I also swim to honor my brother’s life which was taken on a cold winter night, 2 years ago. He died alone in the street. For some reason, I didn’t see it but will never be able to get the vision out of my mind. I grieve tonight even as I celebrate his life and my goggles fill with tears.
I swim because he can no longer do so.
I swim to remember the times we lit out in the summer to swim in any pond, percolation system, creek we could find. We watched the road carefully to escape the ‘natural pool’ before my Mom caught us. This was not allowed but we ‘never asked’ but knew we didn’t want to get caught.
I swim remembering the polliwogs we found and brought home to the pool my parents put in for us. Our backyard had the most frogs anywhere in the neighborhood because of us.
I swim to remember all the workouts we went to over the years, the pools, the different teams, and different times. The meets we swam in. There were two years difference in our age even though there were a few years that we could have been twins.
I wade in the ocean tonight to celebrate a life that was just coming together again. His involvement in life wasn’t just the grungy side. He was loving computers, car repair, astronomy class, involved with Dad and Mom, enjoying friends, working hard to rebuild a life that drugs had marred for too many years.
I also swim to honor his friends, the ones that cared enough to cry when he died. That came, wrote letters to the DA and the judge. The one that addressed the court in person.
Tonight I will swim. I will empty my goggles many times during the short duration. Then I will go to the beach and walk the pups in the shallows, unwilling to swim in the sea in the dark tonight. I will understand that this night will forever be the longest night of the year but not for the natural reasons.
I will swim because I can.