Friday, July 14, 2017

The check has been written...six years after it all began

I’ve been begging you guys to help me pay for the training cost to become an Infant Swim Resource instructor for a while now. We’ve made progress, but I’ve still got a long ways to go. So, if you can donate, please do so at

Yesterday was the 6th anniversary of Ethan and Rolando’s death. I think I had so much anxiety leading up to the day that yesterday I was kind of out of it. Not numb to it, but in a place where I didn’t know what to think or feel. I still feel overwhelming guilt and confusion about all of it. It’s hard to explain all of the stuff that continues to go through my head. I see images of the night the accident happened. I see Orlando, my brother in law, kneeling next to the casket at the viewing for hours on end. I see the people who were at the ER before me looking helpless when I walked in. So many things that I don’t think will ever go away.

It’s amazing to me to think about the impact that Ethan made in his short life. When everything happened I couldn’t think of any reason for him to be gone. I still can’t think of too many reasons, but there’s one that has recently been brought to my attention.

It’s summertime and there are WAY too many stories of drowning deaths in Texas. When my sister moved back to Texas from Maui, one of the first things we talked about was enrolling Jake in swimming lessons. Thank goodness she knew about ISR lessons because their method and theory in teaching kids is different than any other organization.

I took Jake to his lessons every day and was in shock of his progress. I was so motivated by the work that his teacher did that I decided to become an instructor, too. That’s where Ethan comes back into play.

I have a job that no other person in the world has; I have the ability to reach so many people because of my job with the show. How awesome is that? You guys have helped me through the worst days of my life. You have supported me and shown so much love…even though we’ve probably never even met. We’re like the biggest non-blood related, spread throughout the world family of all time. And I’m one of the chosen people to be in your lives even though we may never have an in person interaction. There’s a lot to be said for that.

I know that news of drowning is pretty widely spread, but here’s the difference in my story and a random news story you see or hear about. We have some sort of unspoken connection that makes my story somehow personal to you. I cannot tell you how many people have told me that they mourned the loss of my nephew with my family. People who could have blown it off and went on about their day, but they (you) didn’t. You felt things with me. That’s truly amazing.

Ethan was born into our huge family. He didn’t really understand that, but he didn’t have to. He just was. And with that, his death impacted so many lives. I’ve gotten messages from tons of people saying that his story motivated them to enroll their kids in the swim lessons they’ve been putting off. In his death, Ethan saved a lot of lives.

That’s truly special. And maybe that finally gives a reason to why it happened. Maybe Ethan was born into our family to save other lives. He did that. He continues to do that. I will help him do that by becoming an ISR instructor.

It’s hard to accept that something good came from the death of my baby, Ethan, but it did. It’s my true hope that I can help families never realize the pain that my family did through being an ISR instructor.

I know I’ve gone on and on about these lessons, but you guys…I promise you that it is worth your attention. These lessons are so detail oriented and specific to each and every child. It’s seriously amazing. They put so much effort into understanding the A&P of infants and children, behavior reinforcement, the role of parents during the lessons, and their overall learning process…I’m in awe of the amount of specific effort that goes into each and every student. I’m excited to be a part of that.

Full disclosure on this…I’m starting training on August 14. I got a loan to pay for the training tuition because I needed to pay in order to even schedule my six week training session. I’ve been reading my study material for a few days now and it’s so compelling and deep, but it all makes so much sense to me. I’m so excited to start on this next venture in my life, but now I have a big loan to pay back. So, I will ask again, if you’re able to donate, please do so. You will be helping carry on Ethan’s legacy and save lives.

What does this training entail? I get one on one instruction from one of the best trainers in the world. I will be in the pool five days a week and then do classroom work on Saturdays. I will be one of less than 1,000 ISR instructors in the nation once I become certified. What an honor!

I would not choose to invest so much money into something that I wasn't 100% dedicated to and sure about. I will have tro rearrange my time with Jake while I do the training, which is the one thing I'm hesitant about. However, it's not forever and I owe this to Ethan. I owe it to myself. I owe it to everyone who has been with me since July 13, 2011 when we lost my Ethan in a drowning accident. If you can help in any way...either by donating or sharing the link...I would be so grateful. I don't need a ton of huge donations. I just need a lot of small ones that will really add up.

Thank you guys again for everything. I cannot express my gratitude enough.