TEXAS WATER LEARNERS, CALIFORNIA’S OWN SONG: The last time I swam in my backyard, I was only four years old.
But I still remember that night vividly.
I swum for the first time in my life on a hot, sunny day at the local pool.
I thought it was pretty awesome.
My dad was there, and we were in the pool with my friends, and my mom was watching us.
But my dad said, “You guys should just go home, you guys have to swim.”
I was like, “Yeah, no way.”
My mom was like: “Yeah right, but I have to teach you something, I have no time.”
I swished my arm out, and I thought, “This is too easy.
You can’t do this, I’m not going to do this.”
And then I thought: “I’m going to try swimming.”
So I swimmed, and it was like a miracle.
I felt so good, so buoyant, and so happy, that day.
And then when I got home, I got the call that my mom had gone back to work.
And I remember thinking, “What the hell, what am I going to tell her?”
And then the next day, she told me that she had been diagnosed with cancer.
And so that’s when I finally got the chance to see my mom again.
When she went through the surgery, she looked very, very different.
She was still smiling, and she was doing all the same things that I had been doing all those years.
She also had these scars.
I was going, “I don’t think she’s getting any better,” but then she got better.
I just remember going, Wow, I don’t know if I’m even feeling the same anymore.
But she had this beautiful, positive outlook on life, and there was a lot of joy in it, and her optimism was infectious.
I think that’s the first lesson I learned, that optimism is contagious.
She is the embodiment of it.
So now that I have cancer, I look forward to swimming in the ocean again, because I feel like I will be able to see her every day.
It’s like, What the hell?
It’s not that bad.
I have a great life, I love my family, I enjoy my life, but there’s just something about the ocean that I just want to experience.
And she knows what I want to do with my life.
I love swimming with her.
So when I think about it, it’s like I have two swimming lessons to go.
So, that’s my one.
When I think of my life after cancer, swimming is like my escape.