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We found our spot and got busy hoping to catch a big one. Then as I've learned is not unusual in Texas, the weather took a quick turn for the worse. It started out as little gust that by lunch had turned into about 25 mph steady winds. We pulled off in a cove to eat lunch. My stomach wouldn't let me. I kept seeing the waves get bigger and bigger until the lake looked more like an ocean.

My fear of drowning was becoming more real. My anxiety was eating away at any sense I had. My husband didn't think much about the waves as he had been fishing in such before. He had also been in the army so he had jumped in worse with full gear. But soon he realized my distress was getting out of control and decided we should head back to our launch ramp.

Off we went into the wind and waves. Our boat went up in the air then crash back down again. The waves came over the front of the boat drenching us. Up and down and up and down we went. The knot in my stomach became the most stabbing pain I have ever experienced before or since then. All of a sudden the motor died. My husband went to the front to get the trolling motor down and use it but it wouldn't start. We were 'dead in the water'. The wind and waves turned the boat around. Then the water from the waves started coming over the back of the boat. I started bailing water but it didn't do much good. I began to see objects from the boat float off. The next thing I knew I was one of those things.

I had no idea what had happened to my husband. I just knew I was in the turbulent water facing the bottom of the boat. There was no place to hold on but somehow I made my way to the front by the trolling motor. I wrapped around it like a little monkey. Then I felt the back of it sinking. In those split seconds I remembered the titanic and that you needed to get away from a boat when it sinks or you will be sucked under.

I was afraid to let go but I did. That is when I fell in love with my life jacket. I had not gotten the upper strap secured so when I got in the water it kept trying to come off my head but at least I was floating. I was surprised that I felt my feet in the water dangling with my shoes still on. It took me a few seconds to realize why I kept getting dunked. I put my right hand over the front of my life jacket holding on to the left side of it. My head popped up out of the water. I could see land in between the waves.

My husband came floating by holding on to the boat seat and grabbed me. We floated in to shore and were rescued several hours later. Since then I make sure my life jacket is secure. Anytime I'm on the boat I'm wearing it, even in the heat of the summer. I love my life jacket forever and ever. It has become my best bass fishing buddy.

Deborah Chelette-Wilson is a relationship coach, authoress and speaker whose powerful message for women is "It's time to stop waiting for permission to be all that we can be(without being a bitch about it)." Her inspiring message helps women harness their personal power, find peace within and become part of the shift in creating healthier and more loving relationships, beginning with the one with their self. In order to honor someone else's heart you must first honor your own.

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