“What almost killed her is what she loves”


Victoria is a Navy wife and a new mom.  Dahvie is an incarcerated Chicago gang member.  They write letters back and forth.  In this post, Dahvie shares a memory of a near-death experience from childhood and the impact it has on him now.

Undated Memory

Dahvie: My Grandma friend son had two sons with the same name.  Both named after the dad. Guess he was on some George Forman shit. They was cool though, he used to always drop us off at the pool on days my grandma had to go to dialysis so I won’t get into nothing at the crib by myself.  I really enjoyed the pool, seeing girls in bikini walkin around wet was my addiction. I remember one day at the park I’m in the water with bro new just doin us till I decided to see how tall I was. I’m holdin the wall goin towards the deep end.  I’m at 5ft and still standin. So I’m inchin closer to the 5 ½ mark, now the water pushin me closer and closer to 6ft. I’m not noticin cuz I’m on the wall talkin to the guyz now remind you, I can’t swim, so this isn’t a good move I’m makin. All I know is my foot must of slip as I lost grip on the wall.  I’m in six ½ feet deep water drawn like a brick. I’m scared as hell. I’m try a call for help but the water burnin my nose and throat. My head go underwater and back up. I call myself try a swim and all type of shit. It ain’t workin I see the lifeguard (a young white boy) sitting high at the post, I’m try a scream to him but it ain’t workin.  I know these people at this pool see me over here dying! Just when everything started to go blurry the lifeguard jumped in and saved me. Once I was pulled out the water I begin throwin up. The life guard ask was I ok. I say yea he then walked off like nothin didn’t happen. Like he ain’t just saved my life. Right then at that moment I decided I wanna learn to swim.  So I did. That next year I signed up for swimming lessons. Since then I loved swimming. I think my dream house is near a beach, so I can just jump in and out whenever I want to with no limitations on how far I can go. It’s funny as I sit and think about it the same thing that almost killed me the same thing I love.


Victoria: Wow.  That's such an interesting moment...your life is saved by someone who doesn’t even think twice about it.  It’s just his job. Isn’t that something? You’re at your most vulnerable, your most terrified, and he just acts like it’s nothing.  I’m trying to think if anything like that has happened to me...I’m sure it has, kids just get themselves into too much trouble for that.  We’re lucky when we have people watching, so lucky. My sister almost drowned once...she was really little, maybe 3-yrs-old, maybe 4-yrs-old.  We were all playing on a dock somewhere and I turned around and saw she wasn’t there anymore. Without even thinking I jumped in after her, just plunged into the water, not even sure where she was.  I’m so lucky where I jumped was right next to her, instead of on her or something, you know? I grabbed her and pulled her up out of the water. Ruined my favorite shirt, lol, but what does that matter if she’s safe?  Funny enough, she’s a competitive swimmer now. Sounds like you--what almost killed her is what she loves.


Dahvie: Yeah that is interesting, being saved by someone you don’t know, might never see again.  He did his thang!  Lol you did yo thang too by saving yo sister.  That’s…beautiful.  Wow.