Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Trying to Sparkle and Shine Through A Hard Day

Today was not a good day.  It started with the longest training swim I've had yet.  53 minutes.  The Husband and I found an empty lane to share at an outdoor 50 meter pool, which is twice the length of the pools that we trained in last week.  This means swimming twice as far before touching the side, taking an extra breath or two, and pressing on.  The extra 25 meters made a huge difference!  After the first lap and a half, I had to resort to the breast stroke just to catch my breath.  What was I thinking committing to a triathlon when I can't even swim two laps in this pool???  Thankfully I was able to continue the crawl after that, but it put my mind in a dark place.

At least in this pool I can touch the side after 50 meters.

What in the world am I going to do when I swim in the lake and can't touch the side or stand on the bottom?

This pool was so long I couldn't even see the other side underwater.

Would I be able to see anything in the murky lake water?

At least now I can see the bottom of the pool and follow the lane lines.

How am I going to be sure I'm swimming in a straight line at the lake?

That's right, there are buoys.

I can only breathe on the right side, and the buoys will be on my left!

What am I going to do???

My chest felt tight, and I was out of breath, not just because I was swimming so far, but because I was terrified.

I'm still terrified.

And if the morning had just stopped there with my fears, I probably could have found a way to put my fears at ease, at least for a while.  I could have found a way to tell myself that my body will respond to training, and I will gain endurance.  I would have remembered that the Husband is going to schedule a few open water swims so that I get some experience with sighting.  I could have remembered that after lap 20 today I was in a grove and felt great all the way to lap 40.  I swam over a mile today, and it's only week two.

But then something happened that was even worse than my fear of the unknown.

After showering in the locker room and getting into my car, I looked in the rear view mirror and noticed that I was only wearing one of my diamond earrings. 

These are the diamond earrings that the Husband brought home from Tiffany's in New York City.

These are the diamond earrings that haven't left my ears since that Christmas morning five years ago when I opened that beautiful robin's egg blue box.

These are the diamond earrings that I thought I'd have forever.

Eyes glued to the ground, I retraced my steps to the front desk.  I tried not to cry as I gave my name and phone number should anyone find my earring and turn it in.  I checked the shower and the locker room.  I did find another woman's pair of earrings on the wet tile floor, and she was quite grateful.  Dressed in a towel, standing outside her shower stall, she prayed over me when I told her of my loss.

I notified the lifeguards.  Then I put my wet swimsuit and goggles back on and slowly walked the 50 meter lane with my face in the water, diving to the bottom to check every piece of debris.  By now, the lane lines were being removed and families with kids were descending on the hottest pool spot in Middle Tennessee.  Dodging flippers and floaties, I kept looking, feeling more and more hopeless by the minute.  A sixteen-year-old lifeguard told me that I couldn't be in the slide area anymore.  "I'm looking for my earring and doing the best I can!"  I blurted out without thinking.  He was just doing his job.  I was doing the best I could just to hold it together.  Tears filled my goggles so that I couldn't even see the bottom of the pool anymore.  I knew that my search was over.

Meanwhile, the Husband had just arrived at his office and received my frantic call.  He drove all the way home and started the process of pulling apart the bed, the couch, and even the pipes under the sinks.  Every pulled-apart room spoke love.

As the Husband hugged me, I told him that I knew my diamond earring was just a thing.  It's just that it was such a special thing.  Such a beautiful thing.  Such a sentimental thing.  He reminded me that at least I'd lost a replaceable thing.  Yes, I'd only lost a replaceable thing.  We've been blessed with so much.  I have the best Husband a girl could ask for.  Every day of life with him is a gift that has a sparkle of its own.  I have a God who loves me unconditionally and cares for me perfectly.  Our lives are beautiful blessings.

As for my diamond earring, I'm hanging on to a shred of hope that it will be found.  Maybe not even a shred, but a fraying thread.  I'm hoping that my beautiful little earring will swirl its way to the filter by the end of the day, and that the head lifeguard will see a little sparkle and fish my diamond out of the debris.  And if not, I know life will continue to sparkle and shine.

But my heart might be a little bit sad for a few days.


  1. Oh Heather, this is heartbreaking! Im so sad for you. I'll keep you and that diamond earring in my prayers! But do have an amazing husband! :)

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