It was a holiday and each of us have our own recollection. All are true to that child.But for my parents itwas the day they almost lost 5 children.It was a day of miracles for my mother,I am sure. They made us go to Mass every time Columbus Day came around. But only a parent can understand showing gratitude for life.
Father took us all to visit the "Rosarito" .A large navy vessel that was purchased for some kind of business venture. It was named after my Nana,our maternal grandmother. I don't recall how we boarded such a large ship. I only remember the large mess hall. It had a large photograph of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in on corner. It was sparcely furnished. I remember a few had white linnen covering the gray metal tables. I don't even recall how long we were there. Considering the circumstances that followed, I imagine our holiday excursion was cut short.
I don't recall how we got off either.But the wooden skiff we were in was forever etched in my mind. The seas seemed to lift the skiff higher and higher,but I was with my father, and perhaps Uncle Eduardo. I had little fear. Most children are fearless. We neareda the large peer. I remember father's voice being louder that the thunderous sea. "Don't let it get caught underneath!" The skiff turned over immediatelly! we were strewn like so many wooden corks. I hung on to my baby sister's hand. Father was an avid swimmer, having spent years on the Pacific Coast of Mexico and the USA. He grabbed us and told me to hang on to the pilings. Then he swam for another child. I remember an American sailor throwing his wallet and jumping in to save someone,maybe my little brother. He had been in the water the longest. I remember they were pushing his distended stomach. I thought I saw a small fih coming from his mouth. He seemed to lie there,not moving for a long time. I saw all this with only curiosity, not knowing the danger we were in. My other sister Julie,was found under the turned skiff. She was old enough to be scared, but also old enough to do the right thing. I will never forget the golden,sunlit water as we were rythmicly submurged and instinclty taking a big gulp of air when we were mercifully above water. I was wraped in colors of the sky ,altering with the shimmering colors of being under this tremendous ocean,surrounded by magical little bubbles.. Only a child would find fascination and a serene peace under those ominous clouds.
The next day or so I saw all of us on the front page of the local paper. We were now safe and sound. I remember mother crying. I thought her so beautiful.She looked like a radiant Modanna .