Thank God somebody was paying attention, and that she didn’t hesitate to jump in and save him!
    rachel recently posted..thirteen

    • Posted July 19, 2012 at 22:34 by Stasha | Permalink

      I know right?? She really was like superwoman. She saved that boys life. I was closer then her and did not hear or see a thing! No splash, no scream, nothing. You have been to the wharf, it happened right there on the pier by the canoes!

  2. Posted July 19, 2012 at 21:34 by Alison | Permalink

    Oh my god, that’s so scary. Thank goodness for that wonderful lady.

    • Posted July 19, 2012 at 22:35 by Stasha | Permalink

      Right? Truly an angel.

  3. Posted July 19, 2012 at 21:44 by Lisa Schwartz via Facebook | Permalink

    Wow. So scary. And your dog seemed to sense it.

    • Posted July 19, 2012 at 22:38 by Stasha | Permalink

      Isn’t it just? I do not envy you as a teacher taking large groups of kids out on field trips. I would be a wreck.
      Not sure if max barked because of the boy or because I separated him form J. But he made the lady look that way she said to me later.

  4. Posted July 19, 2012 at 22:27 by Judy Schwartz Haley | Permalink

    So glad she saw that and reacted! I recently read an article titled “Drowning doesnt look like drowning” explaining why so many kids drown when grownups are right there, and what drowning really looks like. Very informative. Here’s a link:

    I hope people will read it so they know what to look for

    • Posted July 19, 2012 at 22:46 by Stasha | Permalink

      Thank you so much Judy! What Mario wrote would not have made much sense before but seeing this today!! YES! This is so important. Oh, how I wish we all knew this.
      That lady was absolutely brilliant. So selfless.

  5. Posted July 19, 2012 at 22:42 by Melisa | Permalink

    Stasha, this story is amazing. I have such chills! I am SO GLAD this had a happy ending. What a scary scary thing to happen, and to witness.
    Melisa recently posted..a day in the life of a ferry boat.

    • Posted July 19, 2012 at 23:57 by Stasha | Permalink

      I kept thinking afterwords: I was here, I did nothing. I knew nothing. For the record apart from being a little shook up the boy was fine. We saw the whole summer camp group later on at the playground.
      But the lady, she was an out of towner, just visiting. Can you imagine how it all worked out. Amazing.

  6. Posted July 19, 2012 at 23:00 by Elisabeth Hagadorn-Webber via Facebook | Permalink

    Glad this story had a happy ending!

  7. Posted July 19, 2012 at 23:43 by Larks | Permalink

    Oh, man. Thank God for this woman. I’m so glad you posted this and so glad everything turned out like it did. How scary!

    • Posted July 20, 2012 at 00:03 by Stasha | Permalink

      It was a very happy ending really but now as a mom I cannot help but feel shocked and thinking this could have been us! Yep, that lady did not blink. Just went in! Amazing woman.

  8. Posted July 19, 2012 at 23:54 by Bridget | Permalink

    She’s a hero. It’s amazing how quickly things happen – and how few of us notice.

    Thanks for sharing this story.
    Bridget recently posted..Midnight Showing

    • Posted July 20, 2012 at 00:10 by Stasha | Permalink

      Isn’t it amazing when people just do it? Her husband was right there by her and even he did not realize what happened. She just ran and jumped in. What a wonderful woman.

  9. Posted July 20, 2012 at 00:05 by Stasha | Permalink

    Oh, how scary!

    She was in the right place at the right time. . .

    An angel indeed!
    Stasha recently posted..Parenting Fail

    • Posted July 20, 2012 at 00:57 by Stasha | Permalink

      Truly. So brave and humble. She really is an angel.

  10. Posted July 20, 2012 at 03:37 by Mark | Permalink

    I worry each time my kids go somewhere without me. At times, I’m almost paralyzed with horrible thoughts. I hope that there are always Angles(like this woman) around my kids.
    Mark recently posted..I caught Fred cheatin’ on me

  11. Posted July 20, 2012 at 05:20 by Iza Trapani | Permalink

    What a heroine! What a happy ending! What a day!

  12. Posted July 20, 2012 at 05:28 by Victoria KP | Permalink

    I have tears in my eyes. That woman is awesome. What a blessing she was there.
    Victoria KP recently posted..What’s for Dinner?

  13. Posted July 20, 2012 at 05:33 by Christie | Permalink

    Wow. That is amazing.
    Christie recently posted..Alive

  14. Posted July 20, 2012 at 06:28 by Kelly Kardos | Permalink

    Oh my word…. Stasha. You kept me on baited breath with this post. We need more people like that woman. She earned her angel wings for sure.

  15. Posted July 20, 2012 at 07:14 by Runnermom-jen | Permalink

    Holy crap, Stasha! That is so scary. That is one of my biggest summertime fears. Going to the pool is never a relaxed one for me. Thank God for that wonderful lady.
    Runnermom-jen recently posted..Memories of Right Now…

  16. Posted July 20, 2012 at 07:16 by Amanda | Permalink

    OMG, this made me cry. So glad that woman was in the right place at the right time. We always think we’ll see it if something like this were to happen, but it can happen in the time it takes you to blink. So scary.
    Amanda recently posted..Young Love, Recyled

  17. Posted July 20, 2012 at 07:54 by Kim @The G is Silent | Permalink

    Holy wow. I’m speechless. And terrified. My 3-year-old cousin recently slipped under water at the pool. Noah was GONE, running next to the pool and jumping in where Jude was. He grabbed him by the arm and yanked him up, then held him facing him to make sure he was okay. He was.

    The adults remained where we were.
    Kim @The G is Silent recently posted..A Letter to my Pups

  18. Posted July 20, 2012 at 08:14 by Jessica | Permalink

    Wow. Talk about the right place at the right time for that lady.
    Jessica recently posted..Essence Of Now – Busy. Busy. Busy.

  19. Posted July 20, 2012 at 08:15 by My Inner Chick | Permalink

    Yes, Fleeting….So very fleeting.

    we must never take anybody for granted because our lives can change drastically in one solitary moment.

    What an horribly scary story, Stasha.
    My Inner Chick recently posted..BLOG LIKE GAGA

  20. Posted July 20, 2012 at 08:22 by Mirjam | Permalink

    I had the chills reading this. Sometimes we tend to forget how fragile life really is..
    Mirjam recently posted..List of smiles

  21. Posted July 20, 2012 at 08:42 by Ally | Permalink

    So incredibly scary! That lady was a gift.
    Ally recently posted..Dear…

  22. Posted July 20, 2012 at 08:43 by Michelle Longo | Permalink

    Oh my goodness. What a story. Thank goodness for that woman and that the child was ok. Happy tears. It so easily could be any of us…
    Michelle Longo recently posted..Some Good Came Of It.

  23. Posted July 20, 2012 at 08:57 by Katie E | Permalink

    Wow, Stasha. How scary. Sometimes I forget how quickly something like that could happen. I like to think there are a lot of people who would be like that woman if they saw what was happening – especially knowing that it could save the life of my child in a similar situation.
    Katie E recently posted..Memories Captured: 11

  24. Posted July 20, 2012 at 09:14 by Diane | Permalink

    OMG…that sends shivers down my spine. Thank goodness for that wonderful woman!

    I hope you don’t mind if I share the link from Judy. Such important info that I sure didn’t know.


  25. Posted July 20, 2012 at 10:29 by Bruna | Permalink

    Wow! Scary is right. Thank God that lady was there and looking out just at the right time and thank goodness for her will to jump in and save that boy. Life is even more precious when something like this happens before our very eyes. So glad you shared this story Stasha.
    Bruna recently posted..why i’ve banned myself from pinterest for the summer

  26. Posted July 20, 2012 at 12:28 by OT and ET | Permalink

    What an amazing story. I am in awe of it. You always hope/think you would act as quickly, without hesitation, in such a situation. And in light of everything happening in the world right now. I’m just kind of having a moment-of-silence day and this story is so timely. Life is so so precious. Our children, friends, family. And it’s important to remember to appreciate that every single day. I love you lady and so glad that your little guy and all those little guys on the pier are safe home with their families today. xo
    OT and ET recently posted..tgif true thrush

  27. Posted July 20, 2012 at 12:56 by Cindy Pickering | Permalink

    Thank you for sharing this story–especially today, after all the horror in Aurora! It helps our hearts to heal from something like this when we hear a story like yours. There truly are angels all around us! There are also bad folks unfortunately, and we need to be just as vigilant about watching them, although we don’t want to think the worst of anyone. How do we do this? Just be aware at all times–of yourself, your loved ones, and those around you. And if you have a gut feeling-and we all do-LISTEN to your gut! Your body/mind/soul is telling you something, so listen to it. If you don’t do something for this reason and nothing happens, great! But don’t forget to listen to your heart-it is trying to help you! Thank you again for this Stasha–we really needed this today!

  28. Posted July 20, 2012 at 19:50 by My3littleducks | Permalink

    Thank you for writing this. Perfect timing for us.

  29. Posted July 21, 2012 at 00:02 by Gabi | Permalink

    Really inspirational and helpful article, although I know that it is really hard to fall in love with life. Learning to control our emotions is a long long process and the result isn’t sure.
    Gabi recently posted..Baden mit dem Hund

  30. Posted July 21, 2012 at 07:56 by Audrey | Permalink

    Wow! Its amazing how people don’t even think, they just do. And thank god they do!
    Audrey recently posted..First Project Truck

  31. Posted July 21, 2012 at 08:59 by Leighann | Permalink

    Thank God for that woman!
    Leighann recently posted..My Better Half

  32. Posted July 21, 2012 at 12:12 by RoryBore | Permalink

    God bless her. maybe it was angel.

    thank you for sharing this – good reminder for all of us.
    RoryBore recently posted..Aurora, CO: 7-20-2012

  33. Posted July 21, 2012 at 12:59 by Ado | Permalink

    Wow, holy shit. Drowning is very quiet. We had a party at our house – with a bunch of kids swimming in the pool. All the parents, all of them, including me, were standing around the pool watching. There must have been 10 or 12 parents and maybe 7 kids in the pool. One was drowning, inches away from all of us – it was the kids who noticed and helped to get our attention. Really scared me. You’re right about it being so quiet! PS: Is Term Life Insurance sponsoring the post or are you just recommending them. Curious minds want to know. (-:
    Ado recently posted..I Look Nothing Like My Avatar – Why I’m Afraid To Go To Blogher ’12

  34. Posted July 22, 2012 at 03:51 by Liz | Permalink

    What a blessing that someone was there taking notice and acted so quickly!!
    It is true, drowning is so silent… and so tragic!
    Liz recently posted..Poppy beauty

  35. Posted July 22, 2012 at 16:44 by [email protected] from | Permalink

    Thank God for the goodness of angels in our lives. I have goosebumps.

  36. Posted July 22, 2012 at 18:53 by Robbie | Permalink

    This is one of my biggest fears. I am incredibly nervous with my kids around large bodies of water such as lakes and rivers for this exact reason. I’m afraid I will freeze in fear. What a miracle that she was there and responded so quickly.
    Robbie recently posted..Friday Fragments #4

  37. Posted July 22, 2012 at 19:08 by The Sisterhood | Permalink

    I’m trying to swallow around the lump in my throat. After all of the violence this week thank you for sharing this inspirational story with a happy ending. Ellen
    The Sisterhood recently posted..Andy Griffith Turned Me into a Social Pariah

  38. Posted July 23, 2012 at 06:20 by Cassie | Permalink

    Thank God that woman saw that poor boy fall into the water! There are angels put on this earth for a reason. She is truly an angel!
    Cassie recently posted..Official 9 Month Check- Up (Short, Sweet, and Shot-less)

  39. Posted July 24, 2012 at 00:58 by ava | Permalink

    Wow! What a beautiful story, thanks for sharing Stasha!
    ava recently posted..Iced Tea Fiesta