I took some great pictures of our time at the beach, but my camera drowned when Grace and I were caught off guard by a wave. We were running from it, and I was thinking, "Shit, we're gonna get wet." Then the water hit us and it was all I could do to hold onto Grace by one hand. I kept hoping her shoulder wouldn't dislocate, and then the sand under my feet disappeared and I fell. I stopped worrying about her shoulder then and tried to keep her head above water, but we went under a couple times before my SIXTY-FIVE-YEAR-OLD MOTHER came to our rescue. She charged without a second thought into that goddamn ocean and hauled us both upright, carried Grace to my brother and father, and then came back to where I was paralyzed and hugged me while I had a complete emotional breakdown.
Grace's version of events? "Um, the water came and Mommy held me and water got in my mouth but I didn't breathe because I'm not a fish." All that time in the bathtub, trying to breathe underwater, I thought she was trying to drive me crazy. But she was just learning how to stay alive.