ONLY ON 3: Bledsoe County couple seeks to encourage others with - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

ONLY ON 3: Bledsoe County couple seeks to encourage others with loss of two children

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BLEDSOE COUNTY, TN (WRCB) - It has been two months since a Bledsoe County couple lost two of their young children in a drowning accident. Jonathan and Monique Einwechter had just moved to her parent's farm from Pennsylvania, when the SUV Monique was driving, flipped into a pond on the property. Their three-year-old daughter and five-week-old son did not survive.

They say even though it has been two months the events of that February night are still clear in their minds.

"It still frequently hits us, about once a day it hits us," says Jonathan Einwechter.

Jonathan and Monique Einwechter say the pain of losing their two children is still fresh. It was especially hard the first time they saw the pond where they desperately tried to save their children's lives.  

"Everything just hit me. I could hear the screams, I could hear my daughter crying that she was going to drown. And I could see my baby's face," says Monique.

It was very dark on the night of February 24th as Monique drove up the gravel road on her parent's farm. Inside the SUV with her were her four children: five-week-old Enoch, one-year-old Titus, two-year-old Jon David and 3-year-old Elise.

"I was following him and I made it to the bend there, and all of the sudden it felt like the wheel was just jerked out of my hand and the next thing I knew, we were on our side in the water," says Monique.

Jonathan immediately jumped out of his truck. He and others on the farm ran down to the water.

"The children all started screaming. And I just laid into the horn. And I kept trying to talk to them, you know, 'It's going to be okay, it's going to be alright. Daddy will be here shortly.'"

Monique was able to free Titus and pass him out the window to Jonathan. Monique's brother managed to grab Jon David. Then the SUV started to roll onto its top.

"It's just a sense of denial of reality. You can't believe that this is really happening, that two of your children are still stuck in the car, you know all the water. And I just kept thinking, 'If I keep trying, maybe I can get them out."

In mere moments, Monique, Elise and Enoch were under water.

"At that point I was just reflective. 'Okay, I'm 24. And it's hard to believe this is all the chance I get at life. It's over.' And I just asked The Lord for peace. And that point things just kind of fade out," says Monique.

"It was very helpless. Yeah, it's strange when you try to prioritize who you're going to save," says Jonathan.

Monique was pulled from the water and revived on the bank. Elise and Enoch were airlifted to the hospital but did not make it.

They say in the midst of their great loss, they are still able to find comfort.

"We just need to trust that this is how it was. There's a hundred things we wish we would have done differently that night that could have avoided it, but we see a lot of good coming out of it. We know The Lord did plan this and that our two children, they're probably affecting more people in their short life than we will in our whole lifetime," says Jonathan.

At the same time, the grief can be overwhelming.

"We've cried a lot. The first couple of weeks, the first week, two weeks, it got to a point where it felt like you couldn't cry anymore hardly," says Jonathan.

"We miss them terribly. It's very difficult when you look around the dinner table. We filled the table and now we're half the table," says Monique.

The couple says they can not put into words how much they miss Elise and Enoch.

"She was a big joy to our household," says Monique. "I'm still recovering from birthing my son, and my arms are empty."

The couple says though they selfishly want them back they are leaning on their faith for understanding.

"As we wrestle through the guilt and the frustration and the horror of our children drowning, it is comforting to know that The Lord had chosen that time and that we could not have done anything more than we did," says Monique.

"A lot of people have said our faith is strong. But God's grace is strong. But really what's getting us through it, His sustaining us. God's giving us power, giving us calmness, peace," says Jonathan.

They are also thankful for everyone's thoughts and prayers.

"The support we've received from the community around here has just been phenomenal," says Jonathan.

Thousands of people from across the country have supported them on an online memorial page for Elise and Enoch.

Small miracles have also encouraged them, like recovering the last photos taken of Enoch and Elise, before they passed away. Friends and family drained the pond where the accident happened, finding their camera buried in the mud.

"It was a huge blessing to see those photos because we felt like in a way we had them back again," says Jonathan.

"One of the photos we found in there was of Elise holding Enoch. And that's the only photo we have of the two of them together like that," says Monique.

They say in their tragedy they see opportunity.

"I guess I feel like we've lost too much already. We don't want to lose this opportunity for The Lord. You know, for others, to help them."

In the meantime, they are hugging their other two sons, one-year-old Titus and two-year-old Jon David, extra tight. They assure them they will see their brother and sister again one day.

"They are in a better place. They're no longer suffering. They're not dealing with the grief that we're dealing with. And that comforts us," says Jonathan.

"If The Lord can take us through this sort of tragedy, and he can keep us in this, can't He keep the rest of us?"

Elise and Enoch were buried together, laid to rest back in Pennsylvania.

The Einwechters say they still encourage everyone to visit their memorial Facebook page. They say they enjoy giving hope to others going through hard times as well. You can find the page if you click here.
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