Father's Day: Fishing For Lessons
Written By: Georgia Mae H.
If there is a silver lining in grief (and I don’t even want to insinuate that for fear of sounding like it’s EASY), it’s that there is great amount of reflection that comes with it. It can be painful, but I will say that since I/we are stuck with reflecting on the past because the present is no longer including our loved one, we notice more. We notice the lessons we learned, the moments that really impacted our relationship with our loved one.
Grief is holding that old photograph over and over again. Over time, we notice more things about it. It develops wear and tear — but only because we treasure it so much. That’s the lens that grief gives us. We zoom in, zoom out and analyze every part of our past with our loved one…hoping that some of the memories will carry us through the present heartache.
It’s messy, but dang it is also so beautiful. This blog is about what I have recently ‘gone fishing for’ from my childhood spent on the water with my dad.
My dad always had a dream to live on the water and own his own boat. I’m happy to report that he reached this dream before he passed away in 2015. He purchased his first and only boat in 1999 and that’s where the magic I call my childhood began. You see, it was more than just a boat — it was a vessel he used to connect with people in the community. He managed to treat hundreds of people to days out on the water from the Long Island Sound in NY to the Intracoastal in FL.
I watched as he selflessly gave his time to friends and family through fishing days, stopping at restaurants along the water, tubing and his most favorite “ocean runs”.
He ran a tight ship on and off the boat but the most impactful lessons we learned from him came from our days spent on the water:
1.) Keep your “chin up”! He’d call this out to us as we’d approach a big wave when we were small so we didn’t knock our chins on the boat. Still trying to keep my chin up through life, dad :)
2.) You always need a spotter. He was strict about this one. If someone is behind the boat, there will always need to be a set of eyes on them. Find your people, and make sure someone’s looking out for you when you’re in rough waters.
3.) Respect nature. Contain trash so it doesn’t go in the ocean. Turn your motor off when you see manatees or dolphins. He’d always iterate that we were visitors in their home.
4.) Last but not least, use your passions to connect with others. If you love something, share it and you may find that you love it that much more.
When my dad passed, we agnonized about what to do with his beloved boat. We ended up having an older man walk through our backyard unexpectedly and it just so happened he was looking to buy a boat to bring his grandchildren out on. You can’t make this stuff up. We couldn’t think of a better owner to pass it along to — because if my dad was here he’d be looking forward to the same thing.
I’m grateful for the “captain” that I was also lucky enough to call my dad. I’d do anything to be on your boat again. Until next time 😇 💛
What are some things you’ve picked out from your reflections through grief?