Monday, June 22, 2015


Dad had this swim trunk outfit he wore.
It was red, with Tongatoan writing and Easter Island statues printed on the fabric.
There were the trunks, and then a matching top, which amounted to a loose fitting shirt with no buttons. Dad was an apple, and his big belly stuck out, but the whole outfit looked right on him.
Of course he always had that cigar.

He wears that when I see him on the shoreline of Grapevine Lake, launching the boat, and we are about to go fishing.

“Do you think I can drive the boat today dad?” I always ask.
“Umm-hmm” will come his absent minded reply. But I know that I will not drive the boat today. I never did. Instead, we will cruise across the lake, and he will pull up to a spot, and say “Do you want to try it here?” and I will grin, and grab my pole.
As we lower our lines into the water, dad will look at me, and with the cigar still chomped between his teeth he will say:
“This looks like as bad a place as any”

Sometimes we caught fish, and sometimes we didn’t, and I never did get to drive the boat.

If I count the years back, I haven’t seen dad for 28 years now. I count all the years that he had Alzheimers, and couldn’t do all the things I remember him doing, locked away in that VA hospital. That would make more than 40 years without dad.

But I imagine heaven, and seeing him in that funny red outfit, and we are fishing again.
In heaven you get to do stuff over you know, and I’d like a do-over on our fishing trip.
You might think my do-over would be where I finally get to drive the boat.
But that’s not it.

In my do-over, when we stop to fish and dad says “Do you want to try it here?”, I beat dad to the punch, and it is me who says:
“Looks like as bad a place as any, Pop!”

I have to remember to do that when I get to heaven.
I think he will like that a lot.

Originally posted 3 years ago, but I found pics of dad, and the outfit I described to add to the post!

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