"I love my mom and I love MOST of this book. It should be noted that my bowling has improved, I've given up hockey, accounting is for nerds, pancakes is food for super heroes and no one needs to count how many boyfriends I've had." – Malyn Fischtner (author's daughter)
"I'm pleased to be the source of so much humour for my wife. I just wish she didn't feel the need to publish it." – Ron Fischtner (author's husband)
"It was the last class of the evening that I was teaching, and we were doing our stretches, and at the surface of the water I noticed a single floating nipple happily bobbing away on its own. Unsure if its owner was still in the water, I quietly asked the nearest lady, "Excuse me, could you just pass me that nipple over your right shoulder?
"There I held a lovely C-cup breast that went rogue. I made posters for the lost breast (seriously, I made missing boob posters). No one claimed her. I introduced her to all the instructors, but no one recognized her (honestly, they all look the same after a few years at the pool). No one ever claimed Betty (yes, we gave her a name). Betty stayed on the teachers' table in our special little box for a long time. Eventually, like all good boobs, she wrinkled up, lost her bounce, and sagged lower and lower in the box until we all forgot how much fun she was when we first found her."
This is a feel-good book of true short stories about me, my family, friends, and my aquafit business, Over the Deep End. We all have stories to share, and the true ones are always the best. I'm sharing some of my most vulnerable moments, some of my greatest moments, and some of my saddest. Hopefully, in one story or another, you find something way better than me—you might find you. We all have a story and a different way to tell it. I hope telling my stories helps you tell some of your own.
I have to start with my parents’ love story. My dad’s family of ten immigrated to Canada. He was the oldest and came here on his own to scout out a homestead (I know it sounds corny, but no shit, that’s what he did). When his family was here and settled, he went back to Holland to find a wife. Back then, Canada did not have an ample supply of Dutch women. Luckily the early immigrants reproduced like rabbits, and now we have plenty.
He met my mom, and they fell in love. It was a bonus that she had a sister for one of Dad’s cousins, and he had a sister for one of Mom’s cousins (again, no shit, true story; big families were the first version of Tinder). My mom’s family was all in Holland, and she would be leaving everyone behind. My grandfather gave them his blessing and some very important advice for my dad. He told him that my mom would be homesick and that under no circumstances can she come back to Holland in the first six months. No matter how much she wanted to, she couldn’t come home, and if they could make it through that, they would be fine.
My mom cried every day for six months. Her homesickness made her feel colder than our frigid Canadian winters, and it made her stronger than any woman I’ve met. She wanted to go home more than anything she’d ever wanted in her life. When the time and finances allowed them to go back to Holland for a visit, they were both afraid leaving would be hard again. After weeks with her family, it was time to go home, and my mom wanted to go home—she had made her peace with a new country, new language, and new family, all made possible with new love. Her home was in Canada.
One of my favourite childhood memories of my mom is of every Saturday night when she would sit at the kitchen table with rollers in her hair, re-read her letters from her sisters, and write her own letters back to them. She would translate for us summaries of what was in the letters. They made the ordinary sound exciting, and all the sisters had a funny bone that made those letters worth gold in each other’s hands. There are lots of love stories about finding a partner, but keeping a family’s love together over a lifetime and an ocean apart are few and far between. That’s my parents’ love story; they never divided their love—they multiplied it. Their love was always just a postage stamp away.
About the author:
Teresa Fischtner is an "aqua entrepreneur." After 25 years working in accounting, she changed careers and started teaching aquafit at her family pool. Customers come to "Over the Deep End" for full body workouts in deep water and they leave with a sense of community and friendship that Teresa has created, and all her mermaids and mermen continue to nurture.
This is Teresa's first book; she writes from her heart with honesty and humour. Comments and kindness always welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.