Two years ago, my husband and I were vacationing with friends in Mexico when he came damn close to drowning. It was an experience that literally rocked us to the very core and has haunted him ever since. Upon returning to the scene of the crime during our Cabo trip last week, he felt compelled to write about the ordeal and how he finally conquered his fears:
Today I returned to the place. THE place where I was moments from meeting my maker. It was far from pleasant in one of the world’s most picturesque locations.
I was stupid, wrecklessly so. I was body surfing where no one should. It’s called Divorce Beach. And, numerous people said “don’t swim there.” All seemed like lore and not applicable to ME. I mean WTF? I can swim, right? Besides, I was bored. I’m not much for laying in the sun; so, I thought i’d just play around in the waves a bit.
I owe my life to two friends (via my wife – Kent & Guy, I owe you forever) and a few locals from Cabo San Lucas. After +5 min of struggling in a killer undertow, people realized I was in trouble.
I can confirm when you think you are going to die, your life flashes before your eyes. But it wasn’t just that – future moments flashed before me. Watching my son’s first touchdown, seeing my daughter getting married, my 50 year anniversary to my lovely and loving wife. It sucked. Worst moment of my life until… 4 guys grasping hands in a human chain trying to reach me were obliterated by an 8 ft wave.
I now believed I would be responsible for not only ending my own life but that of others as well. No contest – worst 30 seconds of my existence. I count my lucky stars that each one of those heroic men popped back up – mainly because I didn’t want to be the cause of their demise but also because they eventually pulled me from the torture I endured.
Today I returned to that beautiful spot. I had a little apprehension, but I do believe I’m smarter for the experience. I wanted to replace that memory with a far better one.
While I don’t think you can ever replace a near death experience, I gave it my damnest today. I barked with sea lions, I marvelled at larger than life whales, I was surrounded by schools of colorful fish, and I floated on those same currents that anonymously and without malice wanted my last breath two years ago.
It was pure joy. I’m alive. I love my kids, my wife and my life. And now when I look upon that iconic symbol of vacationing in Mexico, I can reflect on lessons learned AND good times had.