Saturday, July 16, 2011

The very sad part of summer

 I know this is hard to read, and I do apologize for that, 
but I also think it's a good reminder for those of us who have toddlers.

I think one of the saddest stories I ever heard was about a family, several years ago, who lost both their 2 year old twins from a drowning in their back yard pool. This family had just moved into their home that very day. The mom and twins were taking a nap when the toddlers got up before she did, opened the sliding glass door to the back yard, and both jumped or fell into the pool.

Just yesterday I was telling a friend about that story that happened years ago.

Then last night, on the 11:00 news we learned it happened again.  One year old twin boys drowned in their back yard pool in Visalia, just an hour from us.I don't know these people, I don't even know their names, but I cannot get them off my mind. I can only imagine the grief and shock and pain they are in right now.

Drownings of toddlers this time of year are so common. I've already heard of a few others just since the weather has become warmer this season.
They all remind me too well of my 18 month old nephew who drowned 13 years ago this month.
We took this video of little Romey just 2 weeks before he died.
You will hear Grandpa Heasley's voice, plus my Mom's and mine.

Twin 1-year-olds drown at Visalia home

    VISALIA -- Twin 1-year-old brothers drowned in their family's swimming pool Friday afternoon, a city fire spokesman said.
    The mother of the boys found them in the backyard pool about 12:20 p.m., said Danny Wristen, a Visalia fire battalion chief. She pulled the boys out of the pool and began CPR on them.
    Travis Griffith, who lives around the corner from the southwest Visalia home, said he heard screaming. "It was the horrible scream." For a moment, he said, he thought it was an animal -- but when he heard an ambulance, he knew something tragic had happened.
    Paramedics arrived and attended to the boys before taking them to Kaweah Delta Hospital, where they died, Wristen said.
    The mother and other children were at the home when they noticed the twin boys were missing, Wristen said. They searched the home before finding the 1-year-olds in the pool.
    POOL SAFETY TIPSVisalia Fire Battalion Chief Danny Wristen says his department recommends these four steps to keep children safe around pools:
    --Put alarms on doors leading to the pool that beep when anyone comes in or out.
    --Put an alarm in the pool that goes off when it senses ripples in the water.
    --Put a fence around the pool.
    --Keep track of children at all times.
    "There's nothing worse than that. It's horrible," said Mary Carrazco, who lives in the neighborhood.
    There was no fence around the rectangular in-ground pool, fire officials said. The house is on the northeast corner of Woodland Street and Walnut Avenue, just a few blocks west of Visalia Mall.
    Authorities gave no details about the family, including the names of the twins or their parents.
    Neighbors didn't identify the family, either, but described the parents as religious, noting that they hosted Bible studies in the home. A next-door neighbor who didn't want to be identified said the parents were very attentive, and that they always were vigilant when somebody was in the pool.
    Neighbors said the family had several children and lived in the rental house about a year and a half.
    Friday evening, a passerby had placed two balloons attached to stuffed animals on the chain-link fence in front of the house. A double-stroller on the back porch was visible from the street.
    One neighbor, who didn't want to be identified, put flowers into the chain-link fence and attached a homemade card on lined paper reading "So very sorry for your loss. Condolences sent from your neighbors."
    The drownings were the third and fourth this year involving young children in the central San Joaquin Valley. In April, a 16-month-old drowned in the pool of his family's home north of Visalia. And in May, a 2-year-old girl drowned after her mother fell asleep beside the family pool in Merced.
    "The drowning could have been prevented if they had a fence around their pool and not just their backyard," Wristen said.

    Today, also is the year mark for this family. 
    I've been following their story throughout the year, and they have taught much to so many through their pain.  
    July is a hard month for many families.


    cristie said...

    this is such an important reminder. my daughter has a pool and it's a constant worry for me. xox

    Kathy's Red Door Welcome said...

    So,so sad. It's hard to believe Romeo has been gone 13 years. It seems to me like it was just a couple summers ago.

    Life with Kaishon said...

    Oh. It just breaks my heart. How very, very sad. I will keep them in my prayers.


    Connie said...

    It breaks my heart to hear of incidents like this. So sorry about little Romey! He's such a darling little boy.
    Here in Utah there have been several children and teenagers drown in the fast flowing rivers.
    This is the sad part of summer.

    Sharon said...

    I understand - our baby brother drowned as a toddler in our backyard pool. It was tragic - my mother never got over it.

    Karen Mortensen said...

    What sad stories. I can't believe Romey has been gone that long. Thanks for the video. It was so good to hear your mother's voice again.