White Bear Lake, SK - Aleitha Ward

My Watermark is White Bear Lake, Saskatchewan.

My brother Coburn and I were swimming off the shore of this lake we visited throughout our childhood. Uncle Parker and Aunty Thelma owned a cabin there and we shared days in the sun and memories of playing in the water. This particular day we had been jumping off an old wooden raft; a slimy, slippery surface, that a allowed us to dive and explore the depth of the water more than the beach did. We hadn't really noticed how the raft had slightly drifted from the shore until I had jumped from it into the cool darkness of the water; only to discover I could no longer touch bottom. My upper body strength was weaker than Coburn's and, with the slippery surface of the raft combined with my fatigue from playing I could not climb aboard.

I began to get nervous, then anxious then outright afraid, at which point my big brother noticed I was taking in water as I began to panic. He climbed aboard the raft ran across the rough and slimy surface, falling and tearing his foot open as he reached my flailing arms and pulled me to safety. This is a scary memory, yet a very fond one, as 35 years later my brother died to suicide. I couldn't rescue him but he had clearly recused me.

Nina Munteanu
Aleitha Ward

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