Celebrating Titus!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm going to go ahead and post this, and I'll post what Derek wrote once he finishes writing it:)

Well, family and friends, we're celebrating Titus' life at such a deeper level now!! Last night at our church homegroup, Titus ventured into the swimming pool. He is okay, but I want to share the whole story with all of you. We're not sure if he fell in or went in willingly. He climbs into the bathtub at home by himself, so he might have gotten in pretty slowly and then (obviously) not been able to stand/swim. I am better at writing than talking about things I need to think through, so I'm going to do that here. This way, you can all get the whole story (since I know I'm leaving things out when I just talk about it), and I can sort through my feelings. One of the main reasons for this blog is for us to journal about good times, fun memories, and our favorite pictures. This is obviously not something we like to think about, and certainly a time we will never forget, but it happened for whatever reason and God was so gracious in sparing Titus' life. Derek and I are so thankful for our boys and are SO grateful to the Lord for letting us keep Titus. I'll get on with the story...

Last night at homegroup, Derek had been in our friends', Dawn and Brian's backyard with Justus and Titus. The back door had been left open since we got there, because it was such a beautiful evening. I sat down to change Eli's diaper, and I let him hang out on the couch for a little bit since he had been held so much at Titus' party. (I figured he wanted to have some "down" time.) Derek, Justus, and Titus came in for a few minutes, and then I saw Titus go back out the backdoor. Derek came and told me he would take Eli so I could walk around and visit with friends. I said, "There's no way Titus can get in the pool, right?" Derek said he walked around and thought it was all secure (it's fenced in), but then he said, "Well, just walk out and see if you see him." (He ended up following me to check the gate around the pool one more time.) I walked out the backdoor and noticed the gate/door to the pool was open, so I just ran towards the pool and saw Titus in the water, face up (the water was covering his whole body, face, and everything.) His eyes were wide open, and he was panicking. His face looked so scared, and he was flailing his body around. As I was running towards the water, Derek was running after me, yelling "No, Titus, no!" I jumped in and grabbed him and held him up so Derek could take him. I was saying, "He's okay. He's okay." (I knew he was "okay," since his body wasn't lifeless or anything...and in retrospect, we really think he might have JUST fallen in when I saw him.) Derek took Titus outside of the fenced-in area, to the grass, and squatted down by him, held him close, looked him over, etc. I got out of the pool and went over to be with them. (I left my shoes floating in the pool.) At this point, everyone had come outside to see what was going on, and a few of the guys got together to pray for Titus. Justus was by our side by now, and as I was getting out of the pool, I saw our friend, Dustin, picking Eli up off the grass. (Derek had laid him down right outside the gate as we were running toward the pool.)

Titus was crying as soon as I got him out of the water and was still crying when I got to them in the grass. Derek and I don't even remember him gasping for air or coughing or anything like that (another reason we think he might have JUST fallen in before we got there.) Someone brought us some towels, and I went inside to change into dry clothes. I joined Derek, Titus, Justus, and Dawn in Dawn and Brian's guest bedroom. (Jessi was holding Eli at this point, and I think he was sleeping.) When I went in the room, Derek was holding Titus (still wrapped in a towel.) Derek was crying, so I just sat down by them and hugged and kissed them both over and over. For those of you who don't know, Derek's brother drowned when they were kids.

The rest of our time there was pretty normal, as far as the boys are concerned. Dawn held Eli while he slept, and Justus and Titus ran around like crazy boys. I think Titus was loving the attention at this point. Derek ate a little something, everyone hugged us and asked if we were okay. (to which I think we both answered that we were just shaken up) Kasey sat with us for awhile in the room (holding her sleeping baby, Mabry) and listened to me talk through what happened, my feelings, etc. Derek listened to Titus' chest off and on to make sure there wasn't water in his lungs or anything, and then once we got home, he listened again with his stethoscope.

We packed up, headed home, and put the boys to bed. Derek and I were so worried about "dry drowning" (I guess that's what it's called), because Derek had heard and read a horror story about a boy who died (hours after swimming) from water he had inhaled. We just did NOT want to make a mistake about not taking him to the ER after we felt like he had just escaped death!! We also felt like we were maybe worrying too much...he really didn't act lethargic or confused, and he wasn't coughing (all of which are signs of dry drowning.) Anyway, Derek and I got ready for bed (after talking and talking about what happened and our feelings and all of the "what if's," and then Derek brought Titus to sleep on the couch with him, so he could keep a close eye and ear on him.

Derek came to bed sometime in the night, and he said Titus had opened his eyes really wide, grabbed Derek's face, and went "Aaaaaaaah" like a monster. Derek said, "What are you doing, Titus?" and Titus responded, "I don't know." haha Aaaaah, our little Titus:) Derek went in to check on Titus numerous times throughout the night, and I don't think Derek nor I got much sleep at all...but we're so glad we're all still here!!!

I cannot even express how precious it is to hear Titus talking, breathing, laughing, and crying today. He yelled "Justus" so loud this morning when he was ready to get out of bed, he fell a couple times when he and Justus were chasing each other and cried, he and Justus had so much fun in the bath this morning with a new Veggie Tales bath toy Titus got for his birthday (thanks, Brian and Lauren:))...It is so wonderful to hear him ask for "Arthur noodles" for lunch like he does for lunch and dinner EVERY SINGLE DAY; I'm so thankful I get to roll my eyes when he says "yuck...I don't like it" when I'm getting Justus a pickle..."Yes, Titus, I know you don't like it...you don't like anything but oatmeal and yogurt and Arthur noodles.":) I cannot stop hugging and kissing him today, and I think everytime I look at him, I shake my head and sigh.

God is truly to be praised, because He was in control of every single second last night. He literally had Titus in His hands, and He was even in control of my and Derek's thoughts, thought process/pattern, etc. during the whole ordeal. (Thinking back about everything, I remember while I was running towards the pool, thinking that I just wanted to look over and see Titus on the basketball court...Surely he's just playing over there or somewhere in the yard and not in the water. I don't think there's any way in my right mind that I would have NOT checked the pool first, but the THOUGHT of that thought keeps running through my head.) Thank You, Lord, for sparing Titus' life. Thank You for blessing us with him 2 years ago, and thank You for letting us keep him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

On a side note, my phone was in my pocket when I jumped in the pool (in my white shorts, by the way!!!), so I won't be accessible via my phone until I get a new one:)


All that I know to say is PRAISE JESUS! I pray for Ella every night as I put her to bed. "Watch over my little girl, especially when I cannont" Your precious family is testimony to the fact that God indeed hears and answers those countless prayers:)

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