Misadventures of My Teenage Self: The Day I (Probably) Saved a Life

This is Post #1 of a new segment I like to call: Misadventures of My Teenage Self. 

As a teenager, I used to spend a lot of my summers with my dad and my brother in a little town called Clearwater.  Just a gorgeous town.  I loved the summers there.  My brother had some really awesome friends and they became my friends too.  It was my summer family.

My favourite summer there was, probably, my favourite summer ever.  Close to my father’s house there was this little secret heaven.  A place that only the locals knew about and we went there every single day, even if it was raining.  The place was called Raft Falls, a place where Raft River had hollowed out deep pools in the rocks.  We would spend our days jumping from high places into these pools.  You could jump anywhere from 2 feet up to 60.

Please click the photo for source.  I didn’t have any of the place.

My friend Heather, who was also my father’s neighbour, was my very best friend in Clearwater.  When I came out there, we were joined at the hip, doing everything together.

Heather and I liked jumping off the 30 foot jump which is that rock that’s jutting out between the two waterfalls.  To get there you had to climb up the side of the cliff to your left (it was kind of a goat trail), over that platform that you see (which is the 60 ft jump), climb down a rope, and then cross the river and end up on that rock.  It sounds a bit unsafe but the water wasn’t too fast up top and if you crossed far enough back from the waterfall, there really was no worry.

Jumping off that rock is amazing, you’re fairly high up but the waterfall breaks up the water so it feels like you’re jumping into a bunch of bubbles, you really cannot hurt yourself like you could on the other jumps…aka my brother breaking his back on that 60 foot jump you see there.  I realize this photo does make it all look rather dangerous, doesn’t it?

Heather and I did this jump hundreds of times, it was so much fun!!  The problem was, we were getting a little too brave as teenagers can be.  We crossed closer and closer to the top of the waterfall, we were feeling a bit too safe.  One day we were crossing, I had crossed first and I was, really, not even a second away from leaping off the middle rock when I heard Heather scream my name.

She was being swept down the waterfall!!  The rocks closer to the fall were covered in algae and her feet went out from under her, she was grasping for anything she could hold, I will never forget that look of helpless terror she had on her face.  Directly below that fall, you can see on the left, that there are some pretty crazy rocks to fall on.  With less than a second to waste I was able to reach her hand and hold her.  She slowly was able to find some footing and I pulled her to safety.

Her and I stood on that middle rock, shaking like leaves, holding each other and screaming out the loudest profanities we could.  She was safe.  I think we spent about 10 minutes up there, just having a little freak out before we both jumped in and went to tell the group.  They couldn’t even hear what was going on over the roar of the falls.

I’m getting chills as I write this.  It’s crazy that a matter of seconds can change our lives.  I was literally winding up to jump, had things been a tiny bit different, I would have jumped in and she would have fallen.  Both our lives would have changed forever and hers may have been lost.  I find that mind-boggling.  Life really can change in an instant.  I really wonder how many times we miss death by a matter of seconds.

We did learn our lesson, although we never let that incident stop us from enjoying this place, we did play it very safe from then on.  No more cutting corners, no more going to jump until both friends were safe on the rocks.

Clearwater friends.  I’m in the middle, Heather has the red hair.

This post wasn’t about me being anything excellent, I don’t need a pat on the back or an “atta girl” it’s more just about how our lives could be taken at any second.  We never know when we are going to cross the rainbow bridge, we really don’t.  Some of us are still living because of minute details, something just happened to happen a bit of a certain way, and because of that, we get to move on.  Other times it’s if we hadn’t moved to the left, someone would still be living.

When I took The Basic, which is a course I took that really made me realize a lot about myself, we talked a bit about our last day.  On Sunday I reaudited part of the course and they talked about it again.  What would you do on your last day?  That’s what is most important to you.  I rewrote my list the same way I had done the first time.  Despite so many areas of my life being a mess, I took a look at that list and realized I’m doing alright.  My children and husband know I love them, I have a good relationship with my siblings.  I am surrounded by love and I am able to give love freely.  That’s all that matters to me and on my last day, that’s all that I will be thinking about anyway.

What would you do on your last day?

4 comments

  1. Shivers. The saving your friend’s life part is amazing. Deep deep down, saving someone’s life is on my bucket list. But the other part I found amazing was jumping into the bubbly water. I can just picture how that would feel and I want to try it RIGHT NOW!

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