‘I jumped in after him, but I couldn’t swim!’

From our October 2012 issue

By Elizabeth Goertzen – La Crete, Alta.

When I was about eight years old in 1945, my brother, who was 10, built a raft. We lived close to a small river, so when it was finished we decided to try it out.

We got on and he had a long pole to push it along. Somehow the pole got stuck in the bottom and he fell in. Me being scared, I jumped in after him, but I couldn’t swim!

Later he said the water was five to six feet deep. I remember going under and coming up a few times. He later told me he was on shore looking to see where I was.

All of a sudden he saw my hair come up and that’s when he grabbed me and pulled me out of the water. I forgot to ask him if he could swim at that time, but I imagine he could because we spent lots of time at the river.

I eventually learned to swim, but we said to each other we wouldn’t tell our parents what happened. I think the guardian angels are usually busy where children are involved, as they were that day.

My husband told me after I had shared this story that he was sure happy my brother pulled me out of the water, otherwise what should he and the children do?!