Monday, April 24, 2006

CHILDREN ARE THE HANDS BY WHICH WE TAKE HOLD OF HEAVEN

Quote from Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1877)

Several days ago I stopped at a park and enjoyed the spring time weather. There was a rather large pond made complete with at least twenty ducks and geese. No, it was made complete with two older women attending a young girl child and her small training wheeled bicycle.

Being alone, I was able to just sit and enjoy the sunshine and people watch. Besides the young girl and her custodians, there was a middle age couple desperately in love. Not that they were smooching or openly fondling each other, but very gentle and holding hands, bodies always touching. Young love in the bloom.

Another lone character who was slowly walking the perimeter of the pond. Perhaps searching for the best spot to cast a fishing line?

It was a gorgeous day and we all celebrated it in our little peaceful realms of togetherness with nature.

The couple offered the little girl a handful of soft bread from the loaf they had retrieved from the car. All walked to the small dock on the pond, perfect and intended for duck feeding.

A flood of memories poured over me as the little girl, clad in a pink jacket tossed the bread over the railing into the waiting crowd of now noisy grouped fowl crying for the crusts of bread.

Bridget must have been around two years old. The jacket she is wearing above is the jacket she was wearing that fateful day we went to Cave Hill Cemetery off Bardstown Rd.

Going to the cemetery and feeding the ducks in the murky and muck ridden pond was one of her favorite things to do. We would first go to the day old bread store and purchase for dimes several loafs of stale bread. She would be so excited on the short drive. Being winter, I would bundle her up in several layers into that blue jacket along with mittens.

She was so  excited that as I "unleashed" her from the car she began to run at full reckless two year old speed down a small hill towards the pond.  Once I realized she was out of control I went after her.

In one tiny gloved hand, outstretched towards the ducks in the pond, was a lone slice of bread.

She never slowed down.

Over the lip of the grey limestone lined rim into the pond she went! With me giving chase behind her. She was up to her waist in the muck. What relief! I had no idea how deep the pond was going to be and had no hesitation of going in after her. Instead I just grabbed her and yanked her back out.

Still with the bread outstretched in her hand.

At the time it was not funny. 23 years later it is a priceless memory.

10 comments:

ally123130585918 said...

What a lovely teasured memory ~ thanks for sharing it ~ Ally

mariebm56 said...

Oh my what a memory!! Thank God , for a happy ending.
Scary moment for a mom.
I remember bringing my daughter too, about 22 years ago, the geese & ducks over powered her.  It was a scary moment for a 2 year old.  
I remember a little pink jacket....; )
Marie
http://journals.aol.co.uk/mariebm56/PhotographsMemoriesToo

readmereadyou said...

I've said it before but I'll say it again. I LOVE the way you write. You bring a person right to the place you were at. Wonderful. And, you bring me back my own memories as well.......the best sign of a great writer.

Angela

ryanagi said...

Do all us moms have one of these heart failure moments? Most likely, we have several.  Thank goodness most of the time they turn out fine.  :-)

onemoretina said...

What a scary experience, and of course you are lucky that it turned out to have an ending that could make you smile all these years later.  I remember plucking my enthusiastic three year old son out of a frozen pond once.  Funny now, but awfully frightening then.   Tina

oceanmrc said...

This is a wonderful piece of writing.  And yes, a moment all parents can relate to.  Fo my dd, it was a hop into a pool that she had no idea was twice as deep as she was tall.  
http://searchthesea.blogspot.com/

mtrib2 said...

The one thing that journals do more than anything else for me is bring back memories that I would never have thought about otherwise.     Some little piece of information or observation than starts the ball rolling.    It is reading as much about me as it is about the person who is doing the writing.    I am glad that you could share those memories of that day with its non tragic ending.    I have been told stories about my ability to unlatch a gate and other events of wandering off to be brought back by police, or in the case of my leaving the grandparents farm auction by people heading to the auction that found me walking down the road.    mark
http://journals.aol.com/mtrib2/MarksDailyJournal/entries/735

suzypwr said...

What a great memory - since it didn't result in injury!

xoxo

am4039 said...

such wonderful memories, thanks for sharing them.

demandnlilchit said...

As children we are taught not to run out in traffic, not to approach strangers, there is a very long list of things we were taught not to do, but when one of our children is in immediate danger we will think nothing of throwing ourselves into lakes, traffic or strangers to get our babies out of harms way!