My mother could not swim. In fact she could not stand water on her face. But she tried to make sure all of us could swim. Of course Daddy was a Navy man so he had to be a swimmer too.
One year after I was married they all went on a camping trip. There were some problems with the car but Daddy knew he could fix it.
There was a small lake just over the hill so my father helped them all get settled there so the kids could swim. Mom was the 'lifeguard'.
They had been swimming for some time when suddenly a brother and sister began screaming for help. Mom told them they were not funny and to stop it.
When she suddenly realized that they were actually in trouble she acted instinctively. She told my little sister to keep my baby brother from following her. She grabbed the only stick she could see and headed into the water.
As she got closer to them she saw that myy brother was trying to help my sister. Mom told him to get out of the water and to tell our other brother to go get our father from the other side of the hill.
In the meantime Mom waded out as far as she could. Her foot caught on a root or something under the water. She used it as a anchor because the water was up to her mouth.
She stretched as far as she could and calmly said, "Becky grab the stick." Of course my sister was panicked. She was flailing around and not listening.
She went under water but was able to kick herself back up. Mom could see my sister was getting tired. She kept telling her to grab the stick.
After another trip under the water Mom could see that another time my sister would not come back up.
She stretched farther than she felt safe and sternly told my sister to grab the stickstick.Somehowister took hold of the stick and Mom jerked it hard toward her. The stick was old and broke but it did what was needed.
Even though Mom was losing her footing she grabbed my sister and tried to propel them both toward shore. Daddy and my brother came running over the hill just as Mom and my sister were getting out of the water.
It goes to show that even though there was good chance that my mother could have drowned she needed to save her child. A mother's love is special indeed.