To the editor:
The other day I was visiting my grandparents’ grave. A sudden flashback occurred; a chill on a warm summer day. Grandpa was trying to communicate.
We went on many fishing adventures years ago. We had our special spot. It was an island surrounded by weeds, wildflowers and a large oak. It gave shade and coolness; it was the perfect spot.
We sat for hours under that tree with our pole and Grandpa would tell me about life. I could care less if we caught anything. The day was about Grandpa and me. He taught me how to smoke, which I don’t. How to drink and to flirt. He told me never to tell Grandma about our conversations.
One day when I went to Grandpas, Grandma told me Grandpa wasn’t well and I should go home. A few days later, Grandpa, my fishing buddy, passed away. I remembered a few weeks earlier I ask Grandma if she would like to come. She smiled, kissed me on the forehead and said, “Youngin, enjoy the day with Grandpa — there are few.”
After Grandpa’s passing, I did visit that spot a few times. The first time, after a few minutes, I heard a voice, “Got my pole, tadpole.” I look, and no one.
After a few hours, I pack up everything and started home again — that voice, “Don’t forget my pole.” Again, I look. No one.
That was the last time I visited that spot. Fishing wasn’t the same without Grandpa.
I visited that spot recently. The lake no longer shimmered with water, all weeded over, no longer any wildflowers and the oak no longer stands. It seems like it started to fade after Grandpa’s passing — as if the lake and Grandpa were one.
Grandpa told me that he fished that spot when he was a tadpole. I miss my fishing buddy, that lake, those times.
Yes, this story is true. I haven’t been fishing for years. I still visit that spot; for Grandpa is there. When I have a problem, I know where to go. I don’t hear his voice, but feel his presence. For when I leave, I’m at peace.