"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. " ~ James 1:2-3

A Bittersweet Weekend.

First, the sweet. This weekend I have been enjoying the company of my loving family. Mimi & Papa Strat (preliminary grandparent nicknames) brought down Aunts Livy & LE and Uncle Jed to visit their nephew for the first time. We've gone shopping, to the pool, had a barbeque and we went to the beach.

And now for the bitter -

Boy drowns in surf at Fort Fisher state park
Published: Saturday, August 8, 2009 at 2:34 p.m.
A 10-year-old boy drowned Saturday afternoon at Fort Fisher State Recreation Area, and rescue workers at other area beaches said rip currents were the cause of several other near-drownings.Just after 4 p.m., after a two-hour search off the beach of Fort Fisher, the U.S. Coast Guard located the boy in the surf. The boy was not conscious. He was transported to New Hanover Regional Medical Center, where a doctor pronounced him dead, said Deputy Charles Smith of the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office.
Lifeguards at Fort Fisher reported about 2 p.m. that three swimmers were in distress. The lifeguards rescued two adults who were swimming with the boy, but the boy was missing in the water, Smith said.
The search included officials with the Coast Guard, the sheriff’s office and a number of local police and rescue units. The Wilmington Police Department’s SABLE helicopter flew overhead and there were at least three search boats in the waters.Coast Guard members located the boy’s body from a helicopter and sent a diver into the water to retrieve him. After bringing the boy to shore, rescue workers tried to revive him while family members sat in a circle on the beach, just in front of the rescue vehicle, in prayer. Hundreds of bystanders at the state park huddled while they watched the rescue. Officials made sure people didn’t enter the water while the search was under way.
Smith said the boy’s parents were taken to the hospital. Officials were withholding the boy’s name pending notification of other family members.
Near-drownings and ocean rescues were reported at other New Hanover County beaches.Cpl. Simon Sanders, of Carolina Beach Ocean Rescue, said one woman was transported to the hospital at about 5 p.m. after she was rescued from a rip current near the Oystershell Lane beach access. He said the woman had a pulse, but he did not have information about her condition. He said lifeguards on duty were flying red flags to signal rip current danger and advise swimmers to use caution.
Kure Beach Ocean Rescue director Tom Cannon said lifeguards had rescued a handful of swimmers caught in rip currents Saturday, but he said none of the rescued individuals had serious injuries.
At the beginning of the tourist season, budget cuts had forced Fort Fisher to eliminate its lifeguards. But in one rough weekend, Kure Beach lifeguards repeatedly responded to emergencies at Fort Fisher, Some eventually remained stationed at Fort Fisher. But that left Kure Beach understaffed, so town officials and concerned residents lobbied state legislators to put lifeguards back on Fort Fisher, and on June 6, the lifeguards returned. Earlier this season, an Ohio woman died after being caught in a rip current at Kure Beach.

We were there when it happened. When the lifeguards started search for him up until they pulled his body from the water. We were 20 feet from the family during the search. It was the most heartbreaking thing I have ever witnessed. I will never remember this weekend without an ache in my heart.
So please, pray for this family. And watch kids so closely at the beach.