I was swimming a month or so ago and there was almost no one there, although I noticed one woman on the pool deck and another one swimming slowly in the pool. As I walked up and put my stuff down, I started a conversation with the woman on the pool deck. Long story, short, she was the daughter of the woman in the pool. Her mom had been a swimmer for most of her life. It was her happy place. She was 91 (the mom) and she still loved to swim!
Unfortunately, the mom had been given some bad health news recently and she was getting to the end of her swimming days. As the daughter told me, I felt almost as if I was leaving my body. It just felt painful and sad. I could not think of one thing to say.
I turned to look at the woman slowly gliding in the water and tears formed in my eyes. Honestly, as I think of it right now, it was the 21st of August – the anniversary of my mom’s death. Weird that just hit me now …
Anyway, I finished my conversation with the daughter and went to sit on the edge of the pool. It took me so long to slide myself into the water. It just felt like such a sacred space and time … I didn’t want to disturb it.
I can’t recall how long she was in the pool but it wasn’t too much longer. I remember feeling a quietness in my swimming when I realized that she had gotten out. I looked around as I was swimming and happened to see the mom and daughter walking out toward the locker room.
You would never have known by watching them that anything was wrong. That’s the thing about life. We never really know a “last” is. Since then, every time I’ve been in the pool, I’ve marveled at how the lights play off the water and how the gentle waves feel when someone else is swimming next to me. I definitely don’t take my pool time for granted any longer. And, I think of her (and another friend of mine … who also loved to swim) every time I get into the pool. It’s my happy place.
With that, I pray you all have a wonderful and loving weekend!