Friday, November 20, 2009

A Time for Reflection

Fishing teaches us many things in life. It teaches us patience, understanding and fortitude, but most of all, the time we spend fishing teaches us wisdom. I remember as a young boy some of the conversations I had with my dad out in the boat. Sometimes we would talk about things that were really important, like baseball and girls and fishing. Other outings we would talk about things that to me just weren't very important at all, like being nice to my sisters, or how to get along better in my schoolwork. There were other times that we would discuss very grown up things, like how dad made money at work, and how much certain things cost, and how we got the money to do some of the things we did. I also remember times where we didn't talk much at all, we just enjoyed the warm summer day together. Now every time we went fishing it wasn't always a perfect setting. I remember when we would get out in the boat and dad would forget his smokes and we'd have to go back to the dock to get some. There were the days we would forget the worms in the car and he'd be cussing at me. How many times, my line or his would get stuck on a dock and we'd have to row the boat over and get the tangled line off of some guys boat. People would be staring out the window of the house watching to see what we were up to. But through it all we'd make it home, fish or skunked, with a stronger bond than we had when we left that sunrise. This morning my wife Shirley and I attended the Funeral of some very dear friends of ours who's mother had passed away. She had a 10 year battle with Alzheimer's and it was devastating for the family to have to endure so much pain for so long. We sat at the service this morning and listened to the beautiful words that were spoken by the priest and some of the family members and I thought to myself, How lucky they are to have a family that is so close to one another. For the last 10 years they have been taking care of their mother with Alzheimer's. How that must have felt? I sat and listened and wondered, what prepares someone in life for that kind of ordeal? How do we as adults get to that point in our lives where we just do something because it's the right thing to do? We don't ask how. We just do what needs to be done. Where do those lessons in life come from? And yet again for me, I found my answer. Those lessons we learned as sons and daughters, came from the days spent out in a boat floating on the waves with our fathers, talking, listening, learning, and fishing. My father use to tell me in the boat all the time, how much he loved me and how much he loved my mother. I've never once doubted that. It's that kind of love that gave our friends the strength to make it for the last 10 years. Fishing gave me the opportunity to learn so much from my father. Life long lessons, just like the one I needed to recall upon today. The lesson of never ending love. Love that helped a family and their friends fight through a very difficult day.

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