Morgan Beck was understandably dreading her kids’ first day back at school on Wednesday, September 5. Just three months earlier, the volleyball player and her husband, Bode Miller, lost their 19-month-old daughter, Emeline, when she drowned in a neighbor’s swimming pool.
In a gut-wrenching Instagram post, 31-year-old Beck shared back-to-school photos from last year, and this year. Emeline — known to her family as “Emmy” — is noticeably absent in the second image and her brother Nash, 3, is crying.
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Yesterday was the first day of school for our kids. It’s a day we always look forward to with excitement. But all I can see is Nash’s face and the giant hole that was created between last year’s picture and this year’s picture. I can imagine that’s what my face looked like, too, stepping back into our routine without our daughter. I imagine daily how different my life would be today had I had 30 more seconds. Had I understood @therealtruthaboutdrowning. This heartache doesn’t need to belong to any other parents. Together, we can change the future. So to all the amazing parents, grandparents, nannies, physicians, nurses, and community members who have asked how they can join the cause, here’s how! Join us in this movement to spread awareness and fix this drowning epidemic. Our September Challenge: 1. Print out the flyer in the third picture (link in bio) 2. Take a picture of your family with your pediatrician and the flyer. 3. Post and tag #emmyandlevi #drowningprevention 4. Hang it in your pediatrician’s office, in your preschool, in the local library, wherever else you see fit 5. Help us continue this important conversation so we can put a stop to the number one cause of death for our babies
Beck noted that the family used to look forward to them being reunited with their friends and teachers. “But all I can see is Nash’s face and the giant hole that was created between last year’s picture and this year’s picture,” the athlete wrote. “I can imagine that’s what my face looked like, too, stepping back into our routine without our daughter. I imagine daily how my life would be today had I had 30 more seconds.”
Beck and the Olympic skier, 40, are expecting their third child in October. Miller is dad of Samuel, 5, and Neeson, 10, from previous relationships.
Six-foot-3 Beck urged others to educate themselves on drowning, which is the leading cause of accidental death in children ages 1 to 4, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “This heartache doesn’t need to belong to any other parents,” she wrote on Wednesday. “Together we can change the future.”
Emeline passed away on June 10, after falling into a pool one day earlier. “Never in a million years did we think we would experience a pain like this,” Miller revealed in an Instagram post the month of her death. “Her love, her light, her spirit will never be forgotten.”
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