Submitted for 10/13/2013 Ok What If Writing challenge. What if you were lost?

This week challenge is to tell your best story about being lost.

Little Girl Lost – A Jersey Shore Tale of Lives Saved

The photographs in this story are not of the true events.  They are just to provide imagery.

A long time ago I became lost on the beach when my family went to the Jersey Shore for the day.  You may think that this story won’t be that interesting and decide to pass it by but if you continue, you will read a story about how such an event lead to a late dinner which just may have saved our lives.

I don’t remember what year it was; however it was no earlier than 1969 so I was at least 6 years old and not likely much older.  At the time of this story, we no longer had my father as he had passed away.  My mother was raising five children on her own so a trip to the Jersey Shore was quite a treat.  My uncle and his family were very good to us and provided a lot of help to my mother.  It was with my uncle’s family that we had this day trip.  I don’t remember which of the Jersey Shore towns this occurred but we were on the beach before the massive crowds for the day.

My two older brothers wandered further down the beach and after a while my mother sent me to tell them to return.  You may be thinking why did she send a young child off on her own.  It was a different world back then.  Most people didn’t have the fears we have today.  I traveled down the beach and found my brothers quickly.  As you might suspect, they didn’t want to come back and they certainly didn’t want to listen to there little brat sister.  They probably told me to go on back and that they would be along soon.

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In the time it took me to travel down the beach and interact with my brothers, the beach filled in with more and more people.  Every beach umbrella looked the same and every camp of people was no different than the next one.  I remember walking up and down the beach looking for my family.  I don’t remember being scared though.  I think it was a few hours and I think I remember my cousin Kathleen running down to grab me when they finally found me.  I didn’t hear much about it over the years but I suppose everyone was in quite a panic.

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The next part of my story is a little hazy and if any of my family is reading this, I wouldn’t mind some clarification.  Since this story came to mind today in response to the writing prompt, I now plan on researching newspaper databases to hopefully confirm the facts.  Since my ordeal on the beach, we were all running late for the rest of the day.  We went to dinner late and I think my younger sister also did something at dinner that caused more delays.  As a result of these delays, my uncle had to cancel a planned boat excursion.  These delays just may have saved our lives because the very boat we missed had a serious accident.  The hazy part for me is the type of accident.  Did it capsize, explode or catch fire?  Either way, our excursion would have included my mother who never learned to swim and several small children.  If anyone from my family is reading this, can you tell me the year?  Do you know anything about the boat excursion we luckily missed?

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6 responses

  1. Janine says:

    Wow. I hope you’re able to research this accident and get some clarification. I know how helpful it can be, even if you don’t think so at first. It provides a certain “letting go” feeling. I got lost at the beach once too. It also happened to me because an older sibling. My mom forced my sister and her friend to let me go with them to the pier. They were being so mean to me, I turned and went back. But I had no idea where my mom was. My mom eventually found me with a lady who let me sit and cry on her towel – that lady must have been freaking out!

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    • I hadn’t given it much thought in recent years. It was the writing prompt that made me think about it again. Without the family tree research I’ve done in recent years, I never thought to find newspaper articles that may have reported the boat accident. I assuming it will be in the newspaper and that my library has microfilm that far back.

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  2. moi says:

    I hope you find out more about the events on that day.

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    • I hadn’t given it much thought in recent years. It was the writing prompt that made me think about it again. Without the family tree research I’ve done in recent years, I never thought to find newspaper articles that may have reported the boat accident. I assuming it will be in the newspaper and that my library has microfilm that far back.

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