As a teenager growing up in the mountains of central Pennsylvania I spent many summer Saturdays fishing. My equipment was always ready and I jumped at every chance to be on the streams fishing for trout. I was so efficient it was just a matter of slipping on my hip boots, fishing vest (with all my tackle), and grabbing a rod. Life was good and carefree.
I always planned on returning to that favorite pastime someday. I still have all my equipment stored in the garage. I was truly an outdoorsman. Now I’m not claiming I was Survivor Man, but I spent many a night at camp sites and days in the dense woods. Depending on the time of year, it was sometimes with a fishing rod, other times with a bow or rifle. Hell, I even did a little trapping. I actually have some great stories (like frantically reloading a muzzle loader as a herd of deer were charging right at us).
This morning, rinsed clean from yesterday’s storms and the sun burning off the morning haze, reminded me of that time some thirty years ago. A perfect day to fish. Oh yes, the trout would be feeding for sure on a day like today. The muddiness would be settling and they would be hitting the bait (I liked mill worms) in a feeding frenzy. I stood on the patio as I let the dogs out and got caught up in the memory.
I heard a cough behind me. It was Ryan.
Whoosh (actually, more like a thwack to the nuts)… I was no longer sixteen years old. Life was not so carefree after all. Not one bit. I wasn’t an adolescent dreaming about women and my future. By damned I wasn’t even at my favorite fishing hole on Black Bear creek. I had been smiling, because I felt it leave my face. I was now a middle-aged man again, facing a relentless existence few people can even imagine. In that instant I traded in any hope of fishing and turned to face the unending back-breaking tasks that define my day.
I startled myself by saying something I usually think, but keep to myself, “I just want to get this life over with”. I could practically feel the energy drain from me. My head dropped and my shoulders sagged. I felt defeated, a sensation I rarely feel. I looked at my feet and willed them to take a step forward. I
walked plodded, like I was taking a stroll through the La Brea Tar Pits, back into reality. I wanted to move forward but my feet had other ideas. It was like they were attached with velcro to the floor.
Nope. I won’t be wetting a line today.
There is an eternity, when every tear will be wiped away in the Lord. I pray that it is bliss for you and your family.
Feisty NYY Fan says
Wishing for a peaceful day for all of you, including some outside time on this beautiful day. You are all in my thoughts.y
Carla Liberty says
Your thoughts bring me back to my childhood days vacationing at Grippen Lake in Ontario. Yes, a freshwater fisherman (girl)…we trolled for bass, crappie, pike, you name it. I’ll never forget catching my first fish at the bluegill hole just a few hundred yards east of the our cottage. We used live bait for some, and lures for others, depending on what we were fishing for (or trolling for) on a particular day. The fish were biting so heavily one day and I had run out of bait. So I started scanning the boat/tackle box for something to put on my hook. Ahhh – a handi-wipe! I cut off a piece of orange/white striped hand-wipe and voila….caught me a perch! I even tried a piece of orange slice (the kind with sugar on it) and reeled in a small mouth bass!
My dad and brothers (and sometimes my hubby) still fish at Grippen each year. I vowed that I would take my girls there some day – or at least Natalie, who likes to fish like her momma.
Which brings me to my final point: When Ryan is better, we shall all take a trip – to Grippen – or some other lake. And we shall cast our lines and exchange stories on who caught the bigger pike (or as we Cushmans call it, “poor man’s lobster.”)
Hang in there Ken. You and your family are in my heart <3
Love your story, Carla!!! I want to go on your collective fishing expedition!!! I am not a fisher-girl…but just meeting the Diviney family (and being around those who support them) would be such a highlight in my life.
How cool would that be? We could charter a bus for all Diviney supporters and take our boy and his daddy (and momma and sister if they want) fishing!!!
I feel like that with my depression. I try to think positive but usually give up. Dreams that I had will never be realized.
I like to do my fishing at the grocery store. A lot easier and the fish are all cleaned and even cooked if I want!
Jo Hobbs via Facebook says
“Why don’t you… …” is more a command than a request or question.;)
Thank you, Ken, for sharing these memories with us. I was transported for a moment right along with you to these years as I visualized you fly fishing in your waders in a sparkling trout stream. Re-live these good memories, Ken, but dream about the new ones that will be yours down the road.
There must be good fly fishing around Loudon County somewhere. Why don’t you dig out your gear and try to find a day when you can teach fly fishing to Kari. Whether she is the athletic type or not, this is a great skill for anyone to experience(and it kind of rounds a gal out! This and white-water rafting! LOL). It’s all about the joy of the sport — go for it! Then it’s ham sandwiches and cold lemonade on a quilt put down in the shade at the bank of the creek. Dream on, Kenneth… …it is good for the soul.
Visualization is the key to realization of your dreams. See it — believe it!
Gail Doyle says
Ken, Paula is so right,you have such a way of describing your feelings,a book should be in your future.Think Ryan would love reading. With the care you and Sue give to Ryan and all our prayers ,Ryan will get better.I know most of us are no physical help for you ,but in spirit,we are ALL with you .Thinking and praying everyday
Donna Zimmerman says
I have no words of comfort or wisdom for you. You are wiser and have more courage than I ever will. All I have to offer is my presence and prayers. Donna Z.
Ken, your words make my soul ache, but — you also inspire me endlessly.
Hugs and love to you today, for everything you sacrifice daily to help Ryan.
Please keep a word file open and ready so that you can review and assemble your thoughts during those precious few moments you have available to do so. You have a book to put out there that a lot of people need to read. And only you can do it, because no one else has the words, the story and the messages you have — nor your uniquely insightful way of expressing yourself.
Praying for you with all my heart and soul, and for Ryan, Sue and Kari as well. Lord, have mercy and give help, peace, hope and continued recovery.
Love, hugs, prayers forever