Tales From Woodhull Lake: When The Lake Knows
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Tales From Woodhull Lake: When The Lake Knows

I've been accepted into flock of loons and am 100 percent okay with it.

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Tales From Woodhull Lake: When The Lake Knows
Joshua Simon

This story is one that not many people know. It’s a hard story for me to tell sometimes, and other times it’s very easy. Most people who know me from high school and most of my close friends know that in the summer of 2012, the young woman I was sure I was going to marry passed away. It was a long summer and for most of it, I was at camp trying to make it through the chaos that was taking place 1500 miles away.

Leanna was an incredible young woman and someone I hoped to spend my life with as a young man. She was the first person aside from family that I felt unconditionally loved by and I also loved unconditionally. She understood my anxiety issues, she helped me cope with things out of her control, and was an extremely loving and caring person.

She decided to go on a mission trip to West Virginia. The night before she was supposed to leave, we went out to dinner with her and her family on Siesta Key. She complained about her stomach hurting and not feeling well. She also barely ate her food, which was strange because she usually ate her whole dish and then half of mine.

We finished dinner and headed back to her house because the next morning she left via coach bus to West Virginia. I remember that she was running a slight fever, but was persistent to go anyway. I kissed her goodnight, and headed home with a pit in my stomach knowing she’d be on the road the next day and I’d be left worrying about her.

She went up to West Virginia, was able to spend a few days up there, and came back down after she was unable to keep food or water in her system. Her mother and I picked her up from the airport, brought her home, I got dropped off, and then they took her to a walk-in clinic. I passed out on their couch because I was exhausted. Her father drove me home later that day.

Leanna went to the hospital after the clinic, they moved her up to All Children’s Hospital in St. Pete, and there she stayed. She was admitted on a Wednesday, and Leanna was put into a medically induced coma that Friday. She was in a medically induced coma for approximately a month before she had a brain hemorrhage that caused a seizure. She was taken off of life support July 19th.

Before she was taken off of life support, I had visited her once and was taken up to New York by my family. I wasn’t going to put their vacation on hold. We drove up to New York to spend time at the Pinnacle Lodge and tried to have as normal of a summer as possible. Up there, cell service is very limited, and my updates were coming via a website known as Caringbridge. Every night, and sometimes during the day, I would head out onto the lake to check my phone for updates.

On one of Leanna’s last nights, I headed out onto the lake to check my phone. I got to a spot with good cell service and cut the engine. All of a sudden, the loons on the lake (a migratory water bird) started calling. If you know anything about loons, you know that they mate for life and have a very eerie but beautiful call. I listened and could feel the sorrow they seemed to be trying to share with me. I truly felt as though they knew something I didn’t. Slowly, the bow of the boat swung to the south: Leanna’s direction. I knew there wasn’t much time left. A few days later, I decided to go out to spend time with my sister and be more accessible for Leanna’s family. Shortly into my stay with my sister, Leanna had the brain hemorrhage, seizure and was taken off life support.

A few common loons found on Woodhull are pictured below. (photo courtesy of Amanda Simon)

Nature truly knows. Call it God if that’s your belief or call it Mother Nature. But whatever it was, the lake and the wildlife on it knew that I would be returning south soon. Since then, I have never experienced such a deep connection to a specific location in the world. It felt for a moment that the lake and I were one. I had been accepted into the ecosystem or into the flock of loons.

Since then, I have grown and matured as a man, I love those around me with a love that I hope they feel. I do my best to show people how much I care.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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