My Childhood NDE
by Melanie Budiarto
I was only 7 years old when this happened to me. The year was 1962. My father just built our family a huge house along a creek, and my younger brother and I were always playing in or near it. My brother could swim like a fish, but I could not. So my mother decided to send me to summer camp for girls, in the hopes that I would learn how to swim. This way she wouldn't have to worry so much about us playing in the creek. Well two weeks went buy, and although I had a pretty good time, I didn't learn to swim. We were taught to hold onto the side of the pool, blow bubbles and kick our feet. That was the full extent of my lessons.
At the end of my two weeks, they gave a party to all those leaving for home. A sort of fair well and hope to see you again type of party. Everything was going great, until they started the relay races in the pool. I don't for the life of me understand why they put us 7 year olds in the deep end of the pool. I was doing alright though. I used a small board to kick my way across the pool, and in that segment and did alright. Then we had to swim, anyway we could get across, to the other side. I did a kind of distorted side stroke and was so proud of myself for swimming alone. That was the very first time for me. But then disaster struck. We had a lit candle and they had stretched a rope lengthwise in the pool. We had to go under the rope and change hands with the candle without it going out, or you had to go back and get it lit again and start all over. When I got to the rope and went to change hands, I sank to the bottom of the pool. I gasped in fear and sucked in a lot of water and went unconscious.