Just a couple of days ago, before I arrived in Oxford for all my daughter’s festivities, I was staying in a little village called Weston Super-Mare, which means Weston on the Sea – in jolly ole’ England.
The beauty was evident by merely walking outside. While I marveled at the scenery, the locals invited me to notice the danger here as well. I was told that on average 10-14 deaths a year that are reported in this bit of the sea. The tide is the second most dangerous and unpredictable in the world (the first being in Nova Scotia). Every year innocent people are sucked into the sea’s current or held by the muddy silt at low tide. Every year a few lives end too soon on this beach.
A few nights ago, as I waited for sleep to come, the most recent death of a 10-year-old boy falling into the tide while his parents’ attempt to save him replayed, over and over in my mind. These thoughts led me back to these blogs about parents and teens. We so desire to rescue our children that often we jump believing we can save them. Sometimes we can. But sometimes our greatest, most desperate attempts are not enough…
This tragic story of the young boy was told to me by a local fellow named Bob. Bob said that when the boy fell into the water, both of his parents immediately jumped in after him, fighting the strength of the sea to save him. But ultimately the parents also needed to be rescued themselves.
As a parent myself, a wave of nausea accompanied the realization of what it must have been like to climb out of the sea… without their child…
Did they struggle to allow themselves to be the ones rescued? How do you walk away from the place where the sea has consumed your child?
The night’s darkness held me, but finally I began to rest by praying for these innocent parents who risked their lives. The sea’s power was beyond their comprehension, yet together they knew the power of jumping in, seeking to save the child they love.
This little village of Weston Super-Mare honors those whose lives are taken by the sea. I find it so kind and very generous the way they rush to protect and warn tourists, like me, to respect and value the strength of the sea.
No matter where I am, real life and real stories touch me. So instead of sleeping that night, the thing that kept roaming in my head was this simple prayer, “Oh God teach us how to ‘jump’. But above all teach us to trust You when we need to be the ones rescued.”
Even though we are an ocean apart, join me, won’t you, in celebrating the beauty of Weston Super-Mare and honoring this young life that ended too soon.