My life began on Easter Sunday, 30 years ago.
On Easter Sunday last week, because of a flood, I thought for sure it was going to end.
But a miracle happened, and it didn’t. And because of that, I’ll probably spend the rest of my life looking at everything through different eyes.
Many of you know (and a few may not) that Cole, our 5 week old baby and I got caught in a flash flood a week ago. And it was without a doubt the scariest few minutes of our lives.
The Best Laid Plans…
We went to Cincinnati over Easter weekend to spend time with Cole’s family, and so many of them could meet Jayden for the first time. After dinner Sunday night, we packed our car to make the 4 hour drive back to Nashville.
A nasty rain storm had started, and the area we were leaving was a series of hills and winding roads. We definitely noticed pools of water collecting randomly along our route, but Cole made sure to drive slowly and cautiously. After stopping to get gas around 5pm, we pulled on the main road and into what seemed to be just another large puddle of water in the street.
But this time, about halfway through the puddle, the car shut off. Cole tried a few times to turn the ignition and get things moving again. The car clicked, but nothing happened. Assuming things had just gotten water-logged, he opened his door to assess the situation.
That’s when water came rushing into the front seat of the car.
Thankfully, he was able to close the door quickly. I was sitting in the backseat with the baby and at that point I freaked out. I looked to my left, and there was a fountain of water springing up from the street. The water was rising.
I started screaming as soon as I realized what was happening. Scenes from all the movies and TV shows I’d seen where cars drown began to play out in my mind. “We are going to die. We are going to die.”
Scenes from all the movies and TV shows I’d seen where cars drown began to play out in my mind. “We are going to die. We are going to die.”
Then we noticed a woman to our right who had run down the bank on the side of the street. She was waving to us frantically screaming “Get out of the car! Open the window, get the baby out of the car!”
A Beautiful Rescue
Cole was able to get the car battery on and roll down the front passenger window. In a matter of seconds that felt like hours, we handed Jayden and his car seat through the window to the woman who had appeared outside. She ran him to her car on higher ground in the pouring rain, and then came back down to us.
From there she helped Cole and I crawl out the window, just as the water rose above our knees. Drenched in dirty waters, we had time to grab the baby’s bag and Cole’s work computer as the vehicle sank.
The woman, named Sandy, led us to her car where we watch the top of Cole’s car disappear. In a matter of moments, it was gone.
It’s a surreal feeling to know you and your child’s lives were saved merely by a matter of seconds. We found solace in Sandy’s car, who had run to our rescue. I sat there crying and grasping Jayden’s car seat, sopping wet and having a full on panic attack as we waited for Cole’s dad and brother to find us.
By later that night, the road had already been completely drained, almost as if nothing had happened. There sat our now completely wrecked car containing our sewage soaked belongings. The towing company took it away after we were thankfully able to salvage a few more last things.
Reflecting On Year 30
We’ve now been on the news and radio in more places than I can keep track of. So many old friends, colleagues and family members have prayed for us and reached out, and we’ve been so grateful for all of the kindness that’s been shown to us! The reality is, without Sandy coming to our rescue that day, I don’t even want to think about where we might be or what may have happened.
While I would never wish something like this on anyone, there really is nothing like a life or death situation to make you appreciate your humdrum life even more. It makes the things we focus on and care so deeply about seem trivial in comparison.
Easter Sunday reminded me in my 30th year, to not take for granted how incredibly blessed I am. Things can be replaced, but the moments that we’re given cannot. We’re so thankful to still be here, and I don’t want to waste another day.