I Believe in Swimming
A couple years ago, my Grandpa and Nana visited my house for a cookout. We have a small farm nestled at the bottom of Mount Nittany. And we just finished putting the finishing touches on our pool. It was warm that day, the birds were singing and the sun was shining. We could even see some of our horses grazing on the grass. We all devoured hamburgers and hot dogs on the front deck that looks over the barn.
When my sister and I were finished, I told my dad we were going out back to take a dip in the pool. So he cleared his spot too and we went to swim. As we got in the pool, it started to get darker. So my dad lit the tiki torches. Now there was a dim light that showed the silhouettes of the forest a couple of yards away from the pool. It made swimming that night feel magical.
We were in the pool for about ten minutes when my Grandpa strutted out in a bathing suit. We were all surprised to see him in a bathing suit. He didn’t usually like to swim with us. But he hopped right into the chilly pool. My dad wanted to swim in circles and try to form a whirlpool. We all joined in and had so much fun. It was a time full of laughter and grinning.
Later that week my dad told me, “Of all the years I spent with your Grandpa at Penn’s Creek and other lakes, this was the first time he ever swam with me.” I remember the feeling I had when he said this. I felt good inside, because my Grandpa decided to swim with me.
But soon after my Grandpa’s swim with us, my dad gave me the worst news in the world: “Your Grandpa has cancer,” he said. I remember feeling my heart descend. I was looking forward to Grandpa swimming with us again, but by the tone of my dad’s voice, I could tell we wouldn’t be seeing him in the pool, planting gardens, cleaning out bird houses or working on wood projects anymore. About five months later, his health became worse. In March of this year, he passed away. I dreamt I could have swum with him more.
Now, when I think of swimming, I think of my Grandpa. The last time we were in the pool, we were with him. My Grandpa recently took his last breath. But just a glimpse of my pool makes me remember him enjoying life. The last couple of months before he passed, I would always see him resting in his bed. I could not believe he was the same man who was so full of life, jokes and laughter. But every time I’m around a pool, or swimming, I remember my Grandpa as a happy, fun-loving man.
Swimming brings my family together. It can make grownups act like kids so everyone has fun. I love my family. I love and miss my Grandpa. And because of him, I believe in swimming.