In this interview, I chat with a friend from my hometown, Renee Vandergriff.  Renee is a wife, mom of three, and a nurse at one of the parishes’ school boards.

She talks about the one day in her life that eclipses most others—the day she found one of her twin toddlers drowned in a neighbor’s pool.

“What did I do to…to deserve this?  I..I didn’t do something right.  I should have went to church more…. I felt like I was being punished for something that I’d done.”

So many of us would have these same thoughts racing through our minds.  What began as a guilty conscience is now this Blessed Mom’s grace-under-fire testimony of courage and strength for her living children and to any moms who have had to (or may one day live through) a similar tragedy.

Living beyond your child’s death is one of life’s hardest trials, but with God’s grace & mercy and the support from friends and family, Renee and her family are showing how it can be done.  Check out her story.

Links:
Love You Forever by Robert Munsch (her favorite children’s book that she read to her children)
US National Drowning Statistics in 2011
Water Safety Guidelines that you NEED to review
How survival swimming works for infants
Find an instructor HERE

Even if you do not own a pool, it is wise to get your infants and young children survival swimming lessons.  They won’t be learning the breast stroke or the butterfly stroke, but they will learn how to hold their breath, turn over, keep themselves floating, and possibly swim to steps/ladder/floating device until help can reach them.  It can be expensive, but it is a skill that is worth the money, time, and effort.  There are many instructors and programs that teach infants starting at the age of 6 months old.  The instructor of my girls said:

“Stick with these lessons through age 6 and your children will never remember not knowing how to swim.”

If you start out with an instructor that makes you feel extremely uncomfortable and does not take into account your child’s fears and personality, find another.  My girls’ instructor also advised that finding the right instructor will prevent the child from developing a fear of water and swimming itself which should be of utmost importance.

Ezri & Edyn (my twins) at 18 months old, floating in self-rescue lessons

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2 comments
Tara
Tara

Awesome job! So proud of you Renee!

Kerri
Kerri

Two amazing and beautiful moms!! Great job Renee!

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