Calm Down, Robin

“Calm Down, Robin,” Ensign, Apr. 1988, 46

“Calm Down, Robin”

As I loaded the washer with clothes, I felt a strong urge to check on my children. Aaron, eleven months old, and Christi, two, were taking much-needed naps after a hectic morning. At first I shrugged off the feeling, thinking I would finish the task at hand and then go. But the prompting was so strong that before I realized it I was heading down the hall toward the children’s room.

When I came to the bathroom, I noticed that the diaper pail lid was out in the hall. Puzzled, I tried to remember whether I had put the lid on the pail after filling it with clean water and detergent a few minutes earlier. I stepped into the bathroom and was terrified to see Aaron’s head immersed in the water. He was hanging so still! I grabbed him, and his little body was heavy and cold as I lifted him out. There was no sign of life.

I ran hysterically through the house, shaking him and crying, “Aaron! Aaron!” Into the kitchen I went, still shouting his name. Then I stopped as a voice spoke to me.

“Calm down, Robin. Calm down,” it said. I suddenly felt at peace and sure of myself. Then something seemed to guide me to the living room. I laid Aaron on the rug and thought, “Now what?” Without hesitation, I turned him over on his stomach and started pushing on his back. After several pushes, I could hear short gurgling sounds as the pressure forced the water from his mouth. Gradually, signs of life returned to Aaron’s body. Then Christi was standing by me, asking questions. I sent her for a blanket, took off Aaron’s wet shirt, and put the blanket over Aaron to warm him. The color began to return to his face, and he felt a bit warmer.

I called one of the sisters from our ward, who lived nearby. “Alice, I need you. Can you come right away?” Then I called the doctor, left a message for my husband, John, at work, and rushed to the hospital.

Emergency personnel, who were waiting for us when we arrived, rushed Aaron in for tests and X rays. As I waited, I prayed constantly, feeling strength from Heavenly Father.

Finally, I was standing next to Aaron’s hospital bed, looking into an oxygen tent and watching him struggle for shallow breaths. Soon the Relief Society president was there, along with my mother, our home teacher, and my husband’s supervisor, who had come until John could get there. When John arrived, he and our home teacher gave Aaron a priesthood blessing. Afterward, I looked down through the tent and said, “I love you, Aaron.” A faint smile appeared on his tired face. I knew then that he was all right.

How grateful I am for the prompting of the Holy Ghost that saved Aaron’s life!

  • Robin Cotton, a homemaker, is a counselor in the Louisville Kentucky Stake Relief Society presidency.

  • Afton Day, a teacher, serves as a worker in the Atlanta Temple. She lives in the Sandy Springs Ward, Roswell Georgia Stake.

Illustrated by Stephen Moore