I hope this post is as popular as my last. It is somewhat personal, it being a Facebook exchange between my father and I but I am amazed at the fact that it is the first mention of that day between anyone in my family. I start with the translated text and paste the original post below. On a side note: this is the most Spanish I have ever written in one sitting.
Fernando’s Facebook Status Update: Today I was remembering some episodes from the past. When we lived in New Jersey it was the custom during summertime to go to a beach called Sandy Hook. (We) had to drive two hours on the Garden State Parkway. While the route was not too complicated, it was very crowded as everyone went to the coast at the same time to enjoy the beach. It sometimes could take up to 4 hours to get there. There was one time that the lifeguards were doing some kind of drill as if someone was drowning and a rescue truck arrived at the beach. I do not know if my son was scared to see that vehicle there but suddenly he(Miguel) was not there. Truthfully, I was afraid that a wave had taken him. We sought help from the lifeguards who radioed others to try locate (my son), and after a few minutes of panic we were finally told that he was found about a mile away; a lifeguard had him there (with him). I walked out there to look and saw the lifeguard (approaching) with him(Miguel) in his arms. I saw that the boy began to throw punches at the lifeguard to be let go and came running towards me. After thanking the lifeguards, we walked back to where the rest of the family was.
Miguel Comment: I can add my perspective to this day, now that there is no risk of punishment. I don’t have a full recollection of the incident but some events I remember clearly.
Miguel Comment: I remember going to play on some rocks that were at the end of the beach, hoping to find a lobster I had seen the last time we were here. While attempting to return to our “camp”, that I had noticed before was next to a wooden slat fence, I realized that this fence ran the entire length of the beach and I was not able to see a familiar face among the large crowd. I do not remember how long I walked until I came to a part of the beach that was sparsely populated and my panic seems to have disappeared so I began playing in the waves. Well, a huge-to-me wave knocked me over and rolled me under water for a few seconds that of course felt like a few minutes while I my short life flashed before my eyes. (Well, that may not have actually happened but I add it to move this little story along). Luckily, a lifeguard pulled me out of the surf before I drowned. I imagine, based on my father’s account, that the search had begun for me and this lifeguard had luckily been looking nearby. I remember sitting in the lifeguard shack, cold and shivering, while watching my dad approach, he slowly increasing in size. Here ends my memory of this day. I cannot remember the reunion with my dad or later with the rest of my family. Maybe the memories of terror are made stronger by my increased release of adrenaline at that time.
Fernando Comment: Wow, Miguel, Then my fears were not completely in error. I did not know until now about you being stuck in that wave. Luckily that lifeguard was there to pull you out. I remember the shack at the end of the beach, and seeing you approaching and struggling to get free from that lifeguard. Even at the time you had no risk of punishment, to the contrary: I was happy to see that you were okay. It is very easy to get lost on a beach so crowded and where each group of people has about two square meters of space to sit, sometimes less. Up north there are only about 40 days a year one can go to the beach and it seems like everyone is there and that you sitting so close as to touch the strangers next to you.
Hoy estaba recordando episodios pasados. Cuando viviamos en New Jersey era costumbre en varano ir a una playa que se llamaba Sandy hook habia que manejar como dos horas por el granden State parkway cuando el transito no estaba muy complicado, pero como todo el mundo iba hacia la costa a disfrutar de la playa, a veces tomaba hasta 4 horas llegar, hubo una vez en que los salvavidas hicieron un simulacro de que alguien se estaba ahogando y llego un camion rescue hasta la playa, no se si fue que mi hijo se asusto de ver ese vehiculo alli, el caso es que de un momento a otro no estaba alli, la verdad yo estaba horrorizado de que una ola se lo hubiera llevado, pedimos ayuda a los salvavidas los cuales se comunicaron por radio hasta localizarlo, fueron unos minutos de panico al fin nos dijeron que estaba como a una milla, de distancia, lo tenian los salvavidas alla, yo camine hasta alla para buscarlo y el salvavidas loo traia en brazos, cuando el niño me vio comenzo a tirarle puñetazos al salvavidas para que lo soltara y vino corriendo hacia mi, despues de agradecer al salvavidas, caminamos de vuelta hasta donde estaba el resto de la familia
Miguel F Rodriguez Yo puedo ańadir mi punto de vista de este dia, ahora que no hay riesgo de castigo. No tengo una memoria completa pero algunos acontecimientos me recuerdo bien.
Miguel F Rodriguez Recuerdo que fui a jugar en unas rocas que estaban al final de la playa para buscar una langosta que vi la ultima vez que estuvimos ahí. Cuando intente regresar a nuestro “campamento”, que yo antes habia notado que estaba al lado de una cerquita de madera, me di cuenta que esta cerquita andaba toda la longitud de la playa y yo no encontraba ni una rostro conocido entra la multitud. No recuerdo bien cuanto tiempo paso hasta que llegué a una parte de la playa poca poblada y se me desaparecio el panico y me puse a jugar en las olas. Pues, una ola grandisima en comparacion a mi estatura me tumbo i me revolcó debajo del agua para unos segundos que sintieron como unos minutos mientras yo vei una pelicula de mi corta vida pasar por mis ojos. (bueno, eso posiblemente no ocurrió en realidad pero lo agrego para mover el cuentico). Menos mal, un salvavidas me saco de eso turbulento antes de ahogarme; seguro que el ya andaba buscandome segun el detalle de Papa que la busqueda habia empezado. Recuerdo estar sentado con el salvavidas en su choza, frio y temblando, mientras veia la imagen de mi papa aumentando al acercarce. Y aqui termina mis memorias; no me acuerdo de la reuinion con mi papa ni los de mas de la familia. A lo mejor las memorias de terror son mas fuertes por el aumento de adrenalina en esos momentos.
Fernando Rodriguez wOW mIGUEL, ENTONCES MIS TEMORES NO ESTABAN DEL TODO MUY ERRADOS, NO SABIA DEL REVOLCON DE LA OLA HASTA AHORA, MENOS MAL ESE SALVAVIDAS TE SACO DE AHI, RECUERDO LA CHOCITA AL FINAL DE LA PLAYA,Y CUANDO TE VI VENIR Y QUE EL SALVAVIDAS TE TENIA CARGADO Y DE QUE CUANDO ME VISTE TE PUSISTE A FORCEJEAR CON EL SALVAVIDAS PARA QUE TE SOLTARA, Y EN ESE TIEMPO TAMPOCO HABIA RIESGO DE CASTIGO, POR EL CONTRARIO ME PUSE FELIZ DE VER QUE ESTABAS BIEN, ES MUY FACIL PERDERSE EN UNA PLAYA REPLETA DE GENTE DONDE CADA GRUPO TIENE COMO DOS METROS CUADRADOS DE ESPACIO PARA SENTARSE Y A VECES MENOS PUES ALLA EN EL NORTE LOS DIAS DE PLAYA SOLO SON COMO 40 AL AÑO Y TODO EL MUNDO SE VA A LA PLAYA, A VECES UNO ESTA SENTADO AL LADO DE UNA PERSONA TOTALMENTE DESCONOCIDA A VECES TAN CERCA QUE SE ROZA CON ELLA