I went today to a place I likely haven’t been in thirty years.
My daughter loves swimming. My son loves swimming. It was our one rule, you can do whatever activities you want, as long as you want. If you want to stop, you stop. Swimming though, that’s non-negotiable. You will do swim lessons. That’s not a choice.
Anyways, today we went to a pool that I strongly associate being with my Dad with. I walked in and I could feel it.
I likely couldn’t have brought up a vision of the place in my head… until I walked in… and then it all flooded back in full ultra high definition. A clarity that didn’t exist back then.
It’s amazing how little certain places change. It could have been the 80’s again in there. No one would have noticed the difference.
Me though, I remembered.
I remembered holding onto my Dad’s back as he swam through the deep end. How he’d swim and dive underwater with me holding tight. How he’d surface and I’d gasp and catch my breath. Laugh. Be happy.
Happy memories with him end very shortly afterwards… and never came back.
It wasn’t long before he became the disappointment, the wasted life that unfortunately and sadly he would be for the rest of his days.
But today… for a moment… time flickered and I could feel it again. I was a child. He was the guy I loved. He was my world before it broke.
I played with my daughter for a couple hours in the pool. My attention was on her every second. Watching how comfortable she’s gotten in the water. How close she is to the threshold of actually swimming. Savouring the moments when it’s just the two of us. They’re fleeting. They’ll be gone.
Unlike my memories though, I won’t let her happy ones of me end at any arbitrary point as long as I can do anything about it.
Time will flicker but they’ll be happy little flickers.