We lived with my great-uncle, who was also my God father I called him Nino, and aunt since I was born in a small down stairs apartment. I loved being around my cousins. We always played together like we were sisters, as one of us was the same age. We did everything together just like cousins do.
One time when I was three years old, I vaguely remember we were playing in the tub with about one foot or so of water, as it was summer and very hot outside. Our parents left the bathroom door open so they could hear us. My two cousins and I playing like if it was a mini pool and my older cousin, she was five years old, held her breath and went under the water, just her face, I remember being amazed. My other cousin did the same, then they said it was my turn. I thought I could do this just like they did.
My face going towards the water was all I remembered.
I was told by my cousins and other family members who were there that day of what happened next.
One of cousins went in the living room dripping wet and told our parent, Teresa is in the water, they said okay go back and play. She refused and said again, Teresa is in the water, they finally asked, what do you mean, she said I don’t know she’s just in the water. So our mother’s went to check and I was floating in about a foot of water in the tub.
I was dead for who knows how long, we were just kids and didn’t really know what was going on. Our parents went crazy not knowing what to do, so my aunt called my Nino who pulled me out of the water and took me to the couch in the living room, and gave me CPR. For how long I don’t know, but I eventually stared spitting up water and breathing, he saved my life.
He was my hero.
After being told this story through the years I felt like I needed to repay my Nino somehow, but didn’t know how. He saved my life and I was forever grateful for him.
Years back I was able to help take care of my eighty plus year old Nino during his last months here on earth. I would always call him my Hero and he would let me. Sometimes I would say to him, “your my hero right?” His answer was always the same, yes. Almost five years since he’s left us and I continue to call my Nino, “My Hero.”
I love my Nino and thank him for giving me a second chance at life.