When I was about 12 years old I was swimming in a gorgeous pool at a hotel in Mombasa. It was a lovely day the sky was blue and cloudless and the birds were chirping. I was staring up at that blue sky when all of a sudden I felt something. Turning around I saw, and felt, a lady battling in the water. She had stepped off the landing and realized that she was in the deep end. Trying to save herself from drowning she grabbed a hold of me for support. She starts screaming “help! Help! I’m drowning!”
I keep treading water. The fear sets in as I realize I might be going down with this woman.
In a flash my father dives into the pool fully clothed. My father is an amazing swimmer and was captain of the swim team in his high school years. He grabs the woman, extracting her claws from my shoulders and swims her to the edge of the pool. He lifts her out amidst a roar of applause. I make my way to the side of the pool and get out shaking like a mutt caught in a hail storm.
When the crowd died down and the lady had left I asked my father.. Why did you save her and not me? He said “You were safe all along. You’re an excellent swimmer, you didn’t need the help.”
All these years later that incident sticks in my mind. Life has a funny way of teaching you lessons.
My Dad showed me that day that not only am I strong…stronger than I think. But also that people in this world will try to pull you down and you have to keep on guard. I was so busy staring at the sky and caught in the moment that I hadn’t noticed this lady as she lept into the deep end. She was in over her head. I’d been in the deep end since I was a child. I had been learning to tread water.
And lastly my father taught me, and has continued to show me to this day, that he will help me keep those people from pulling me down…even though I’m strong enough to do it by myself.