A Haunting Summer

A Haunting Summer

The Red Cross printed an ad in the Birmingham News on my thirty fifth birthdate. It asked for any adult who wanted to learn to swim to come to the Eastlake Park Swimming Pool. I did not answer the ad the first day. I talked it over with my husband and we decided it would be a good experience for me. I went to the swimming pool everyday with my boys anyway. They loved the swimming pool.
The second day of the lesson, I went to Eastlake Park. I was late getting there and the class had already started. The teacher asked us to float to him on our backs. I assume this was something they all had to do so I did it also. Afterward we took a break. One of the gentlemen in the group asked me how long I had taken swimming lessons. I told him that was my first day. He said he realized that was my first day that year but how many years had I taken lessons. I informed him that was my first time ever. He notified me he was quitting lessons. This was his third year learning to swim. It had taken him three years to get where I got without thinking. The next lesson he did not come back. Later I learn women have a natural bouncy that gives us a natural propensity for swimming.
That year I also learned to dive. A part of the Red Cross Swimming Lesson was diving. Before the Red Cross would give you a certificate, you had to dive from the highest diving board. I practice diving as often as I could. One day as I practiced diving,  I came up surrounded by Navy Seals. They told me not to fear. They were Naval Seals. They were there perfecting their skills. I had caught their attention because I dove off the high diving board. The reason they surrounded me, they were afraid I was coming up too slow.
One day, I was on my way to the swimming pool. For some reason, there was an urgency to go see my husband’s aunt. I said to myself, the boys and I will go see her after our lessons. This particular summer it had been extremely hot in the city of Birmingham, Alabama. On the radio in the car, we were urged to see about any elderly kin people we had. When I got to the swimming pool, I called my husband and asked him had he checked on Aunt Melinda. He told me he was busy. He would check on her later. On several occasions she had indicated she had something in her will she wanted to leave me. I told her no. If she had anything she should give it to a relative. She asked me if I were she, who I would give it to. I told her to give it to one of her nieces or her nephew.
When I arrived at her house, the boys and I walked right in. The door was open and she was not conscience sitting in a chair struggling to breath. First, I called 911 then I called her sister who lived out in a part of Birmingham called East ku doo Ensuing the evidence of what I saw, I grabbed a towel and wetted it in a panic attemping to bring her around. I could not give her anything to drink because her tongue was swollen too large for her to swallow.  Her sister got there about the same time as the TV Stations.  Evidently 911 called the television stations. I’m not sure sure who did. We made the evening news. Her death apparently was good for rating. That summer there were many deaths across the southern parts of the U.S.
I got through that summer one day at a time. All of us go through things. Each day we are blessed to say or write something to help someone. We all have difficult decisions to make. I’m sure if Richard was alive, he would have decided to call his Aunt earlier. I’m sure if I had known some of the things I know today, I would make different decisions.

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