Footprints in the Sand

Editor’s Note: The following article is an excerpt from my manuscript detailing my own abuse. Please see “My Story of Abuse” under the category link.


I got up out of my lounger and raced to the surf in time to see Broch and Elaine being tossed around wildly by the waves. I was yelling at them, but they couldn’t hear me over the crashing waves. I heard Broch yelling for help. I was panic-stricken as I started out into the water to try and help them. They were going farther and farther out to sea. I told Joshua to run to the pier and tell them we needed help. He begged me to stay out of the water. He made it to the pier and back in record time and looked white as a sheet.

Elaine was just a dot now out in the ocean, and Broch had drifted up near a pier. I wasn’t worried so much about him because his head remained about the water; even though he stopped being tossed around. I told Joshua I had to try and help Elaine and dove into the ocean. I was turned every which way but loose. My two-piece bathing suit was coming off and as I stood up I thought I’d be looking out to sea, but I wasn’t, I was looking at Joshua back in the surf. He screamed repeatedly, “Mom, please Mom come out of the water.” He was very upset and I turned around and looked for Elaine.
About that time, the ambulance and a bunch of people had shown up. Some were just being nosy to see what was going on and others were there to help. A woman had grabbed ahold of Joshua and was trying to comfort him. I turned and looked and here came Elaine in on a surf board. Surfers had picked her up and brought her back in. I ran to her as did the paramedics and she was so shaken, but wanted to know about Broch. I insisted the paramedics check her out. I turned again, and here come the stupids wih Broch laying face down across their board. I starting screaming, “Turn him over he’ll drown!” I yelled it a few times and finally one of them turned him over. At that second, I knew he was dead. The paramedics immediately began CPR and rolling him from side to side. I saw his left eye full of sand and thought how he’d freak out if he knew it. He was always very touchy about his eyes. I got down at his feet as they continued chest compressions and blowing in his mouth. I kept screaming at Broch, “You can’t die now! You can’t die now!”
The paramedics thought they heard a heart-beat and was trying to load him into the ambulance to take him to the tiny clinic he had taken me to when we first arrived. One of them said to me, “Go get your car and follow us.” I raced back to the cottage and got the car and brought it down to the ambulance. I got Elaine and Joshua in the car, and once again they began compressions on him. I could see his feet hanging out the back of the ambulance and every time they did a compression his feet would go up in the air. I knew it was really bad. I was praying like I had never prayed before, “Sweet Jesus, I know you are going to restore him. I know you will.”
The ambulance finally took off and went 90 miles an hour down a highway and I was right behind them. We finally got to the clinic and someone ushered us to a doctor’s office and told us to have a seat.
It seemed like an eternity and the kids kept asking me if I thought he would be okay. I had to be honest, because I didn’t think he would be okay. I told them, “I don’t know.” Finally a doctor walked out and looked at me and I knew he was dead. He said, “I’m sorry, he didn’t make it. Is there someone you want us to call; do you want to go back with him?” What to do? What to do? The only thing that came to mind was when my father passed I was there with him and he looked so peaceful and it gave me peace. So, I said, “Yes, please take us back.” Never realizing how much time had passed and he’d suffocated by drowning. He looked like a monster with his black,blue and purple face. There was all kinds of mucus in his mouth that was held wide open. It freaked me out to see him this way. We walked in and the kids started screaming and crying. Joshua wanted to leave immediately. I wanted to try and get his wedding band off–I didn’t want someone taking it. I couldn’t get it off his finger and had a nurse do it.
I got the kids out of there and knew I had to use the clinic’s phone and call the families. Both were hysterical and said to call back–they’d get us home. I took the kids, put them in the car and drove the twenty miles back to our cottage, Gull Haven. In an hour and a half, Broch’s cousins showed up to drive us back home.

© 2016