Last week I ran into my aunt at the gym..I can almost hear you whisper to yourself…who cares?…Maybe if I told you that my aunt and uncle are going through a nasty divorce after being married over 30 years…my uncle is blood, my aunt is the water…that is the thick and thin of it..
When I saw my aunt at the gym, I gave her a big hug…I am the person that shies away from hugs, not the person that seeks out people in sweaty gym clothes to hug.
I didn’t even take her side…she wanted to leave…he wanted her to stay.
I am not sure why at the moment I hugged her after all of the hurt she caused.
I miss the times I visited them when I was a child…Nostalgia for the moments past…And, yes, I miss her.
When I was a child, there weren’t many happy moments at home. But there were many happy moments at my aunt and uncle’s home.
My mom would take my brothers and I to their house on a hot summer night and we would swim until dark. Afterwards, we would stay up late watching scary movies like Poltergeist.
I love swimming and scary movies. It reminds me of the happiest days of my childhood.
Sometimes I wonder if we like certain things just because they remind us of a good feeling…and perhaps the opposite could be true too…dislike for things that are reminders of bad times..
Then I wonder…what if certain periods of our life are so difficult that even good ‘things’ remind us of bad times…Can that trigger feelings of sadness?
Can we like things that we wouldn’t otherwise like just because of memories of doing those things with loved ones, like fishing for example…Or do we simply like what we like irregardless of relationships, memories, and emotions…
Here I go off on a thinking tangent again…
Maybe one of the reasons I saw my aunt at the gym was because of my love of swimming. We joined the gym again so I could practice swimming for the half Iron, something I probably won’t have even thought of trying if I was afraid of water.
Sometimes I love being on water more than land.
I certainly did not learn that from my parents..
My mother doesn’t swim and is afraid of water.
The only time my dad went swimming he terrorized me by pulling me under, throwing weeds or death stuff at me, or dragging me out into the weeds and forcing me to stand there even though I was afraid.
One of my most traumatic childhood memories is of being in charge of watching my younger brothers in the water when I was 6. I stood speechless in terror unable to call for help while my youngest brother struggled for air, choked on water, and almost drowned…My mom left me in charge for only a few minutes…Minutes that could’ve lasted forever…
I should be terrified of water.
Instead I love the feel of water around me. I love the bubbles that flow through my fingers. For some reason, I associate water with happiness instead of fear..
I have to wonder if my love for swimming sprouted from those hot summer nights at my aunt and uncle’s years ago.
It is sad to see their marriage come to an end. I have always known them to be together..But maybe, just maybe, there will be more stolen sweaty hugs at the gym. For a few moments, it can take me back to those warm (sweaty) happy summer nights when they were still together…back to some of the happiest days of my childhood.