Saturday, June 20, 2009

I Know She Needed Fish

We lost our Dad early. I am the fourth of six kids and I was 17 when Dad died at the age of 56 - heart disease. Before he got sick he was full of energy and loved life. He and Mom loved nothing more than their six kids and he shamelessly bragged about us to anyone who would listen. But their love for fishing was a close second. We ate what they caught.

They went fishing every chance they got and if Mom couldn't go, one of us kids would go along with Dad. I did my share of fishing, but my younger brother, David, loved it the most and he and Dad spent many hours fishing together. David has Dad's same joie de vivre and when he walks into a room the volume goes up and people smile. David shared a story with me a few years ago that stuck with me.

He and Dad had been fishing when David was probably 9 or 10 and had a good catch (probably bass or brem). Dad drove a 1969 Volkswagen automatic stickshift - I learned to drive in that car. On the way home, Dad pulled off the road in front of a very modest house. Hearing a car drive up, a woman walk out on the porch. Dad yelled, "Get a pan. I've got some fish for you." She said, "I can't pay you for them." "No, I don't want money. I'm giving them to you. We caught more than we can eat."

When Dad returned to the car David said, "Dad, how do you know that woman?" He replied, "I don't, son, but I know she needed fish."

If you don't believe in legacy, here is the rest of the story. Years later, David pulled up to a modest house on the way home from fishing and gave an elderly woman some fish. She said, "You know, years ago a man in a Volkswagon used to stop every now and then and give me fish. I remember that there always a young boy with him." David's answer, "I was that boy."

People ask me why I would give my kidney to someone I am not related to. I just don't have a good answer. I just know he needed a kidney.

Though he has been gone 38 years next week, rarely a day goes by that I am not reminded of him in some way. He never knew me as an adult, but I hope he would be proud of the woman I have become.

Happy Father's Day. I wish you were here.

4 comments:

  1. Beautiful story. Thanks for sharing this.

    Good luck tomorrow!! I will be thinking of you.

    Patty B

    ReplyDelete
  2. What an inspirational story! You have obviously inherited your father's generous nature. He no doubt would be proud of you.

    Joe R

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  3. When Dad returned to the car David said, "Dad, how do you know that woman?" He replied, "I don't, son, but I know she needed fish." Its interesting conversation.


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