As I move forward in life, I have learned that so many experiences we encounter can be a double edge sword, being used for either our growth or destruction, depending on how we choose to use them in our lives.
Water will forever be a constant reminder of this lesson. The very medium that has brought me so much joy in competition, peace, clarity and happiness over my life, profoundly changed my perspective and grew my faith eight years ago today when Matthew was almost taken from us in a near drowning accident. Although it's a day I wish never happened, I will forever honor it by sharing what he teaches me because God spared me the ultimate tragedy of losing him. This summer, he locked in on his goal to learn to surf and the water turned into something that bolstered his confidence, established determination and focus I had never seen in him before, and even gave him a social environment where he was an equal. Before I knew it he was standing up on a surfboard.
When I see him in the water, he reminds me that we learn and grow most where our passion lies, and that the things that can be the most scary, can be used for the greatest good when we encounter them with courage and confidence. Matthew has certainly figured that out, even if he hasn't realized it yet. He seeks out what he needs most in life, whether that is support from the right people, sensory input from the world and even specifically the peace of the water, which I can so appreciate on my own personal level. When he's in that mode, it is just my job to stay calm and take his lead.
There hasn't been a September 6 since that one in 2009 that brought me to my knees that I haven't used time and space to say, never turn your back on a child around the water, drowning is a quick and silent killer. Somehow I was afforded the opportunity to witness the miracle of his survival and this amazing kid started 4th grade today...and he was in the ocean before school. His courage, resilience, perspective and strength are a blessing and something he uses daily just to get through, because it's never easy for him. But no matter the challenge, I'm so grateful to have him here setting that example every day. We love you Bubs!