back when i was in high school, i went on a back packing trip with my church youth group. after we had made camp, the leaders decided we should explore the area, which included crossing a 30 foot wide creek that was nearby. the water was only up to our knees, but the bottom was covered with large rocks that proved to be very slippery and the current in the middle was stronger than anyone thought it would be. we linked arms to try and steady ourselves when we were halfway across and realized it was probably a very stupid idea to be attempting. i was last in line, and when i slipped i let go of the hand i was holding and there was no one left to grab me. the current was too fast and too strong for me to stand up, but fortunately i had the presence of mind to point my head up stream and swim at an angle toward the shore. it turns out i was very lucky, because i ended up 30 yards downstream from where i fell, and there was only 10 yards between me and serious rapids. had i panicked, not kept a level head and tried to swim to shore, i surely would have drowned.
fast forward a number of years to a quiet afternoon at home. fishie was only a few weeks old, and i had just finished feeding her and put her down for a nap. my hubby was sleeping, as he had work that evening, and the boys were playing in their bedroom. suddenly i heard a loud crash and then crying. honestly, this was nothing new, as the boys were getting into the stage where they were starting to play rough. and then dear lumpy came walking down the hallway, crying. it wasn't a normal cry, it was a true cry of pain. he showed me his arm, and i could see where bone was trying to stick out of his skin and the whole forearm was at a strange angle because he had dislocated it from his elbow. i freaked out, i completely forgot what i should do in that kind of situation, and so i took him and we woke up his dad with the immortal words "does this look right?" after my dear hubby was full awake, which didn't take long given the situation, he took charge and sent me with lumpy to the e.r., where they set his bone and gave him a cast and sling. and the only reason i went instead of my much calmer husband is because i have all of the important medical history and information memorized for all of our children.
i wanted to share these lovely stories from my past because of the tragedies that seem to be happening more and more often in our world these days, and the wonderings of "what would i do in that situation?" because, unfortunately, i know what i would do, or at least how i would act. if it was only me, i'd be fine. when tragedy befalls my kids, i temporarily forget which way is up.
the truth is my family has been through an unfortunate number of tragic situations, and i wish that i could be calm throughout. invariably, i freak. eventually i will calm down and be the rock that is needed. still, because i know that i'm not so great in an emergency, i am trying to be prepared. so i plan what to do, and i go over those plans with my husband and my kids. they know where to go and who to call, and because the kids will probably act like me, they know where the important numbers and info are written so they don't have to worry about having everything memorized. i haven't gone all the way with fully packed bug-out bags, but that's really only because we have just enough money to live day to day. if i had enough left over, i'd definitely buy for tomorrow. as is, i plan. and wonder and worry and hope for the best. we know not what the future holds, but i will do my best to make sure we survive it, as calmly as i can.