Here’s a follow-up story about meeting Jake and Hunter, who pulled me out of the Mississippi River last spring:
In March 25th’s Star Tribune, Frank Bures of Minneapolis wrote about his sudden canoe accident and near-drowning last spring on the Mississippi River. Today he recalls recently meeting his rescuers.
The day after I almost drowned in the Mississippi River last year, my fingers ached from the cold. My head felt thick, but at the same time my thoughts raced. I pored over the details: the way the canoe had tipped, slowly, then quickly; the shock of the freezing water; the struggle to get to shore. The sudden knowledge that I wouldn’t.
Then the red canoe, with two young men.
The second chance.
I ran this chain of events on a loop, cataloging my mistakes and miscalculations. I tried to piece together a version of the story in which there was a good reason those two arrived at that exact moment. But no matter how I moved the pieces of the puzzle, they refused to take that shape.
For weeks I felt in limbo between two timelines: the one where I’d lived, and the one where I hadn’t. My mind toggled back and forth. It took nearly a month before I could accept the arbitrary terms of my survival. By then, the episode began to feel like something that had happened, rather than something that was still happening.