Monday, September 28, 2009

The last couple of days

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday morning were all about homework; mine, Anselm's and Athanasia's. We are, pretty much, a family of scholars. We are totally out of space on the bookshelves. Books are piling up on tables, chairs, and in corners.

On Sunday afternoon I took Anselm and Basil with me to the Green Library at Stanford University. I have a big paper due on the roots of WWI and Stanford has quite a collection of WWI related literature. Then we went to the beach. (Athanasia needed some time to do her school work without me or the kids around.) I figured it would be our last beach outing of the year.

We were there for a couple of hours, Basil and I were watching a seal, when I heard a woman say, "Look at that boy way out there." I looked and saw than Anselm was out past the breaking waves (about 8 feet from trough to crest) and being driven by the current south, around the cliffs and out to sea. I don't remember getting to the water, but I remember tripping over my shorts as they fell to my ankles. The next thing I remember was being behind Anselm, between him and the open sea, pushing him toward the beach. A couple of times he panicked and tried to turn around to grab hold of me, but I turned him around and kept pushing him to the beach. I said, "don't grab me, swim to the beach." And he obeyed me. He was very afraid but kept paddling toward the shore with me pushing from behind.

By the time I got him back to the breakers I was really tired. A couple of times, at the crest of a wave I saw people standing on the beach watching us but they weren't coming to help. Anselm sank down and I swam under him to push him back up. I felt the sand under my feet so I knew we were almost there. But I was exhausted. My head and heart felt like they were going to explode. Finally, I saw someone else in the water coming toward us. I made one final push to get him up and over the breakers. I saw Anselm slide down the face of the wave to the man below, and I relaxed went over the edge, too. The man grabbed Anselm and all three of us washed into the beach. Before the wave washed us out again some people grabbed Anselm and the man (I learned later that his name is Albert. He gave Anselm a Rosary.) and a woman grabbed my hand.

Once I was back on the beach I discovered I was totally naked. By the time I got up the beach to Anselm he was already wrapped in a blanket and was coughing up water. He started to go into shock and I told the woman to elevate his feet. I'm afraid I was pretty useless after that. Once I was back on the beach I could hardly breath and couldn't stand up. Someone found my shorts and someone else found my glasses. My shirt was lost. Someone called 911 and paramedics, police, and the fire department were all there in what seemed like just a few seconds.

Anselm was flown in a helicopter to Stanford Hospital. I called Athanasia and told her what was happening. She took a taxi to the hospital, my brothers and sister and her sister met her there. They all arrived about the same time as the helicopter. Because of heavy traffic Basil and I didn't arrive until two hours later.

About midnight Anselm was released from the hospital. We were all happy to get home and into bed.

Early this morning I had to see the dentist to get a filling. I was pretty bummed by having to have a filling but my dentist cheered me up by saying I've been very lucky, that most people my age have had 2 or 3 times the number of fillings I've had. When I got home from that, at about half past 9 o'clock I went back to bed. Anselm slept with me until about noon while Athanasia worked on her homework and Basil played games on Sesame Street.

This afternoon Anselm had choir practice. Basil and I went shopping. We bought coffee, apples, olives, a baguette, milk, butter, yogurt, and oats. (It occurs to me had I bought cigarettes instead of oats I could emigrate to France.) We also went for a walk up Lincoln Ave. He looked in all the shop windows, we played "Pop goes the weasel" while spinning around the sign posts. We went out back to the pool and put our feet in and walked around making foot prints. he sure is a fun boy.

On Monday evenings the pizza parlour over on Lincoln Avenue sells 2 for 1. So almost every Monday we get a pizza. That is what we did today. After supper we read to the boys and got them ready for bed. Athanasia and the boys are in bed now. I have to do a little more reading then I will join them. God is very good to me.


Elizabeth @ The Garden Window said...

Thanks be to God that you and Anselm are both safe.
What a terrifying experience for you all..............

We too have books absolutely everywhere. Even in the shoe cupboard :-)

DebD said...

Thanking God that you are both okay.

Philippa said...

Sweetest Jesus in Heaven, thanks be to You for saving and preserving our dear Matthew and Anselm! Glory to You O God!

How you can carry on like nothing happened is a miracle. I would be a basket case!

Mimi said...

Oh Matt. My heart dropped reading this. Lord have Mercy. Thanks be to God both of you are safe.

thegeekywife said...

Glory to Thee, O Lord, Glory to Thee.