I read a blog by a local shop owner and this week has been terrible for her and her family and friends. One of her friends young children was swimming at a party last Saturday and drowned. This, of course makes me unbearably sad. How does this still happen to so many in backyard pools? At parties? So many question with one reality for that family. So sad.

  Because of the story above I think of my dear childhood friend, Rhonda. Rhonda's family and my family spent summer's and holidays together for the first 5 years of my life, more for my brothers and parents. While my family was intact we had camping trips, New Years bashes, and trips to their beach house. I know both of my parents tried to keep in touch after the divorce but as friendships sometimes do they somehow faded out of our lives. There were still Christmas cards and then an invitation to Rhonda's big sister's wedding.

It was wonderful and weird to see my old friends. We used to sing and dance and be so silly together. Singing Michael Jackson into cassette recorders and getting our faces painted and having the best time at the Puyallup Fair even if it was raining and we were slogging around, comes to mind!

I think I was 18 at the wedding. Rhonda had a new baby boy in her arms and a boyfriend that looked eerily familiar to me (he looked like the boy my mom was desperately trying to keep me away from in high school. I felt sort of a kinship with her that we both had gravitated to this type of boy.)

Sadly, two years later I got a phone call from my mom and I had already had a bad dream about it. Rhonda and two friends had gone rafting, they didn't take life jackets, Rhonda and her new boyfriend were missing.
 
They had a service for her a few months later. It took that long to find her. They only knew it was her because of her tattoos. I looked at her little boys face as we left the church and I'm embarrassed to admit my audible gasp I gave. What a gorgeous boy who looked just like his mommy.

That was thirteen years ago, this summer. I still long to go back to her parents house at the beach, I think they still live there. After Rhonda's accident I know they thought of selling because the view looked out to where their young daughter passed.

I think of Rhonda mostly as a child now who, from what I heard, tried to see a lot and do a lot while she was here. I think of Rhonda and I feel so fortunate because tomorrow, as they say, is not promised. So I think of her when I'm running fast, when I see tattoos, as I have the privilege to watch my son grow and so much more. She sneaks in a lot so I thought I'd share about her today.

Please wear life jackets, and/or have a life guard. Please please please.

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