Last night, I dreamed that I was ice skating on a lake. My kids and husband were ice skating too. There were a lot of other families ice skating on the lake.
In the middle of the ice, there was some loose snow which made it difficult for anyone to skate through the middle. I used the edge of the blades on my ice skates and started to scrape away the snow to make the ice smoother for skating on.
Others noticed what I was doing and came to do the same. I told them to do it gently so that they didn't damage the ice. When it was fairly smooth, the people who'd been helping went back to skating, except for one little girl and her dad who were still standing near me in the middle. Isabella, my 4 year old, was beside me as well.
At about this time, I noticed a bubble of water come up from the center of the ice right beside where we were standing, and I heard a loud creaking noise. With dawning horror, I realized what was happening.
"Get away from the center!" I shouted, "The ice is breaking!" and I grabbed Isabella and pulled her away towards the edge of the iced over lake where it was safer. The man who'd been out there with me with his little girl turned up right beside me again, but his little girl wasn't with him. She was about Isabella's age.
I looked to the center of the lake with horror. The little girl was standing there, looking down at the spreading water as the ice broke and sank and the water came ever closer to her. I knew I'd never be able to get to her in time, and her dad was looking her way as well. He looked distraut and he was shouting to her to run to him, but he hadn't moved towards her. I couldn't figure out why he was just standing there. Was he worried about breaking the ice with his weight? It didn't matter because the ice was breaking all around her anyway.
There were some trees beside the lake that were sick and had been slated for destruction. They had a rope barrier put up around them. I loosened the rope and tied it around myself, leaving an extra length on the opposite side for tying around the little girl. I yelled at her dad to grab the long end of it to pull us out if needed. If I fell in, I knew hypothermia would set in fast.
I looked up to where the little girl stood. I blinked and she disappeared. No one else had yet seen that she had fallen in. As long as she didn't drift from where she'd fallen, I knew where I'd find her, but she didn't have much time, even less because I couldn't even see any struggle. Just one minute she was there, and the next she was gone.
I ran out to where I'd last seen her, heedless of the creaks and cracking of the ice that I could hear and feel under my feet. I got to the edge of the ice and I could see her floating face down, lifeless. I didn't think she been under long enough for permanent damage, but I needed to get her out right away.
She was too far from the edge for me to reach her. I knew I was going to have to go into the water. I couldnt' be sure that her dad would pull us out. Although he still held the end of the rope, he just stood where he was, looking stunned and useless. But I couldn't leave her to die. Maybe I could be quick enough that the hypothermia wouldn't get to me before I had pulled her out.
I jumped into the water and instantly felt the cold seeping into every pore, wrapping my bones in it's icy coldness. I swam towards the little girl. Her hair was fanned out around her in the water. Her little pink coat was soggy and dragging her down. I wrapped my arms around her. I wanted to tie the loose bit of rope around her, but I couldn't get my chilled fingers to work properly, so I just wrapped my arms around her, lifting her head above the water and hoped that my strength would hold long enough.
I felt the rope pulling us faster towards the edge of the ice, and looked to see Robert helping the father pull the rope in. He'd been at the other end of the lake with our other kids, but must have seen what was happening and come to help. When I felt the edge of the ice, I wearily pushed her little body up onto it and pulled myself up after her.
Robert was now walking carefully (so as not to break any more of the ice) over to us, but I knew she didn't have time. Despite my exhaustion, I stood up on wobbly legs and gently lifted her limp body into my arms. With each step, I seemed to feel the strength returning to my legs and soon I was walking at a very quick pace towards the paramedics and the ambulance that were parked near the lake.
The paramedics rushed over to take her from me, and I felt that she would be okay, but I never found out because, as Robert approached me and wrapped his arms around me in a great big hug, that is when I woke up.