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Sunday, December 11, 2011

To The Rescue

I didn't learn to swim until I was 10 years old, but I loved swimming pools and splashing in the cool water on a hot summer day. I wanted to swim so much but I struggled with such terror of drowning, for when I was 8 years old  knowledge of how drowning feels stayed with me....

Our mother was excited to get my sister and I into swimming lessons, she said we will see how this first day goes then maybe we will start taking lessons at this big bright pool. There were some friends of my mother that recommended this place. My sister Dana and I got in the pool quickly with girls our own ages and I liked how clear the water looked. Then I noticed there wasn't a floating rope to divide the deep end from the shallow. I thought to myself "WOW a whole pool in only 3 feet of water! This will be fun! I can walk to the other side...." My sister and I went with our new friends as they took off swimming across the pool, only Dana and I were walking along in the water when our feet suddenly took us under. I couldn't touch the floor of the pool anymore and my mouth filled with water as I caught by surprise! Then I began to panic thrashing my arms and legs under water until I reached the pool wall with my terrified finger tips I scraped the edge of the pool bring myself up for air and wanting to scream only to find my lungs burned with water hitting inside me. I saw my sister still out there thrashing to get out of the deep end and so I reach out to grab her. When she grabbed my arm I was once again surprised if not totally shocked that she could pull me back out among the heavy groundless water. Then She climbed up on me in her true panic state of drowning, I remember how painful it was to get clawed by her and then have her feet kicking into my head and shoulders as she climbed up on me. Since I couldn't swim, I couldn't carry her back to the wall I had once touch briefly. I suddenly didn't know which way the wall was now under my sister's grasp. I do remember how dark the water look down there and how I couldn't move like I wanted, I had no power not even in breathing this all terrified me then I slid to the top of the water only for a moment to say "HELP!" it sounded more like "GULP!" My mother in her bright red Hawaiian silk shirt and brown slacks was on the run from clear across the pool where she had been standing with her back towards us talking to some ladies, then by alarm I saw her drop her cherry coke can and leap across the whole pool fully dress even with her slip on shoes. She gracefully glided to us with her arms wide open and the water splashing up to her shoulders as she stood letting us cry into her wet ends of her beautiful brown curly hair. She had saved us from drowning, my sister and I cried heavily once we were able to breath again. The whole group of life guards and swimming teachers came from all around the big pool to help my mother out. Although when I looked around at every kid there starring at us, I was the most embarrassed of my whole life! I suddenly couldn't let go of my mother at all either, even though she kept telling me that everything was okay now. Drowning became my biggest fear after all of that, my father explained to me that next time when something like that happens I should call for help and not try to rescue my sister all on my own like that. My mother said no one was paying attention at the very moment we girls went under, it was just by a sideways glance did she see our arms waving from way under water.....she decided that was not a safe place to take swimming lessons after all. Mom chuckled while telling our father what had happened saying "Every single adult there came to apologized for not paying attention, as if that makes me feel any better.....I will NOT go back there and leave my girls in their care." My mom stayed through the swimming lesson after all of that watching over us and skeptically viewing the life guards. I never wanted to get back in the water either, (It was going to be a few more years after this event to help me trust the water again.) So as I was in my swimming lesson I kept my eyes on my mother the whole time, she sat there dripping wet from head to SHOE. I knew that I would never forget her soft arms and curvy chest when she rescued us from drowning....

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