26: Maybe Not

26: Maybe Not

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Dreams and the Unexplainable

Maybe Not

Love is a partnership of two unique people who bring out the very best in each other, and who know that even though they are wonderful as individuals, they are even better together.

~Barbara Cage

My doctor said that I was too sedentary and needed more exercise. Since walking was not doing the trick, I decided to go back to my first love: swimming. I researched the public and private pools in the area and found one that fit my work schedule: the YWCA. I was excited to get back to swimming. But my husband, for some reason, didn’t feel the same. He watched me prepare my swim bag for my first swim after work and then asked me to reconsider.

“Why, sweetheart?” I asked.

“I don’t know why. I just don’t feel right about it.”

I tend to be a bit stubborn, and as he didn’t have a good reason why I shouldn’t go, I saw no reason to change my plans.

I went to work with my swim bag in the trunk and dreamed of my swim. I talked excessively to my co-workers about my swim. During lunch, my husband called and tried to convince me not to go. He said, “I can’t explain it, but I don’t feel right about it.” As for me, I didn’t see a need to change my plans.

Someone got sick and had to leave work early. I ended up working an hour later. I went to my car and looked at my watch. Taking into account the traffic, parking, and time for dressing, I would have less than a half-hour to swim. I reluctantly decided to try again a different day.

I drove home and got stuck in Los Angeles traffic, which added an additional forty minutes. By this time, I was thankful that I didn’t try to go to the pool.

As soon as I pulled in the garage, my husband came running out. “Oh, good, you’re home!”

My husband is always glad to see me at the end of a workday, but never like this.

It turned out that the roof of the YWCA pool building had collapsed, smashing the pool and injuring several people. It was at the exact time I would have been swimming. Words cannot describe the utter shock I felt watching the news that night. Slowly, this tragedy sank in. My life had been spared.

For the longest time, I couldn’t swim at an indoor pool, but now I can swim anywhere. Sometimes, we can’t explain how things work. We just need to be grateful that they do.

~Janet Elizabeth Lynn

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