The sounds above me are muffled as I dive deep into the water. The splash of my hands as they complete each stroke and the kick of my feet are rhythmic and meditative. I can hear my breathing as I exhale, but nothing else. The swimmers in either lane swim back and forth as I am, but I don’t see them. I am focusing on the tiles below me and at the edge of the pool. Here, I am close to you.
My mind always brings me back to the months I would swim weightless with my swollen belly protruding from my swimsuit. I would talk to you and imagine our future life together. I would visualize the years ahead when I would teach you to swim. I hoped to share my love of the water with you.
6 years later I continue to swim, but you are not here to share this experience.
At 3 weeks old, I was so grateful to bring you in the warm pool. It was one of my wishes during your palliative care. I wanted to have the moment I dreamed of, to hold you as we were surrounded by water.
The aquatic therapist taught me how to do so that your NG tube would float be safe. You appeared relaxed and pain-free. We think you enjoyed it. Your seizures stopped while floating. Your body softened and you would fall asleep in my arms.
We were able to visit that warm pool a handful of times before you left this life. Those moments are treasured memories.
Swimming continues to soothe my soul. It is where I feel closest to you.
I don’t get to enter the pool as often as I would like anymore. Life and children take up most of my time and for them I am so grateful. But today as I listened to the muffled sounds above me at the edge of the pool, I am reminded of the innocent time anxiously awaiting your arrival when my heavy belly was weightless beneath me.
I miss those days.
I miss that time.
I miss my innocence.
I miss you and the life I thought we would share.