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Sunday, June 22, 2008 

How Many Lives Does a Weasel Have?

I know a Cat mythically embodies 9 lives. I've always assumed that to mean that a cat may have a so called face to face encounter with death, yet the cat is too elusive for capture. However, after nine tries, death finally catches on... literally.

My question is, how many lives does a Weasel have.

Those who know my family well, know that my youngest boy "Joshua Dylan" had adopted the nickname "Weasel". This moniker was appointed no less than 20 seconds of him gulping his first breath of air. Just after he adjusted to the world outside of mommy's womb, and began breathing air, he opened his eyes and just looked at me in a way that was way too confident for his own good. Immediately he grins and stares deeply into my eyes as if he recognizes the fact that this is his first gaze upon his own father. I instinctively recognized the look, and nicknamed him Weasel immediately.

The moment ends as quickly as it begins and he poops and screams bloody murder...

Saturday June 21st 2008, 3pm PST.

I have 2 hours before I close my Sales and Lease store for the weekend. The staff, except for 2 others, have been sent home. It's been a long hard week and we are all thankful for a day with our families.

My cell phone rings and my wife is on the other line, not unexpected... with the exception of her tone... there's emergency in her voice...

Dylan went to the hospital.

Just that morning I awoke with something weighing me down. I awoke with a poem on my mind: Rudyard Kipling's "IF".

I posted it before I went to work with only the intention of having it more prominently available in my mind. I even printed out the poem and took it to work with me and had it placed under the same keyboard I would pound on for the next several hours. Lines of the poem would occasionally jump into my mind as they resided just under my palms.

One week ago Grandma and Grandpa came to visit. By the end of the visit, we were willing to allow two of the boys to go back to Las Vegas with them. We we were going to go to Las Vegas on Fourth of July weekend, so we would pick them up then.

Tyler (our oldest) and Dylan (our youngest boy), were allowed to go. Our kids have a blast with Grandma and Grandpa as well as with their Aunties and Uncles who all reside in Las Vegas.

I hung up the phone with my wife who just told me why Dylan was taken to the hospital.

For only a moment he was unwatched. He was in the kiddie part of the pool and decided to take his floatie off. While making his way out of the kiddie pool and toward Grandma, he slipped on the edge and fell into the deep end of the adult pool. When this happened, no one had noticed...

The area of the pool where Dylan had been splashing and had apparently been having a good time, was quiet. Attention was turned toward his sphere. He was face down in the water and not moving.

I hung up my cell after having just received the news of Dylan's drowning. The spirit inside of me seemingly jumped out of my mortal body in an attempt to arrive at the scene of the tragedy instantaneously. This triggers a massive dump of adrenaline into my bloodstream. I realized that I am a 6 hour drive away from being with my little buddy, my namesake.

Clicking the cell back onto my belt I walked out of my store. I needed to avoid the awkward moment of screaming at the top of my lungs at a complete stranger. I was susceptible to all out turrets syndrome at that moment. I went into the parking lot completely helpless and stared at the tree studded hill in front of me; I was almost 400 miles away from my little man and he needed me.

Tyler and Breanne (both 9 years old) swam toward the limp body. They pushed him toward the edge where Grandma was reaching to pull him out. He was pulled out and had purplish lips and eye sockets. He was way low on oxygen and he was not breathing. Grandma laid him on his stomach and began massaging his back while calling his name to illicit a response. She then stuck her fingers down his throat to trigger a gag reflex and suddenly water begins to eject from his mouth. He pukes a stomach/chest full of water and coughs his little head off.

He's breathing.

This is when Rhonda gets the call...
Soon after Rhonda calls me...

I called one of my associates and told him to close the store for me, I had to leave. I ran to my truck with a 220lb body full of adrenaline ready to spontaneously combust.

Dylan was taken to an Emergency Care. He was checked out by a nurse and the nurse called me while I was in route to Vegas with the news that he will require observation for the next few hours because he had achieved unconscious during the episode. All I cared about was that he was being monitored and I finally had the opportunity to relax.

I had yet to release a tear, (the rage at being so far away was immediate as evidenced by the damage to the knuckles on my right hand) but now the tears began to flow. It made getting to I-40 West in Holbrook that much more difficult. The hazard lights were turned on and the accelerator was pressed to the floor.

5 more hours before I could see my lil Joshua.

By the time I got to Kingman it had grown dark and I had not had the radio on. I had been entranced by the rushing air through the rolled down windows of my '97 Ford Ranger Super Cab while my mind raced embracing every possible scenario.

Turning north onto RT 68 toward the Hoover Dam I pushed the seek mode on the AM dial. Soon a local station emerged in the billion star lit sky. I'm not sure what tribe it was, I'm assuming Navajo, but I heard a ceremonial song where there were several men chanting in their native language with all their soul to the beat of a bass drum. The world seemed to hinge on their chant. I rode that chanting into the outskirts of Las Vegas where the radio station faded into the blackness of the sky above me. I knew everything was going to be ok and that I would once again wrap my arms around the little goofy man I nicknamed the Weasel.

At Grandma's house I began hugging anyone within arm's reach. I couldn't perceive life without Dylan and thankfully I didn't have to. My eye sockets were sore from their excretions.

He was just falling asleep on an air mattress in front of Grandma's tv. I cupped his little shaved head in my hands and began covering his forehead in upside-down kisses. He opened his eyes and said, "I wuv you daaaad."

Tonight I'm back home with a severe case of truck driver's tan. My left arm is a deep maroon while my right arm is on the upswing of last weekend's fishing trip. None of that matters because the Weasel is back home.

On the way home I played a couple of mixed tapes that I had made in the latter half of the 1990's. One song pierced my soul and opened the floodgates of tears yet again. It's posted here not to be watched, but to be listened to.

Play the song, hit your knees, bow your head, let the Spirit flow...

This song is for Dylan... Silly Willy... Mr. Weasel Man.

God Bless. I was sitting at my PC with tears in my eyes and felt GREAT rejoice for your family when I read all is well.


It was a difficult day to say the least. Being so far away when your child needs you and is in trouble makes you crazy. Gramma pulled him out and brought him back to us, but when my Dad called me a little bit later and told me what had happened and now Dylan had fallen asleep... I had just read an article 2 weeks ago about a 10yr old boy who had died in his sleep after he had spent the day at the pool and swallowed too much water, and died during his nap.

I told them to immediately wake him up and take him to the hospital to be checked out. In these kinds of cases, a child who has swallowed just a little bit of water can die of not enough oxygen or cardiac arrest. Even though they seem ok just afterward. But a huge sign is they are sleepy, so we had to be on the safe side and take him in. The Urgent Care told us he needed to be monitored at the hospital, duh, I should have told Mom to take him there first anyway, so he took an ambulance to the hospital where they took a chest x-ray and some blood work. All was good, thank goodness, so they let him go and Josh was with him very soon after.

If you are wondering why I did not make the journey with my husband, I was at this point very upset and worried, but I knew he was out of immediate danger and with the doctors, and with Brayden sick with a fever, and road damage for me and the kids would have been hard, and Josh took our little ford ranger to save on gas, ( the Excursion would have been very pricy for a trip that long) and HELLO....he was driving very fast and I would have yelled my brains out!

I stayed home and on the phone with my baby and my family. I'm thankful for the support I got and Dylan. Gavin was right there with him, gave him a blessing, and rode in the ambulance and updated me on his pulse ox and every detail through the day, and Mom, even though she is broken hearted about it, was strong and helped Dylan and even Tyler calm down. Tyler was very upset he let his little brother down. But she reassured him he did nothing wrong. Sweet thing! This can happen to any of us, it happens so fast no matter how hard you are trying to watch them all. Just last night I was watching the news of two other little boys in Phoenix who did die of drowning in their own pools. So sad, and I just bawled thinking that could have been us.

So today, I was very anxious to see and hold my baby. Josh called around 8:30am and said they were eating breakfast in Kingman and doing good. Then I got a call a few hours later with Dylan on the phone telling me Daddy had been pulled over by the police. Oh good grief. Rolling my eyes, Josh explained the cop had clocked him at 96 mph, asked him what was the hurry? Josh said, "Yes Sir, I was going very fast. I'm all full of energy and excitement. I thought I had lost this little one next to me last night. And his Mommy wants to see him." And then Dylan told the officer what had happened to him. The officer then just gave him a warning to slow it down and high fived Dylan and they were on their way. Oh, and now they were going to stop at the Meteor crater. Oh, ok, um, I guess that's cool. I'm biting my nails off and now applying ice to my eyes, but no rush. I just want to hold my baby!!!!

Finally around 3pm, Josh calls and i'm thinking, ok, they are just about to pull up. NOT! The car has died, about 5-10 miles north of Show Low, and I now have to go buy a battery and go meet him. He thought it would take me an hour or two... I was there in 25 minutes. "Kids! in the car!!!" Grab purse, flip flops and gone. Auto Zone never knew what hit em. I bypassed several hairy old men in line, asked for a battery, "I don't care what kind!!! Ring it up fast woman!!!" And was outta there. Then I saw my guys, pulled over and swung my baby around giving lots of kisses. Him and Daddy were shirtless and hot,( no AC in that truck), but I didn't care. Happy times. So now we need to have the alternator tested and probably replaced. I hope that's it.

Tomorrow I am taking the kids to the Aquatics center, where they have a couple pools. Haley will be wearing her life jacket and close to me, and Dylan will be with me learning how to swim. The other boys are good at swimming. Dylan was quite good 2 summers ago, but last summer after we moved here to Show Low, we did not swim like we did in Vegas and he forgot. So I will be re-teaching him and putting them all in swim classes if necessary. I do not want him to be afraid of the water, so tomorrow will be huge.

So now I need to rest. Josh and I are emotionally exhausted but we are so thankful for our Heavenly Father looking after us and blessing our family. We dodged a huge one. Some families aren't so lucky.


I read that very article. Living out in the SW where you can swim and have no cares in the world often puts some people on mental overload (me) and others more lax. I'm just so glad he's ok! I can not imagine what you all went through. We've had various surgeries, spinal taps, ER visits and trips to the ER via ambulance BUT this is something to remind others: watch children around water ALL of the time. Don't answer the phone, don't get caught up in conversation it can wait.

Take care,

Well, I am sure my eyes are not as red and swollen as yours are but PRAISE THE LORD for HIS mercy and grace! Thank HIM, also, that Peggy had remained calm enough to do as she did to save Dylan's life. She is such a blessing!!!! I am sure you both are exhausted from this so Herb and I pray peace and rest to all of you. We will also be praying for a very fun time tomorrow when you return to the pool. Seems to me the right thing to do for Dylan to avoid any fears that might overcome him. We will also pray the Lord remove all that fear from not only him but, all of you, In Jesus' name, Amen.
You two are such wonderful parents! We love you both very much!!

I am so very thankful that this story has a happy ending!

Thanks, me too...

Jesus, Peak! Thank God everything is okay!

I'm glad your little man is o.k. :) God is faithful.

Bordering on tears the whole time, this sent me over the edge: "I wuv you daaaad."

That's what it is all about,eh?

Dear Lord, Josh and Rhonda!

It looks like the Weasel had at least one extra life; Enough to slip right back into your arms.


Josh and Rhonda,
Wow! I was bawling the whole read! Praise God for his mercy!! I am so glad he is okay!!

Whew! If that story didn't have a good ending I would have lost it. I'm hugging my little man as soon I get home.

Looks like the good lord has bigger plans for weasel :)

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  • I'm Peakah
  • From White Mountains, Arizona, United States
  • ...this isn't who it would be, if it wasn't who it is...
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