Monday, June 19, 2017

He did it! I'm overwhelmed with pride.

I’m so excited, you guys. Jake finished his ISR swim lessons on Friday and he passed all of his skills!

I don’t expect many people to know a lot about these classes, so let me tell you about them. We would go to lessons for five days a week. Each lesson was a maximum of ten minutes. Why? Because these babies work really hard and that’s all they have the attention span and energy for.

The drive to his lesson took about 45 minutes each day…all for ten minutes with his instructor in the water. I never minded the time, though, because it will save his life if he ever falls into a pool.

I cannot explain to you the pride and overwhelming sense of joy I felt when I saw Jake doing his tests last week. This kid can now float and keep his head above water no matter what he’s wearing. 

Whether it’s a swim diaper and trunks, trunks and shoes, a full summer clothes outfit, or a full winter clothing outfit, he can stay safe. How insanely cool is that?

I got to get in the water with him on Friday to learn the proper way to reinforce what he’s learned and it was great. He was happy and smiling and excited to be in the water. I got to see and experience his confidence for the first time and it was crazy great. So worthwhile.

I’ve been telling you guys that I want to become an ISR instructor for about a month now. I’m doing it! I have interviewed, gotten my background check done, filled out a contract, signed all the papers they need me to sign, and now I just wait for a trainer to become available. This is my dream come true.

There’s been the GoFundMe page set up and people have been helping to cover the cost of the training. I am SO grateful to everyone who has helped. Thank you! I’m still far from my goal, though, so please…if you can donate, please do. And please share this link.

I have talked about losing my nephew, Ethan, a lot in the past. I don’t need to tell you how much that loss has impacted me. I probably wouldn’t be as passionate about doing these lessons if it weren’t for him.

I do have something to share with you that I’ve never shared before. I’ve not shared it because I didn’t think of it this way. Sara gave me a card last week that talked about a whole new perspective on things and it’s worth sharing.

You have to wonder about the reasons why things happen the way that they do and, a lot of times, there’s no logical answer to those questions. That’s been the case with the accident that took the lives of Ethan and his grandpa, Rolando. Why would something so horrific happen to my family? My sister and her husband don’t deserve that kind of grief. The Pacheco’s didn’t deserve to lose their husband, father, grandpa, etc. when Mr. Pacheco passed away.

Here’s what Sara said to me that really hit home. Maybe Ethan’s life was meant to be largely defined by his death. That kid touched more lives and made more of an impact in his 2.5 years than a lot of people do in 75 or 100 years. He taught us love, patience, kindness, the true meaning of innocence, and so many other valuable lessons.

However, since his passing, I truly think that he has saved lives. With the story of his death, he encouraged parents who had been putting off swim lessons for their kids to finally bite the bullet and enroll them. He taught families that accidents happen even when a child is with an adult, so we should do whatever we can to keep our kids safe. He inspired me to want to help kids learn to save themselves in water. Ethan wasn’t born into just any family…he was born into mine.

Here’s why that matters. Not very many people have the platform or reach that I do from working on this show. I shared my story. Kidd and the crew talked about what happened. We grieved together and, with that, people learned about the importance of water safety. We can continue that with me teaching these lessons.

I don’t know what happened that night that led to Ethan and Rolando both losing their lives. I’ve been to a psychic to see if I could get an answer, but I didn’t. Here’s my belief. Whatever happened that night had a purpose and that was to save lives. Ethan has saved many lives through his passing. I know that he was on this earth for the reasons that every baby is born, but his purpose was a greater one. His legacy lives on and continues to save lives. I hope he’s up in Heaven smiling down on every parent who has used my family’s story to enroll their kids in ISR or other swim lessons.

I know that a lot of you are sick of hearing me beg for help to do this ISR training class. To all of you, I’m sorry. This is so important to me that I’m OK with putting myself out there, probably sounding pathetic at times, asking for your help and support. I need to do this to help my own heart heal. I need to help other families keep their babies safe. This is such a big deal to me.

I know that there are so many worthy causes out there. I read about them every day. I understand if you would rather put your money towards something you’re equally as passionate about. If you can and are willing to help pay the cost of my ISR tuition, though, here’s what I can promise you.

I promise to help as many low income kids as possible once my training is complete. I promise to use my platform to continue to encourage water safety with kids until people stop listening. I promise to make Ethan proud and to show that our loss is helping prevent the loss of other babies. He deserves to know that he made a huge impact on lives in his short life.

I’m going to quit this begging session now. I truly hope that you will help and share my page. I start training in August…I need to reach my goal!

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