“When my son, Donovan, was 3 years old, we moved to Florida for my husband’s job. One of the things I loved about our new home was that it was within walking distance to the beach. So one afternoon I decided to take Donovan to the shore to build his very first sand castle.
“As the sky turned a dusky amber, I was gathering our things to head home when Donovan darted toward the roaring waves. Despite my shouting for him to stop, he raced into the surf and was immediately tugged under.
“With my heart in my throat, I frantically screamed and dove into the water trying to find him. Then out of nowhere, Donovan popped up to the foamy surface and I gathered him in my arms. Tears streaked my face as I asked him what happened. He simply replied, ‘The blond lady lifted me up.’
“The following day, I relayed the harrowing tale to Donovan’s new day-care teacher, Mrs. Zimmerman. As I told her his puzzling remark about a mysterious blond woman saving him, I saw her eyes fill with tears.
“Suddenly, Donovan pointed to a framed photo on her desk. A pretty blond teenage girl smiled back at us. ‘That’s the lady, Mama!’ he exclaimed.
“Mrs. Zimmerman looked at Donovan with awe. ‘That’s my daughter, Joy, who passed away from leukemia last year. She was smart, sweet and truly loved her job...she was the lifeguard at your beach.’”
—Liz Mars, 38, Clearwater, FL
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